Exclusive: Greg Grunberg Raises Awareness For Epilepsy While Gearing Up For New Show

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Greg Grunberg, Becki Newton

Don't cry too hard for Greg Grunberg, part of the cast of Heroes, which NBC canceled this spring. Not long after learning about Heroes‘ demise, Greg was cast as a series regular in a new NBC show Love Bites, originally slated for fall that has been pushed back until January.

“It was a short mourning period for me,” Greg told Crushable. “I’ve been wanting to do comedy for a long time and this came along. I guest starred with Jennifer love Hewitt in our little vignette [for the pilot]…They asked me to do this thing, I didn’t even ask them what it was and I said, ‘Yes, of course, let’s do it.'”

Greg described Love Bites as “an updated version of Love, American Style,” featuring three main stories about a single girl, someone in a relationship and a married couple. Greg plays one half of the married couple but his wife, played by Californication‘s Pamela Adlon, is being recast. It's a similar story to co-star Jordana Spiro, who was originally announced as a series regular then dumped when she couldn't get out of her contract for TBS's My Boys. “I just think it’s the process of doing a show like this where you’re using actors that are not available to begin with,” Greg explained. “Everybody who came to this party was doing other stuff. That’s the whole beauty of this show. We’re going to be able to get anybody we want because they can come and do one episode. It’s like the old 70s and 80s shows like Love Boat or Love, American Style where someone would pop in and do a great guest spot or a little vignette, but the problem just is at the beginning of the show just figuring out how do to keep a couple of people.”

Now, thanks to Becki Newton‘s pregnancy, the show's production schedule has been pushed back a few weeks. It's no hardship for Greg, who has enough on his plate already. He's been keeping busy with his charitable work. He's been raising awareness for epilepsy through his website TalkAboutIt.org and raising money for the Epilepsy Foundation of America with his band, Band From TV, which includes other TV stars like The Bachelor‘s Bob Guiney and Hugh Laurie from House. Epilepsy is a cause close to Greg's heart, since his 14-year-old son Jake was diagnosed with the condition at age seven.

“The most important thing I’ve learned about epilepsy is that we need to find a cure, and we also have to talk about it,” Greg told us. “It’s the one thing that people don’t do about, [there's] a stigma. This is a disorder and people are ashamed to tell fellow coworkers and friends, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of…With TalkAboutIt.org, I roped all my friends in to doing PSAs and it’s really an informative, nonthreatening site. It’s not a pharma site, it’s not asking for money, it’s just a place where you can get information in a way that is friendly and engages the conversation on seizures and epilepsy and hopefully will remove the stigma and in doing so will get more funding and we can find a cure for it quicker.”

In between playing with Band From TV (they just got back from a bunch of shows in Chicago and their next gig is Eva Longoria‘s Rally for Kids With Cancer on July 31), working on Love Bites and TalkAboutIt.org, Greg has found time to write, produce and star in an upcoming feature film Group Sex, a romantic comedy that takes place in a sex addiction support group, as well as the Lifetime movie Bond of Silence with Grey's Anatomy‘s Kim Raver. Oh, and he's also launched an iPhone app, Yowza, which has developed into a full blown company. The free app finds coupons at stores near you and sends them to you through your phone. It has nearly 5 million downloads, Greg told us.

“My character in Felicity was based on me,” Greg told Crushable, admitting that Felicity creator J.J. Abrams, who Greg's known since they were 5 years old, wrote his character, the entrepreneurial Sean Blumberg, with him in mind. “A lot of the ideas that were on that show came out of when J.J. and me were sharing an apartment just out of college and I'm trying that business, I’m trying this business, I had a frozen yogurt business a few years ago….Yowza was a natural progression out of that. I love it, it’s my passion.”