Spectrum sitcom revival launches second batch of six episodes
Q: With the second wave of six new episodes of “Mad About You” beginning on Spectrum, what do you think of the current television world that is giving people so many viewing options?
A: The only downside of this new world is that there are so many shows, you can’t watch them all. There are a lot of shows that I’m getting to three years later, because I’m busy. The idea of making a small batch (of episodes) is a lovely thing; you don’t necessarily have to come up with a long game plan. It used to be, “How is this going to run seven years?” Well, it doesn’t have to anymore.
The thought with this was that it would be fun to just get together and do a finite number, 10 or 12 (episodes). The plan was to then walk away, and if it became a big hit and we were still standing at the end of it, I imagine we would consider doing another round. It’s a structure that wasn’t around (at the time of the show’s original NBC run), and it’s much better for the creative process.
Q: How was it to be reunited with fellow “Mad About You” star Helen Hunt?
A: There’s something intangible about casting. As in life, you can have your best-laid plans, then something else comes in the door. I had in mind a very different Jamie, and never pictured Helen’s look or Helen’s dynamic … but when I met her, I thought, “Oh. Wow. She’d be great.”
It’s the same with Abby Quinn (who plays Paul and Jamie’s daughter Mabel in the update). If we sketched out what Mabel would look like or sound like, it wouldn’t have been Abby. But when she walked in, we went, “That’s her.” As much as you put into the process, sometimes, it’s just the serendipity of who walks in the door.
Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.