Paul Reiser of "Mad About You" returns to primetime television on April 14 with his new single-camera comedy, "The Paul Reiser Show," but readily admits that it was not his idea.
"I didn't really want to leave the house, I was very comfortable," Reiser told OnTheRedCarpet.com and other media outlets in a phone interview.
"Even within the house I didn't want to get up, I was very happy sitting down so I was really enjoying, you know, working at a leisurely pace on great projects and periodically something will come up and I'll go I don't know that I really want to do that," he added.
The 53-year-old actor plays himself on the new scripted show, which stars Amy Landecker as his wife Claire. Ben Shenkman ("Pi"), Omid Djalili ("The Infidel"), Duane Martin ("All of Us") and Andrew Daly ("MADtv") play Reiser's newfound acquaintances - husbands of Claire's friends and the fathers of the classmates of her and Reiser's children.
"I've noticed in the last four years that I've gotten more friendly with my guy friends," Reiser said in a video posted on the show's website. "Some of them are really good, solid friends, some of them - I don't even really know how I got them. I never chose them, but all right, I guess, we'll go to a ball game, sure. That turned out to be more universal among guys than I thought."
The eclectic friendships that Reiser had forged with these men became the crux of the show and brought on the diverse cast of characters.
"I think it has a very unique flavor and it has such a diverse and rich cast and comically diverse," Reiser told OnTheRedCarpet.com and other media outlets in a phone interview. "To be honest, each of these guys should have their own show, that's how funny they are and the fact that they all wanted to come on board as an ensemble ... it's just really rich."
Aside from the regular cast members, guest stars such as Larry David from "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Henry Rawlins and Mark Burnett will be playing themselves on the show. There will also be guest directors in the first season, including "Wonder Years" star Fred Savage and Reiser's "Mad About You" co-star Helen Hunt.
"Somebody said, 'This is really 'Mad About You,' that relationship 15 years later,'" Reiser said. "In the beginning, they were newlyweds and no there was a lot of neurotic, 'Gee, is our relationship going to work?' Well, it's 20 years in now and yes, we're in, nobody's looking at the door and thinking of getting out ... it's a much more mature grounded point in life and it's a great point in life."
On the new show, Reiser's "character" has been minding his own business in the years since his hit TV series went off the air, writing and producing television but decides he's ready for a shift in his life, but isn't sure what it will be. Even as Reiser begun putting the series together, he wasn't sure where it would go but admits that his "downtime" experience inspired the show.
"If you put a gun to my head three, four, five years ago I wouldn't have been able to come up with the show but because I was really living that life of not being out there and being a guy who use to be on TV and being a guy whose job and daily life is, you know, taking the kids to school and putting out the little domestic fires, that suddenly when I started to look at it, I thought that's actually very rich and very universal," he said.
"The Paul Reiser Show" will air on NBC's Thursday night line-up instead of "Perfect Couples," which has been pulled from NBC's schedule. The network has not announced a return date for the show, which stars Olivia Munn and debuted in January.
Reiser, a comedian, played Paul Buchman on the show "Mad About You" alongside Helen Hunt between 1992 and 1999. He was nominated for an Emmy six times for his role. Before that, he and Greg Evigan starred on "My Two Dads" between 1987 and 1990.
In the last few years, he has starred in "The Thing About My Folks," a 2005 film that he also wrote, as well as several television movies. He also appeared as himself in the 2009 Adam Sandler film "Funny People," which depicted the life of a comedian. When asked about what made him return to television after a decade, Reiser admits that he was reluctant.
"I felt America needed me. I'm joking," Reiser said. "I wasn't at all looking for it, there was no design and this came about, to be honest, a very nice executive over at Warner Brothers called and said I want to sit down and talk to you about something and I didn't know what it was and then when I sat down he said we'd like you to develop something for you and we want you to be back on TV and I went 'why?'"
"The Paul Reiser Show" premieres on Thursday, April 14 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Watch a trailer for the show below.