11:30am PT by Michael O'Connell
'Mad About You' Reunion Finds a Home at Spectrum
Don’t dismiss TV’s waning reboot craze just yet. More than a year after talks first started, Mad About You is officially the next in line to get a reunion run — only, instead of original network NBC, the sitcom is being revived by Charter’s fledgling Spectrum Originals.
Both Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt are set to reprise the roles of Paul and Jamie Buchman, while Peter Tolan joins as showrunner. Hunt is also set to direct the first episode back, which is scheduled to launch on Spectrum later this year. The run is being billed as a limited series.
"We are so excited to finally be doing this and thrilled to have Peter Tolan as our fearless captain,” Reiser and Hunt said Wednesday in a joint statement. “We promise you the same funny and heartwarming show — as soon as we can remember what’s funny about being older. It’s going to be great!"
The original Mad About You ran for seven seasons, from 1992 to 1999. Early in its run, it was a ratings breakout — and most notably minted Hunt as a mainstream star. She won the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy for four consecutive years. That run includes 1997, when she also won an Oscar for her performance in As Good as It Gets.
"We are beyond thrilled to team up with Sony Pictures Television to give Mad About You an exclusive home at Spectrum Originals,” said Katherine Pope, head of original content at Spectrum. “Two decades ago, fans fell in love with this show, and this time will be no different as Paul, Helen and Peter explore modern marriage through the eyes of two people who have just become empty-nesters. We can’t wait for everyone to fall in love with the Buchmans all over again."
Mad About You’s road back to the air was not as smooth as reboot predecessors Will & Grace, Murphy Brown or even the short-lived Roseanne. Talks with multiple broadcast networks went nowhere before the the project finally landed at the upstart Spectrum. The yet-to-launch platform most notably has the Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba vehicle L.A.’s Finest, also from Sony, on deck — though that project recently saw production halt, mid-finale, after a tragic car accident injured both showrunners.
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Helen and Paul and to partner with Spectrum Originals and Katherine, to bring this acclaimed comedy back to life,” said Sony’s Jeff Frost, Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter in a joint statement. “It has been a labor of love for all involved and we think audiences will relish the next chapter in these wonderful characters’ lives.”
Expectations for performance on Spectrum will obviously be different than if Mad About You had returned on a more traditional platform. The series will be available only to Spectrum video subscribers, on-demand and ad-free, so any ratings barometer is out the window.
That’s probably a good thing, since the reboot trend is bringing in pretty modest returns this broadcast season. CBS’ return of Murphy Brown only averaged a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 for its 13-episode run, even with live-plus-7 lifts. Will & Grace is performing modestly better for NBC with a 1.6 rating. One bright spot, though still a shell of its whirlwind run in 2018, is ABC’s rebranded and Roseanne Barr-free Roseanne revival The Conners, which is pulling a 2.3 rating in the key demo.
Mad About You is produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with Comedy Dynamics. Hunt, Reiser and Tolan will serve as executive producers, alongside Brian Volk-Weiss, Michael Pelmont and Matthew Ochacher. Series co-creator Danny Jacobson will serve as an executive consultant.