CBS looks to have found its next Everybody Loves Raymond-like comedy in 9JKL which is based on actor Mark Feuerstein’s life as a single working actor living in an adjacent New York City apartment next to his parents.
Starring Linda Lavin and Elliot Gould as Feuerstein’s parents, the inspired events of 9JKL occurred when Feuerstein was starring on USA’s Royal Pains and he would return to his apartment after a 15-hour shoot to find his mother pulling him in for a midnight salad. Compounding noisy events at the time was Feuerstein’s brother and his wife living next door with their newborn. For some time, Feuerstein told Aaron Kaplan about this family situation and the TV producer would beam per the actor “‘That’s a show! That’s a show'”. Feuerstein is an EP co-creator on the show alongside his wife Dana Klein. Ultimately, how those two met will be worked into the show.
The creators pulled a bulk from Feuerstein’s parents down to their post-it-note system on the fridge, and it wasn’t uncommon for them to be on set during tapings.
“They’re very savvy people,” complimented Lavin, “They don’t give notes. I just did a nightclub act at Birdland and people from show business always come and tell you how to do something.”
Feuerstein shared a moment when he yelled at Lavin’s character during the pilot shoot while his mother was in the wings.
“I ran over to my mother and told her what I was saying wasn’t true, don’t be offended. It’s tricky, but they’re very supportive,” said Feuerstein.
Some of the hijinks from his life rolled into the show, including a melon incident involving his girlfriend, and a moment when Feuerstein starred in the video to promote his father’s legal estate planning business. That melon incident though was a whopper: “My then actress girlfriend and I were at my parents in Bridgehampton and we were sitting on a chaise lounge. My father has to entertain and came out in his wet bathing suit with slivers of honeydew melon. He asks if she likes a gorgeous piece of melon. He then palms it with his hand across my body and goes to feed her. She shoves her head forward and he slips 1,000 miles toward me, jamming the melon down her throat.”
9JKL premieres October 2 at 8:30 PM on CBS right after The Big Bang Theory.