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‘Imaginary Mary’ Star Jenna Elfman Is Fed Up with Network TV, But Giving It One More Shot — IndieWire’s Turn It On Podcast

The 'Dharma & Greg' star couldn't resist the challenge that came with acting opposite an animated character. Also: Elfman on why she doesn't mind blocking haters on the Internet.

IMAGINARY MARY - "In a World Where Worlds Collide" - Alice freaks out when her friends want to meet Ben. But when an outing with everyone goes surprisingly well, Alice wants to meet Ben's friends. However, Ben is hesitant but devises a plan that will impress Alice; but later, he makes a surprising admission, on "Imaginary Mary," TUESDAY, APRIL 25 (9:30-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Sergei Bachlakov)JENNA ELFMAN

Jenna Elfman, “Imaginary Mary”


LAST WEEK’S PODCAST: Chelsea Handler Returns In Time to Take on Trump: ‘He’s Unfit to Do Anything’ — IndieWire’s Turn It On Podcast

Jenna Elfman thought she was done with network TV.

“Dharma and Greg” put her on the map in the late 1990s, but after that hit, the actress suffered through a series of disappointments, including “Courting Alex,” “Accidentally on Purpose,” “1600 Penn,” and “Growing Up Fisher.”

“I had written off network TV,” Elfman said. “I told my agents not to come to me with another network show. I work really hard and I do my best to promote the shows. I feel like mostly I do a good job. In any other field that would give you job security. Sometimes it’s like it doesn’t matter.”

But there was something she couldn’t resist about “Imaginary Mary,” her new ABC series from “The Goldbergs” executive producer Adam F. Goldberg.

IndieWire’s TURN IT ON podcast sat down with Elfman to discuss to discuss what drew her to the new show, as well as the pros and cons of social media and how her confidence drives her interaction with the public these days. But first, we discussed the unique acting challenges that come with playing opposite an imaginary, animated character.

Listen below!

Created by Patrick Osborne, along with Goldberg and David Guarascio, the show stars Elfman as Alice, a successful woman who has had less success on the romance front. When she falls in love with Ben, a single father with three children, her anxieties manifest themselves via the return of Mary, her imaginary friend from childhood (voiced by Rachel Dratch).

IMAGINARY MARY - ABC's “Imaginary Mary" stars Erica Tremblay as Bunny, Matreya Scarrwener as Dora, Stephen Schneider as Ben, Jenna Elfman as Alice and Nicholas Coombe as Andy. (ABC/Bob D'Amico)

“Imaginary Mary”


“It required some muscles,” Elfman said of the challenge behind acting opposite an animated character. “I needed to get tools in my tool belt first, which is why this job interested me.”

As for her relationship with social media, Elfman added, “some people who go out of their way to say negative things I just go, ‘that tells me so much about your character, thank you and goodbye.’ I dont take it personally, I don’t waste a breath absorbing an an ounce of it. I think its a fun place, the majority of people are social and decent. You just block the rest of them!”

Jenna Elfman and Michael Schneider on “Turn It On”


IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now in TV – no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. Each episode features interviews with producers, reviews, essays on the latest buzz and trends, plus a roundup of what’s premiering and what’s returning over the coming week. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.

LISTEN: What It Takes to End a TV Show the Right Way (Very Good TV Podcast)

Be sure to subscribe to “TURN IT ON” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Wednesday.

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