Though there’s sadness in separating from longtime colleagues, Treat Williams believes “Chesapeake Shores” has had its natural life span.
The Hallmark Channel drama inspired by Sherryl Woods books begins its sixth and final season Sunday, Aug. 14, and there’s a lot to be wrapped up for characters including Williams’ construction-firm owner Mick O’Brien, who worries about a rival for his estranged wife Megan (Barbara Niven) as he continues to recover from an arm injury. His daughter Abby (Meghan Ory) makes a decision about entrepreneur Evan’s (Robert Buckley) desire to date her.
As for O’Brien’s other offspring: Bree (Emilie Ullerup) gets involved with Mick’s ex-con employee Luke (Stephen Huszar); Connor (Andrew Francis) copes with the aftermath of a health crisis; Jess (Laci J. Malley) has both personal and professional concerns; and Kevin (Brendan Penny) struggles with a recent loss. Diane Ladd, whose daughter Laura Dern worked with Williams in the film “Smooth Talk,” also stars as the O’Briens’ matriarch.
Grateful to Hallmark for “putting my kids through college” via his pay for the series, the pleasant Williams cryptically says “the (O’Brien) family grows” during the last season. “I’ve been doing TV work for 30 years, and six years is a wildly wonderful run. ‘Everwood’ only got four, so at six, it’s very natural and timely for a network to decide to make some changes. I’m only disappointed that I won’t see my compatriots every year, but there’s no negativity at all. And I think this is the show’s best season.”
Williams appreciated the material he was given in the victory lap of “Chesapeake Shores,” particularly with an element foreshadowed last season. “The aircraft accident has caused Mick to become dependent on painkillers,” he reports. “Here’s a guy who had no addictive personality traits whatsoever, gets in an accident, and is given a bottle of 30 pills … and in a week-and-a-half, he’s an addict. And this happens all over the country. I think it’s handled beautifully in the writing.”
A recurring guest star as Frank Reagan’s (Tom Selleck) former police partner on “Blue Bloods,” Williams also had a substantial run as Kelly Severide’s (Taylor Kinney) father on “Chicago Fire.” Now, having finished “Chesapeake Shores” (with hopes for reunion projects down the line) plus an acclaimed turn in HBO’s “We Own This City,” the veteran of such movies as “Prince of the City” and “Hair” is enjoying something he hasn’t had in quite a while: a break.
“For a very long time, I have been yearning to do nothing,” Williams confirms. “I’m going to cut trees and go out on my boat and fly my plane, and spend time with my family. I’m really excited about taking some real time off. It’s time.”