The long-discussed Mad About You could become a reality.
Following months of discussions that producers Sony Pictures TV and stars Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser want to revive the former NBC comedy, CBS is among the outlets being pitched the potential reboot.
“It has been pitched; it is still being discussed,” CBS executive vp Thom Sherman told reporters Wednesday, following his network’s pre-upfront press briefing in New York.
While Sony is pitching and attempting to sell the revival, sources note that there is no deal in place and the indie studio is said to be aggressively shopping the reboot idea to multiple outlets.
News of a Mad About You revival first broke in December. The indie studio has had informal talks for a potential eighth season of the Emmy-nominated comedy. Both Reiser, who co-created the series alongside Danny Jacobson, and Hunt would return for the revival. NBC, which aired all seven seasons of the show, was never in the mix for the reboot, which would be set in the present day and follow Paul and Jamie in the wake of their 17-year-old daughter Mabel’s college acceptance. (That would also indicate that the series finale, which jumped ahead two decades, would be totally disregarded, a la the Will & Grace and Roseanne revivals.)
During its run, Mad About You was a breakout hit for NBC, garnering multiple best comedy series Emmy nominations (and wins for lead actress Hunt), a Golden Globe and a prestigious Peabody Award. The series wrapped after seven seasons when NBC moved it to the network’s sagging Monday night lineup. (Hunt and Reiser earned $1 million an episode for season seven, making the ratings hit a tougher pill to swallow.)
For his part, Reiser last year reversed course about the idea of a Mad About You revival. In October, he said that he and Hunt were talking about it: “If we can find the story to tell, and anybody’s interested, I’d be open to it,” he said, adding that the idea of his kids growing up and leaving the house was of particular interest. That came after years of anti-reboot sentiment from the actor, who always cited the show’s two-decade flash-forward to provide resolution to what happened to Paul and Jamie as part of a larger goal at the time to avoid going back to the well.
In April, Hunt said that the conversations were heating up as she and Reiser were “talking about how to make [a revival] work and not wreck it.” The actress was cautiously optimistic that she’d be able to reprise her role as Jamie and that it would be “compelling to visit these characters 20 years into a marriage after raising an entire human being. So depending on some pieces falling into place, it could happen.”
For CBS’ part, the network this season greenlighted a revival of Murphy Brown with much of the original cast and a reboot of Magnum P.I. Those join a roster that includes new versions of MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 and a take on SWAT. Asked about the network’s reliance on reboots and what kind of message that sends to the creative community, CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl noted, “I think our message is, continue to bring us your best stuff.”