Sony Pictures TV has tapped one of the top comedy showrunners on its roster, Peter Tolan, to write and showrun the revival of Mad About You, which reunites original stars Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt. The project is currently being shopped to networks.
With the hire of Tolan, whose deal for Mad About You is currently being finalized, the studio is taking a different approach to the sitcom revival trend. Tolan has not worked on the original Mad About You though he has experience writing for other successful 1990s multi-camera comedy series, Murphy Brown and Home Improvement. The other sitcom revivals from the past couple of years all have been shepherded by the original creators (Will & Grace – David Kohan and Max Mutchinck; Fuller House — Jeff Franklin until his recent exit; Murphy Brown — Diane English) or a former writer from the show (Roseanne — Bruce Helford). Mad About You was created by Reiser and Danny Jacobson with the latter expected to have a consultant role but no hands-on involvement.
In the new installment of Mad About You, twenty years after we last saw them, Paul (Reiser) and Jamie (Hunt) Buchman navigate their marriage, the trials of middle age, and their unpredictable, hard-to-control daughter Mabel. Reiser and Hunt recently closed deals to reprise their roles.
Tolan co-created with Denis Leary drama Rescue Me and comedy The Job and with Jim Gaffigan The Jim Gaffigan Show. He also executive produced The Larry Sanders Show and drama Outsiders. Tolan recently returned to the multi-camera comedy genre, teaming up with Norman Lear for pilot Guess Who Died, which is in contention at NBC. He is repped by CAA.
In a recent interview, Hunt let slip the news that Tolan is working on the Mad About You revival. “The show is now going to be run by a spectacular writer, Peter Tolan from Rescue Me and Murphy Brown, with me and Paul by his side,” she said. “Danny Jacobson will come back and consult, and that’s great. But we’re really excited that we have Paul and me as the guardians of what it was, and Peter Tolan with new, fresh, smart enthusiasm, who’s going to be doing a lot of the writing. The cocktail of what it was and something brand new is what has made me excited about it. I can’t think of anyone better than Peter Tolan to be that kind of new breath-of-life into it. He’s a big element. His sensibility combined with our comfy-with-each-other thing is exciting to me.”