The new NBC sitcom “Indebted” focuses on Dave and Rebecca, a young couple that ends up taking in Dave’s almost-destitute parents.
The series stars two veteran 1990s sitcom actors -- Steven Weber, whose series “Wings” ran for seven years, and Fran Drescher, whose series “The Nanny" ran for six seasons.
Drescher was asked how just got back in the sitcom groove after all these years.
“Well, 26 years later, it's more demanding for sure. I'm a little older now. We would have to call that (previous) series ‘The Granny,’ " she said with a deep chuckle.
“It happens to be a wonderful group of people, and that kind of lifts me in a way that makes me very grateful to be with this company, so it's fun. It's exciting. Physically it gets a little harder, I think, on me. But I don't need to have a life outside of work, so I go home, I lie down with my dog, and that's about it.”
Drescher stated this will be the first show in years she’s been in where her character is not named Fran.
“I made peace with the fact that the audience and my fans fell in love with my energy, my look, my style, my voice," she said. "And if I just experience different people's lives through this, I made peace with the fact that I'm not going to ever be Meryl Streep in my career.”
Even though her character is not named Fran, it is Linda, the actress added, “I think that, yeah, you're going to be seeing Fran, pretty much what you've been used to, but this woman is going through a different kind of a life experience, and she's got a husband, and she's got grown children, and she's got grandchildren. She's finding herself a little out of money, out of luck in terms of how that goes. So that's her course.”
It is no secret that many hit shows have pretty much bombed in their first few episodes until they found their audiences and their footing. It happened with “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (what would the sitcom landscape be without that iconic show?) and many others. If there are actors they like, viewers have to give shows a chance to become what they could be.
“I think that, also, over the arc of the 13 episodes that we shot, it got a little more grounded, and we dealt with some more real issues that families under these circumstances do have to deal with, and so I think that, as with all new sitcoms, it has to find its voice,” Drescher said. “It has to land somewhere. Sometimes the pilot spins a little broader because they are trying to, in 22 minutes, explain everything and get to know all of the characters and make you laugh and make you want to come back for week two, and so that is always a challenge. I think this is probably a better pilot than a lot of pilots, but in fairness to the series, I think that, over the course of the next 13 episodes, it lands and becomes a little more connected and a little more grounded, and as we meld together as a family too, I think it's there and will only keep moving in that direction, because that's a legitimate concern. Keeping characters likable even when they get in their own way is a razor's edge, and writing has to be very careful to accommodate for that. But I think that the show is aware of that and working toward that.”
Drescher and the rest of the cast are happy with what they are doing with this series and hope the viewers stick with it long enough for this sitcom to reach its stride. The premise is fun and witty, and the actors are beloved.
“Indebted” premiered earlier this month on NBC.