Non-Charter Subscribers May Be ‘Mad’

Mad About You, which aired on NBC from 1992 to 1999, is back with new episodes for Charter subscribers. Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt reprise their roles, as Paul and Jamie Buchman. Six episodes go live Nov. 20, on demand for subscribers, and six more turn up Dec. 18.

Buchman daughter Mabel is off to college--NYU, in fact, which is walking distance from the family apartment. After dropping Mabel off at school, Mom and Dad turn up at her dorm room frequently in the pilot, driving her nuts.

Peter Tolan is the showrunner. He did not work on the original Mad About You. “I didn’t watch the show much, but I remembered it being good," said Tolan, whose credits include Rescue Me and The Larry Sanders Show. “I thought to myself, I think I know how to write for Paul. That intrigued me. Sometimes you get a sense that you could write for a person, or you can’t.”

Sony Pictures Television produces the show for Spectrum Originals in association with Comedy Dynamics. All 164 original episodes are available free on-demand for subscribers.

Tolan starting asking around on the set and in the writers’ room, about which episodes he should watch as he got ready to produce the reboot. He heard from a few people that he had to watch the Thanksgiving episode in season three, where Jamie ends up pitching the turkey out the window.

Tolan said Sony did not find a partner network for the reboot right away, a number of networks saying they already had a reboot in the works. “They ran up against a lot of that stuff,” said Tolan, who added that he was surprised a legacy show such as Mad About You did not find a taker right away.

Plenty of the Mad About You fans are not Spectrum/Charter subscribers. One, named JR, commented on the B+C site: “Sucks for the many of us who loved this show back in the day and got all excited to watch this then learned it was only for a limited audience with a certain cable company that isn’t available to everyone. Really? Ugh.”

Tolan is hoping for what he calls a “second window” that will allow non-subscribers to watch the new episodes. Last week, a spokesperson said only Charter subs can watch at this time.

What is Tolan watching for fun? Like many out there, HBO’s Succession. “I’m a horrible fan, it’s disgusting,” he said.

Season two of Succession ended Oct. 13. The following Sunday, Tolan said he parked himself in front of his TV and its blank screen, just as he’d done on the 10 Sundays before.

“I’m hurting,” he said. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.