Actress-producer starts syndicated weekday program
Drew Barrymore always has believed that timing is everything, and now, she has fresh reaffirmation.
After an earlier run at one, the actress-producer launches a weekday talk program as “The Drew Barrymore Show” debuts in national syndication Monday, Sept. 14 (check local listings). A currently single parent of two daughters, Barrymore has accrued lots of life experience and talk-guest stints in the nearly 40 years since she gained fame as a child star of “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.”
She intends to invest those in her New York-based series, being positioned as “optimism TV” via its guests and topical “Drew’s News” segment. She’ll be surrounded by familiar friends on her first episode: her “Charlie’s Angels” movie cohorts Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu, and her “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates” leading man, Adam Sandler.
“A few years ago, there was a potential opportunity that came my way” in the talk field, the friendly Barrymore explains, “and even though it didn’t pan out, that really did open my eyes to the idea. So, when this life-changing phone call from (CBS Television Distribution executive) Elaine Bauer Brooks came later, the seed had been planted. I had already soul-searched about this, so I was able to have a more intelligent conversation with her about it, rather than throwing out weird, random ideas.”
Still, Barrymore — whose legendary acting family also encompasses her grandfather John, her aunt Diana, her granduncle Lionel and her grandaunt Ethel — wants “The Drew Barrymore Show” to have a flexible format. “I’m all about trying things as if they aren’t sure things,” she says. “Don’t hold back on putting the passion and the effort into things. This is one of those examples.”
Barrymore feels the time is right for her to do the show now. “Once I had children, every priority for me changed. It was nice to stop working and just be totally present for them, but you do have to make a living. It’s nothing to complain about, but when you make films, you’re up before everyone else is and you get home when they’re asleep. And I just didn’t want to miss out on my kids’ lives.”
Doing the 2017-19 Netflix series “Santa Clarita Diet” helped Barrymore find balance: “I felt like I’d forgotten I had a skill set, and it was everything the woman I played in the show was going through. It was a great awakening, and I needed that in my own life. I wrote a book, and I was trying to generate work where I could provide for my children, and also be creative and be myself.”
As with every other syndicated-show star, Barrymore realizes she has lots of bosses in the station owners and managers who will carry her new program: “I really feel that they’re giving us a chance,” she reasons. “Everything in life, you have to earn, so I feel really lucky.”