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Paul Reiser Opens Up About His Failed NBC Show

by PopEater Staff, posted Jun 11th 2011 10:00AM
Paul ReiserPaul Reiser chooses to look at the failure of his recent NBC sitcom, 'The Paul Reiser Show,' in a positive light.

The actor has joked that his recent debacle with NBC was just an expensive media blitz for his third book, 'Familyhood,' and in a way he's right. Being axed by the last-place network after only two episodes gave the 'Mad About You' actor a pedestal to A) Rip on his former bosses and, B) Bring up his latest tome, which is you guessed it ... about being a dad to Ezra and Leon (ages 15 and 11).

Reiser's previous books were about marriage and becoming a dad. He spoke to AOL TV sister site PopEater about his new book, being an embarrassing father to his boys and his disappointment in being given the gong so quickly at the network he made millions for. His theory for why the Peacock-ers gave up on 'The Paul Reiser Show'?

"Literally, it could not have been a less opportune moment," to air a new show, he says. "It was bought by some people and then the entire network was sold so there was no real investment on anybody's part ... all shows are moving parts on their chessboard, they don't get particularly attached."

So this book is all about raising your kids and how they're getting older.
I can't stop that. It seems to be every day they're taller and older. What surprises me as I said in the beginning of the book is that it's been 15 years since I last sat down to write. There is something about having children that is so time consuming and enveloping you don't even realize it's a lifetime later, as a result the book is from a very different vantage point. In the beginning it was all so new to me, the very fact that there was a live human being was plenty of new information for me and 15 years down the road and two kids to compare there are so many other issues and it's such a dense, thick world. The book is very personal but what I'm finding is it's ringing a bell with a lot of people because it is so universal and the fears and the insecurities of raising children, are you doing it right? All the frustrations are so universal and it's so comforting for me and for others that they aren't the only ones going through this.

Are your kids ever embarrassed of you?
Oh yeah, that started early. I remember feeling that as an early adolescent, my little guy was like seven or eight, I walked him to school and he said, 'Don't come in the yard, just stay there.' I was like, 'So fast!' I have to tell myself it's not necessarily anything I do, it's just the fact that we're alive. That we're alive and that our lifespans overlap is embarrassing to him. Other than taking one of us down I don't know how to change that.

Isn't it like the song 'Sunrise, Sunset' how quickly time passes by?
Yeah I think I even mention that in the book and most of the changes are so imperceptible it's only way later that you recognize certain things are gone. Like you don't waddle anymore, you walk now. Gee that little lisp that was cute, that's gone. I missed that, we wanted to correct the lisp but I miss it now or there's never a day when they say, 'I don't want you to read picture books to me anymore,' but one day it's like, 'Hey, what happened to that? I just noticed we don't read together anymore.'

I have to say the way NBC treated you was appalling. I don't get it. You made them millions and lots of shows take a while to gain an audience. 'Seinfeld' was not a hit out of the gate.
Yeah, it was quite surprising. One of the things I've learned is it's not really a great idea to develop a show at a network that gets sold in the middle of your term. Literally it could not have been a less opportune moment. It was bought by some people and then the entire network was sold so there was no real investment on anybody's part.

So, really, nobody cared if you got canceled.
Yeah, all shows are moving parts on their chessboard, they don't get particularly attached. It was only particularly disappointing because I thought it was a terrific show and I was really confident that it would find its audience given a chance and run for a long time.

Do you regret not taking it to somewhere like HBO?
You can always rethink everything and you make the best decision you can at the time so there is a thousand-million shoulda, coulda, wouldas. You know showbiz, they never tell you it's going to be easy.

Is it true that you turned down the part of Danny Tanner in 'Full House?'
You know what, I might have been offered that, it was such a long time ago. I was friends with the guy who created it, we may have talked about it.

And instead you did 'My Two Dads.'
You know, that's not really the way it worked out.

By the way, I never got that show. All they had to do was get a DNA test.
Here's what I'm going to give you to make your life better. You don't have to watch, how's that? I can alleviate all your problems. Get on with your life.

Ha! That's so true. My mum always tells me that.
Well I hope people go and read the book. They can't cancel a book, I maintain firmly. Unlike T.V. and movies you don't have an opening weekend. You can buy it on a Thursday and you can read it a month later. There's no rush, take your time with the book.

Head to PopEater for the full Q&A, plus more celeb interviews from Nicki Gostin including Christopher Plummer, Geoffrey Rush and Jerry Seinfeld

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Anyone else find it ironic that just a couple of months ago, Reiser did an interview where he defended NBC for firing Conan (after just 7 months on "The Tonight Show") and bringing back Leno, but now, here he is, claiming NBC didn't give his show a chance to find an audience?

Wow. Not quite as much fun to be a Company-Man when the Company pulls the rug out from under you! Reisner probably thought he was just a big an NBC schill as Leno is, and never thought NBC would treat him poorly. Little did Reiser realize that NBC is a classless corporation that places no value on loyalty and hard work.

Oh, and Reiser's new show actually sucked, but that's not even the point. The point is, Reiser got the boot the same way Conan did, yet Reiser defended NBC on the Conan-thing, which makes me wonder how he can get all angry at NBC now when they do the same thing to him.

June 12 2011 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with BC about the show not being good. I watched the first one and it was terrible. Paul Reiser yelled his lines instead of speaking them. I loved him in "Mad About You" and expected to love him in this one, too. Boy, was I disappointed. I didn't watch the second one, but I'm not surprised it was cancelled right away. Sorry Paul, maybe next time!

June 11 2011 at 10:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And maybe the show wasn't very good and maybe the reason people watched 'Mad About You' was Helen Hunt.

June 11 2011 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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