Rather than focus on one show and one funny woman for its panel at Deadline’s fourth annual The Contenders Emmys, ABC decided to bring three women whose series provided some of the brightest spots on the network this season.
In front of a packed audience of TV Academy and key guild voters at Paramount Studios, the “ABC’s Women of Comedy” panel featured Mary McCormack, star of The Kids Are Alright; Molly McNearney, co-EP and co-head writer of Jimmy Kimmel Live (and who also happens to be married to Kimmel); and Sara Gilbert, actor and EP of The Conners, the continuation of the Roseanne reboot that Gilbert was integral in bringing back on the air. What becomes very clear in listing to these remarkable talents is that they are not limited to just one thing, but manage to be key components in the success of their shows.
Sadly, since we did this panel last month, ABC announced it would not be renewing McCormack’s sensational sitcom, which is set in the 1970s and sees her playing the mother of eight boys. It is that rare sitcom that’s not only funny but smart, heartwarming and real — and one that just needed a chance to find its audience. You will hear me gush over it as McCormack talks about the show.
McNearney, who during the past 16 years worked her way up among the writers and producers on Kimmel’s talk show (and along the way also married the host after years of working with him), talks more seriously about the impact their baby Billy’s health plight had on the national conversation about health care, and why they made the decision to share it with the whole country.
Gilbert talks about bringing back the smash-hit comedy series that made her a household name, and then rebooting it a second time when ABC’s firing of Roseanne Barr led to the creation of The Conners; Gilbert was a key reason the cast agreed to come back.
Check out our conversation in the video above.
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