For many years, Paul Reiser refused to even entertain the notion of revisiting his 1990s sitcom “Mad About You.” But clearly, he has come around: TVLine reported on Tuesday that Sony Pictures TV is developing a revival of the romantic comedy.
“Mad About You” was part of NBC’s successful “Must See TV” stable of sitcoms and ran for seven seasons, from 1992 to 1999. The comedy, which Reiser created with Danny Jacobson, starred Reiser and Helen Hunt as Paul and Jamie Buchman, a young couple living in New York. The decision to potentially revive “Mad About You” comes following NBC’s successful return of “Will & Grace” and ABC’s impending revisit of “Roseanne.” Other hit reboots have included “The X-Files,” “Full House” and “Gilmore Girls.”
“People were asking about bringing ‘Mad About You,’ and for years I said no, why would you?” Reiser told IndieWire in October. “Literally for 18 years I was adamant, no. Why would you go back? We did it, it was done, we had a finale we were very happy with and it seemed final. And then only recently I thought, maybe.”
Reiser said his sticking point was the fact that “Mad About You” was a story about newlyweds, “and you’re not going to go back at 60 and do a show about young newlyweds. But I said, maybe there’s a story of where is that couple now. To me, that could be fun.”
Indeed, per TVLine, the revived “Mad About You” would focus on “Paul and Jamie grappling with empty-nest syndrome in the wake of now-17-year-old daughter Mabel’s admission to college.”
That’s similar to what Reiser said he was thinking about this fall. “I’m not sure it’s worth doing, or if there’s a need to do it. But actually there’s something about picking up in the arc of a life. In certain shows, like ‘Mad About You,’ you follow the lives of these people. It might be an interesting story to see what happens 25 years down the road, what all they’ve gone through. And then I thought well maybe there’s something fun to it. I tell people I’m not as adverse to it as I was. I think there could be a fun story in picking up that couple.”
Reiser pointed out that the original “Mad About You” was based on his standup at the time, and a “Mad About You” revisit, nearly 20 years later, could also take from what he talks about today on stage.
“[Back then it] was about my new marriage and it was all new to me,” he said. “It was all funny and darkly frustrating and all those things. When I’m out doing standup now it’s all the stuff I’m talking about but instead of being newlyweds, it’s about what it’s like when your kids are grown or teenagers or moving out. And what does that do to a marriage after 25 years. There’s still comedy to be mined in there.”
Reiser admitted that he’s still not a fan of revivals, but he can’t resist: “I never itch for any shows to be rebooted but if there’s something fun to do in this one, I could be persuaded. It’s possible.”
“Mad About You” also starred Anne Ramsay, Leila Kenzle, John Pankow, and Richard Kind (plus Maui as Murray the dog). The show earned Hunt four consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for outstanding lead actress in a comedy, and was nominated for outstanding comedy five times.
Like the “Will & Grace” finale, “Mad About You” ended its run with a flashforward — which means some events will have to be tweaked. The finale featured a grown up Mabel, now a filmmaker, recounting her parents’ story (including their split) 22 years into the future.
Reiser is coming off a busy fall that included three series on three different streaming services: Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” Amazon’s “Red Oaks” and Hulu’s “There’s… Johnny!” (which he produced). Hunt recently starred in Fox’s “Shots Fired.”