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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A conversation with Chad Lowe

Sally Stone King Features Syndicate

On Saturday, June 18, the Hallmark Channel is scheduled to air a Father’s Day special, “Fielder’s Choice,” starring George Segal (“Just Shoot Me”), Bodhi Elfman (“The Sixth Element”), Marin Hinkle (“Once and Again”) and Chad Lowe (AMC’s “Celebrity Charades” with his wife, two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank) as Philip Fielder, a confirmed bachelor whose life is completely turned around when he becomes the guardian of his orphaned 8-year-old nephew, Zach, played by K’Sun Ray of “Love’s Enduring Promise.”


Chad Lowe says the description of Philip Fielder, his character in the Hallmark Channel’s Father’s Day special, “Fielder’s Choice,” is right on the money, up to a point — a turning point, that is.

“He’s described as set in his ways. And he is,” Lowe says. “He’s also a bachelor, and he enjoys all the freedom that being a bachelor is supposed to represent. He feels he’s pretty much in full control of his life. He can go where he likes, with whomever he likes. He’s a successful and ambitious advertising executive who is used to doing things his way, and can’t see why that would ever have to change.

“But then his sister is killed in an automobile accident,” Lowe continues, “and suddenly he has to make a choice — and it’s unlike any he’s ever made because one way or another, it’s going to affect the rest of his life.”

His sister left an 8-year-old son, Zach, and Philip Fielder is asked to become the boy’s legal guardian. If he says no, he’ll be able to preserve his “free state.” But, as Lowe says, “he’s a good man, and as reluctant as he is to take on the responsibility of raising this child, he knows it’s what he must do.”

Lowe says this is the start of the turning point. For most of his life, Fielder made choices based on what was good for him. When faced with a choice involving Zach, Philip chose what was good for the boy.

Not only does Fielder become an instant “father” when he agrees to take the boy into his life, he also becomes an instant adult, going from a life of essentially carefree adolescence to one of mature accountability.

And that’s when the turn is a full 180 degrees. As Chad Lowe points out, “He assumes the responsibility for another person’s life. And when you think about it, that’s what being a good father is all about.”

In Focus

ABC has given “Grey’s Anatomy” the relatively rare distinction of going from midseason replacement (often a graveyard for shows with low life-expectancy) to a full-fledged run for the new year.

The series will bring back its talented cast, including Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens, Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, and Sandra Oh as Christine Yang.

Although considered an ensemble show in the tradition of other hospital series such as “ER” and the legendary “St. Elsewhere,” whence Mark Harmon, David Morse and Ed Begley Jr. emerged as stars, Oh (who starred in the brilliant feature “Sideways,” directed by her now-estranged husband, Alexander Payne) seems to have become the more salient figure in the group, having caught a large share of audience interest.