EXCLUSIVE: Two more core thirtysomething cast members, Melanie Mayron and Polly Draper, have signed on to appear in ABC’s pilot thirtysomething(else), a sequel to Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick’s beloved 1987-91 drama series.
Mayron and Draper will reprise their respective roles as Melissa Steadman and Ellyn Warren in recurring arcs on the potential series. They join fellow original thirtysomething cast members Ken Olin, Mel Harris, Timothy Busfield and Patty Wettig, who are reprising their characters as supporting series regulars.
Written by Herskovitz and Zwick and to be directed by Zwick, thirtysomething(else) will follow an ensemble of new faces playing the grown-up children of the original cast,Janey Steadman (Odette Annable), Leo Steadman (Chris Wood), Ethan Weston (Patrick Fugit) and Brittany Weston (Auden Thornton), the new generation of thirtysomethings. They are being joined by returning original cast members Olin (Michael Steadman), Harris (Hope Murdoch), Busfield (Elliot Weston) and Wettig (Nancy Weston).
Melissa (Mayron) is Michael’s (Olin) cousin. On thirtysomething, she was a photographer. There is a mystery surrounding the prediction that she would have a child that was never resolved on the 1980s series. We may get an answer when Melissa reunites with the gang on thirtysomething(else). Ellyn (Draper) is Hope’s childhood friend who was a local politician on the original series.
Mayron won an Emmy Award and received three nominations for her role on thirtysomething. She made her directorial debut while on the show and went on to build a formidable career as a TV director. Her recent episodic directing credits include NBC’s Lincoln, CBS’ Tommy, Disney+’s Diary of a Female President and ABC’s upcoming Baker and the Beauty. Mayron was the principal director of the CW’s Jane the Virgin and also recurred on the show as Professor Donaldson.
If thirtysomething(else) goes to series, which is expected, Mayron will also direct. She is repped by APA and Zero Gravity Management.
Draper earned an Emmy nomination for her role on thirtysomething. She also branched out beyond acting to carve out a career as writer-producer and served as showrunner on Nickelodeon’s The Naked Brothers Band, which starred her real-life sons Nat & Alex Wolff. She recently recurred on CBS All Access’ Tell Me a Story and was seen in Fox Searchlight’s Demolition. Draper will next be seen recurring on Showtime’s Billions and in the indie feature Shiva Baby, which will premiere at South by Southwest film festival. She is repped by Stephanie Simon and Naisha Arnold at Untitled Entertainment.
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