They sparked, they sparred, they spooned—and later this year, Mad About You’s Paul and Jamie Buchman, played by Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt, will be back on TV. The sitcom about New York City newlyweds had us at hello in 1992, and we kept watching through the birth of their baby in 1999. The question is: Will a reboot with the Buchmans as empty nesters have the charm to win us over?
He softened her, she helped him stay on track.
The secret to the show’s success was the Buchmans’ believability—they obviously belonged together, despite being such an odd couple. “On paper, Paul and Jamie weren’t such a great match, like maybe he should’ve been with someone looser and she should’ve gone with a straight arrow like herself,” recalls Lisa Melamed, a writer and producer on the series during its heyday. “But they gave each other what they needed: He softened her, she helped him stay on track, and when things worked out for them, it was because they always had each other’s backs.”
Adds TV critic Jim Colucci, author of Golden Girls Forever: “Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt had incredible chemistry, so you related to them and rooted for them. And the writing was great—the rhythm and colloquialisms like the way we actually talk made the Buchmans seem so real.”
Into the Empty Nest
The new edition, a “limited series” from Spectrum Originals, took a while to get off the ground. For one thing, both stars were super busy. Reiser’s all over the tube—in Stranger Things and most recently Fosse/Verdon, the biopic miniseries about the famed director/dancer duo debuting next month—while Hunt currently has a slew of projects in pre- and post-production.
Yet Reiser told People “I’d be open to” a reboot in 2017, and she said last year “the dream is to get to do it.”
The remake will be like running into old friends you lost touch with.
The dream is coming true. “We are so excited!” Reiser and Hunt announced jointly. “We promise you the same funny and heartwarming show—as soon as we can remember what’s funny about being older!”
The industry seems psyched. “I’ll be happy to see them living happily together in that gigantic New York apartment that doesn’t exist in nature,” says Colucci.
“I think the remake will be like running into old friends you lost touch with but always wondered about,” says Melamed. “It will be interesting to see how time and age have affected them—and god help Paul if Jamie is in menopause!”