Mad About You

Last updated
Mad About You
Mad About You titlecard.jpg
Intertitle from Seasons 5–7
Genre Sitcom
Created by
Developed by Peter Tolan (2019 revival)
Starring
Theme music composer
Opening theme"Final Frontier" performed by Andrew Gold/The Sonora's Tucson Band (Seasons 1–7);
Alternate version sung by Anita Baker used occasionally in Seasons 5-7
Season 8 (revival) sung by Lyle Lovett and Kecia Lewis
Composer David Kitay
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes176 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time21–22 minutes; Season 8 (revival) 23-26 minutes
Production companies
Distributor Columbia Pictures Television Distribution (1992-1994)
Columbia TriStar Television Distribution (1994-1999)
Sony Pictures Television (2019)
Release
Original network
Picture format
Original releaseOriginal series:
September 23, 1992 (1992-09-23) 
May 24, 1999 (1999-05-24)
Revival:
November 20 –
December 18, 2019 (2019-12-18)
Chronology
Related shows Friends
Mad About You (Chinese series)
Loco por vos (Argentine remake)

Mad About You is an American television sitcom starring Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as a married couple in New York City. It initially aired on NBC from September 23, 1992, to May 24, 1999, winning numerous awards including four Golden Globe Awards and twelve Primetime Emmy Awards. On March 6, 2019, a limited series revival was picked up by Spectrum Originals for 12 episodes.

Contents

Plot

The series focuses mainly on newlyweds Paul Buchman, a documentary filmmaker, and Jamie Stemple Buchman, a public relations specialist, as they deal with everything from humorous daily minutiae to major struggles. Near the end of the show's run, they have a baby daughter, whom they name Mabel. They live in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan. The 2019 limited series focuses on Paul and Jamie as empty nesters as Mabel starts college at New York University, five blocks away.

Production

Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser were paid $1 million per episode for the last season (with their contracts calling for them to be paid equally). However, ratings fell sharply that year as the series was shuffled away from its Tuesday slot to prop up a fledgling Monday night line-up of comedies on NBC.

The show's theme song, "Final Frontier", was composed by Reiser and Don Was. [1] It was originally performed by Andrew Gold, but a version performed by Anita Baker made its debut in Season 5, Episode 13, though it was not so credited until Season 5, Episode 18. Baker's rendering was used in 18 episodes of the last three seasons, and appears on the show's soundtrack album. Gold's version is also available on the collection Thank You for Being a Friend: The Best of Andrew Gold.

Exterior views of buildings were filmed in Manhattan. Paul and Jamie's New York City Apartment was located at 5th Avenue and 12th Street. The Old Town Bar and Restaurant on 45 E. 18th Street was used for the fictional Riff's Restaurant in the series. [2]

Revival

In April 2018, it was announced that Sony Pictures Television would revive the show with the two lead actors reprising their roles, [3] though Reiser expressed doubt about it in July 2018. [4] In September 2018, Reiser stated that the revival was still on the table, but that "the studio needs to figure out if they know how to do it." [5]

On March 6, 2019, the series was revived for an eighth season by Spectrum Originals, described as a 12-episode limited series, with Reiser and Hunt confirmed to reprise their roles. [6] On September 5, 2019, it was announced that the first six episodes of the revival would premiere on November 20, 2019, and another six episodes would be released on December 18, 2019. [7] The series is available in a traditional manner in Canada, with its episodes airing on the CTV Comedy Channel.

Many of the main and recurring cast members reprised their roles for the revival. The most notable former main cast member not to reprise her role was Leila Kenzle, who played Jamie's best friend, Fran Devanow. Kenzle retired from acting in 2003 and became a psychotherapist. Fran's husband, Mark, does return in the revival, but the character is now remarried. [8]

Cast and characters

Original run (1992–1999)

Main

Recurring

Notable guest stars

Revival (2019)

Main

Returning

Recurring

Other

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
1 22September 23, 1992 (1992-09-23)May 22, 1993 (1993-05-22) NBC
2 25September 16, 1993 (1993-09-16)May 19, 1994 (1994-05-19)
3 24September 22, 1994 (1994-09-22)May 18, 1995 (1995-05-18)
4 24September 24, 1995 (1995-09-24)May 19, 1996 (1996-05-19)
5 24September 17, 1996 (1996-09-17)May 20, 1997 (1997-05-20)
6 23September 23, 1997 (1997-09-23)May 19, 1998 (1998-05-19)
7 22September 22, 1998 (1998-09-22)May 24, 1999 (1999-05-24)
8 12November 20, 2019 (2019-11-20)December 18, 2019 (2019-12-18) Spectrum

Crossovers

Mad About You has had numerous connections to other NBC sitcoms set in New York City, as well as various other programs.

Friends (owned by Warner Bros. Television): Lisa Kudrow played the recurring role of Ursula, a flaky waitress at Riff's Bar, a local restaurant that Paul and Jamie frequented. Kudrow went on to star in the NBC sitcom Friends, playing the also somewhat flaky character of Phoebe Buffay, and for a time both series shared the same Thursday night line-up. While not originally intended, the characters of Ursula and Phoebe were later found to be identical twin sisters. In a Friends episode ("The One With The Two Parts", 1st Season), as part of a night of NBC sitcom crossovers, Jamie and Fran walk into Central Perk and mistake Phoebe for Ursula. Hunt and Kenzle were not identified on screen as Jamie and Fran. In the season three episode "Pandora's Box", Jamie causes a citywide power blackout in New York City, and the effects of the blackout are seen in the Friends episode, "The One with the Blackout", and there was also a blackout in the episode "Birthday in the Big House" of the short-lived NBC sitcom Madman of the People . All three episodes originally aired during the evening of November 3, 1994, alongside a Seinfeld episode which did not incorporate the blackout premise.

Seinfeld : In one episode ("The Apartment", 1st Season), Paul, pressured by Jamie, decides to sign over the lease of his old "bachelor pad" to the current tenant who is subleasing. When the tenant is revealed to be Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) of Seinfeld, Paul asks Kramer "What ever happened to that Jerry guy who used to live there?" Seinfeld, however, twice contradicted this connection, once even featuring a running joke about George's distaste for his fiancée Susan's fondness for watching Mad About You. In the Mad About You season seven episode "Season Opener", Paul, under the effects of Viagra, ran into Jerry Seinfeld in the street, who tells Paul to go away. At this point in Seinfeld's chronology, Jerry Seinfeld was supposed to be in prison.

The Dick Van Dyke Show : Carl Reiner reprised the role of Alan Brady from the 1960s sitcom. The episode made several references to the older show, such as Jamie at one point crying and whining "Oh, Paul!" – a take on Mary Tyler Moore's character Laura Petrie's frequent refrain "Oh, Rob!" – Ten episodes earlier, Paul almost trips over a box and says, "Get me, I'm Dick Van Dyke."

Style & Substance : In the 2019 revival ("Real Estate for Beginners", 8th Season), Jean Smart appeared as Chelsea Stevens-Kobolakis, [15] a controlling, abrasive, short-tempered character that she had previously portrayed in showrunner Peter Tolan's [16] short-lived 1998 series. Paul and Jamie attend a weekend team-building workshop that Chelsea hosts, mistakenly thinking that it's the marriage counseling seminar which is being held in a nearby room.

Nielsen ratings

Awards

Mad About You won a Golden Globe Award, a Peabody Award, a Genesis Award, received five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, and was chosen Best Quality Comedy by the Viewers for Quality Television. Helen Hunt won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Comedy Series four years in a row (1996–99).

Media

Soundtrack

In 1997, Atlantic Records released a Mad About You soundtrack. The soundtrack from and inspired by the sitcom, is composed of fun and sentimental songs and clips from the show. The tracks are organized chronologically marking the milestones of the couple's relationship. The album is bookended by the two versions of Paul Reiser's song "Final Frontier"—the first track is the classic version used in the show's opening, and the last track is Anita Baker's jazzy, full-length rendition, with Reiser on keyboard. The 21 tracks are as follows:

  1. "Final Frontier (TV Theme)" Andrew Gold/The Sonora's Tucson Band
  2. "Who I Am" Faith Hill
  3. "No Pressure" – Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt
  4. "I've Been Lonely Too Long" The Young Rascals
  5. "At Last" Etta James
  6. "That's Marriage?" – Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt
  7. "Ice Cream" Sarah McLachlan
  8. "I Love the Way You Love Me" Eric Martin
  9. "Nobody Knows Me" Lyle Lovett
  10. "Sneaky Feelings" Elvis Costello
  11. "A Talk in the Park" – Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt
  12. "Love and Forgiveness" Julia Fordham
  13. "A Magic Moment" – Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt
  14. "The Things We've Handed Down" Marc Cohn
  15. "Lullaby for You" BeBe Winans
  16. "She Crawls Away" Hootie & the Blowfish
  17. "My First Child" Nil Lara
  18. "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" John Lennon
  19. "Baby Girl" The Tony Rich Project
  20. "Unconditional Love" – Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt
  21. "Mad About You – The Final Frontier" Anita Baker

Home media

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released the first three seasons of Mad About You on DVD in Region 1 and 4. The first two seasons were also made available in Region 2. No subsequent seasons were released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In February 2010, Shout! Factory acquired the distribution rights to the remaining seasons of Mad About You on DVD. They subsequently released seasons 4 and 5 on DVD. [21] [22]

On August 27, 2013, it was announced that Mill Creek Entertainment had acquired the rights to various television series from the Sony Pictures library including Mad About You. [23] They subsequently re-released the first and second seasons on DVD on August 5, 2014. [24]

Mill Creek released the complete series on a 14-DVD set on May 3, 2016. [25]

As of August 1, 2019, the entire series has been available to Spectrum subscribers as part of the run-up to the premiere of the revival series. [26]

On December 8, 2020, the revival season, alongside the original series, was added to Amazon Prime Video.

Season releases

DVD nameEp. #Release date
The Complete 1st Season22October 22, 2002
The Complete 2nd Season25April 22, 2003
The Complete 3rd Season24February 6, 2007
The Complete 4th Season24June 29, 2010
The Complete 5th Season24November 2, 2010
The Complete 6th Season24June 29, 2010
The Complete 7th Season24June 29, 2010
The Complete Series164May 3, 2016

Best-of releases

DVD nameRelease dateEp. #Additional information
Mad About You CollectionFebruary 8, 200522
  • Blooper Reel: The Seven Warning Signs of Madness
  • Audio commentaries: Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt on "The Final Frontier" and "The Pilot"
  • Featurette: Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt Are Mad About the Theme
  • Featurette: Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt Are Mad About the Guest Stars
  • Paul and Helen introduce and discuss each episode

Adaptations

A Chilean adaptation under the title Loco por ti (translated as Crazy About You) aired on TVN during 2004. [27] [ circular reference ]

An Argentine adaptation under the title Loco por vos (translated as Crazy About You) stylized as Loco x vos aired on Telefe from September 5 until December 29, 2016. The second season was originally going to air in 2017 but was scrapped later on. [28]

A British adaptation under the title Loved by You aired for two seasons on ITV from 11 March 1997 until 27 August 1998. [29]

An Italian adaptation under the title Innamorati pazzi (Crazy Lovers) aired on Italia 1 from 1998 until 2003

A Chinese adaptation aired on Dragon TV on January 4, 2016. [30]

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References

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  7. "Spectrum Originals Limited Event Reunion Series "Mad About You" Produced by Sony Pictures Television to Debut November 20". The Futon Critic . September 5, 2019.
  8. "Lisa Kudrow Might Reprise Her Epic 'Mad About You' Character". Bustle.
  9. TV guide, Volume 46. 1998.
  10. Media Hounds: Murray on Mad About You Archived November 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  11. 1 2 Sepinwale, Alan (November 18, 2019). "'Mad About You' Revival: Banter, Bickering, and Boredom".
  12. Iannucci, Rebecca (November 4, 2019). "Mad About You Revival: Carol Burnett to Reprise Role as Jamie's Mother".
  13. Haring, Bruce (October 3, 2019). "'Mad About You': Cynthia Harris To Reprise Role, Cloris Leachman Also Joins Revival Limited Series For Spectrum Originals".
  14. Lieberman, Shana (November 13, 2019). "Mad About You revival: Everything we know so far about the limited series".
  15. Baysinger, Tim (2019-12-04). "'Mad About You': Jason Alexander and Jean Smart to Guest-Star on Spectrum Revival". The Wrap. Retrieved 2020-01-29. Smart will portray Chelsea Stevens-Kobolakis, an eccentric best-selling author, lifestyle guru and podcaster who runs a weekend seminar that Paul and Jamie attend — accidentally.
  16. Barbuto, Dana (2019-09-29). "Scituate's Peter Tolan goes 'Mad'". MSN. Retrieved 2020-01-29. Tolan is the showrunner, executive producer and writer for the series, premiering Nov. 20 on Spectrum Originals.
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