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November 2000
Metromix Television

'Joan Cusack Project'
5660 W. Taylor, Chicago, IL

A new half-hour comedy series taping in her hometown in front of a live audience Fridays at 7 p.m. at Chicago Studio City.

Cusack stars as a single teacher and the show centers around her life, her girlfriends and their unique perspectives on relationships.

The series focuses on the private lives of an intimate group of high school teachers, exploring the complexity and endurance of close friendships among women, as well as the challenging relationship between Joan Gallagher (Cusack) and Jake, portrayed by Kyle Chandler ("Early Edition," "Homefront").

Also in the cast: Joan Gallagher's two best friends, Ruby, played by Tony Award-winner Donna Murphy ("The King & I," "Passion"), is a psychiatrist, and Betsy, played by Jessica Hecht ("Friends," "The Single Guy"), is a music teacher at the school.

Fellow teacher Mark, portrayed by Wally Langham ("Veronica’s Closet," "The Larry Sanders Show") and new student teacher at the high school, Alice Adams, played by Kellie Williams ("Family Matters"). Created by Gwen Macsai and produced by Gracie Films and Columbia TriStar Television. The show is executive produced by James L. Brooks, Richard Sakai and David Richardson. Directed by Michael Lembeck and Lee Shallat.

For tickets, call 773-473-8224.

October 30, 2000


LOS ANGELES ( - Production has begun on "The Joan Cusack Show," a new comedy series starring actress Joan Cusack ("In & Out," "Working Girl" ) that will be shot entirely on location in Chicago. The series focuses on the private lives of a group of high school teachers, exploring friendships among women, in addtion to the relationship between Joan Gallagher (Cusack) and Jake, portrayed by Kyle Chandler ("Early Edition," "Homefront") as they head toward intimacy. The series will air on ABC in 2001.

Rounding out the cast of characters are Ruby (Donna Murphy), who is a psychiatrist, and Betsy (Jessica Hecht), who is a music teacher at the school. Joan also bonds with Alice Adams, played by "Family Matters'" Kellie Williams, a new student teacher at the high school. Gwen Macsai, the creator of the series, represents her own unique view about girlfriends, family and relationships. She and Cusack are working mothers residing in Chicago and attended the same high school, although several years apart.

October 13, 2000
Chicago Tribune

The Inc. Column
by Ellen Warren & Terry Armour

Good news for actor Kyle Chandler: He doesn't have to sell his Chicago home. Chandler bought the digs while he was in town shooting CBS' "Early Edition." That show was canceled, but Chandler now will star opposite homegirl Joan Cusack in her ABC sitcom, which will be taped here. Cusack plays a local high school teacher in the ensemble comedy.

October 13, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times

Showcase/Television Column
By Phil Rosenthal, Television Critic

Kyle Chandler ("Early Edition") has been cast as Joan Cusack's boyfriend in her new ABC midseason sitcom.

The series, based on the writings of Evanston's Gwen Macsai and produced by James L. Brooks, is being produced here in Chicago.

Other cast members include Jessica Hecht ("The Single Guy"), Kellie Shanygne Williams ("Family Matters"), Wallace Langham ("Veronica's Closet") and Tony winner Donna Murphy.

October 12, 2000


Los Angeles ( - First Geena Davis, Gabriel Byrne, Bette Midler, Martin Sheen, Lili Taylor… and now Joan Cusack? Established movie stars are flocking en masse to the small screen and Cusack is the latest to join their ranks as the star of ABC's new romantic comedy series titled surprise, surprise, "The Joan Cusack Show."

Shot in Chicago, the ensemble series focuses on the private lives of teachers and the enduring friendships among women. The Academy Award-nominated Cusack will portray Joan Gallagher, a high school teacher who depends on the daily support of her two best friends Betsy (Jessica Hecht, "Friends") and Ruby (Donna Murphy, "Murder One"). Cusack's love interest will be played by "Early Edition's" Kyle Chandler.

Cusack's television credits include a stint as a performer and writer on "Saturday Night Live." She also starred in the feature films "In & Out," "Addams Family Values," "Sixteen Candles," "Runaway Bride" and "Arlington Road."

"The Joan Cusack Show" will air on ABC in 2001. The series is executive-produced by James L. Brooks ("As Good As It Gets," "The Simpsons") and Richard Sakai ("Jerry Maguire," "The Simpsons").

October 6, 2000

From Currently Filming in Chicago section of
THE JOAN CUSACK SHOW: Columbia/Tri-Star; Television sitcom starring Joan Cusack, Kyle Chandler, and Wallace Langham has begun filming on stage. For audience tickets please call 773-473-8224.

September 22, 2000

Snippets and Tidbits regarding the "Joan Cusack Show"...

JOAN CUSACK SHOW: Gwen (played by Cusack - "Grosse Point Blank") is a bundle of confusing contradictions. She avoids commitment but desperately wants a stable relationship. Scared no one will love her, but can't find anyone to meet her requirements. When her boyfriend Jake proposes, it just confuses things more.

From Currently Filming in Chicago section of
THE JOAN CUSACK SHOW: Columbia/Tri-Star; Television sitcom starring Joan Cusack will begin filming on stage in October.

From ABC Network Television Press Release, July 14 2000
"THE JOAN CUSACK SHOW" (working title) (mid-season comedy): Academy Award-nominated actress Joan Cusack ("In & Out," "Working Girl") and Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning executive producer James L. Brooks ("As Good as It Gets," "Jerry Maguire," "The Simpsons," "Terms of Endearment") join forces for a new romantic comedy about a single woman who has been looking for love, found it -- but doesn't know what to do with it. Ms. Cusack brings her offbeat sense of humor to the role of Gwen, a commitment-phobe who thinks, on the one hand, that nobody will ever love her and, on the other hand, that no one is good enough for her. So when her boyfriend, Jake (TBA), whom she adores, proposes, it is the single most anticipated moment of her life -- and her worst fear come true. From Gracie Films in association with Columbia TriStar Television. James L. Brooks and David Richardson are executive producers.

August 19, 2000
Entertainment Weekly dated 02/09/2000

A message on the "SEE" board on Yahoo reports that Kyle's Manager has signed Kyle to "be a regular on the Joan Cusack show piloting sometime next season" to be shot in Chicago. Further inquiries have turned up the following article regarding the series on Entertainment Weekly's website:

by Lynette Rice
Expect a new TV series from James L. Brooks and Joan Cusack. The 2000-01 schedule is already heating up -- thanks to this new romantic comedy.

In a major coup for the 2000-01 season, ABC is expected to close a deal with the multiple-Emmy winner James L. Brooks to create a romantic comedy that will star Joan Cusack. Brooks -- who was nominated for an Academy Award for directing the 1997 hit flick ''As Good as It Gets'' -- will base the project on a persona from the 1988 radio show ''Lipschtick'' (not to be confused with a book of the same name), according to a source close to the project. ABC has committed to at least 13 episodes, which will be produced by Columbia TriStar Television. The comedy will likely bow mid-season.

ABC has wanted to do a sitcom with Cusack for years. Most recently, the network hoped to develop a project that would accommodate the actress in her hometown of Chicago, but the deal never materialized. Cusack, meanwhile, has been busy on the big screen. Her recent credits include ''Arlington Road,'' ''Runaway Bride,'' and ''Cradle Will Rock.''

Brooks has long straddled the film and TV worlds. His big-screen hits include ''Broadcast News'' and ''Terms of Endearment,'' and he has executive-produced some of TV's most memorable comedies: ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show,'' ''Rhoda,'' ''Lou Grant,'' ''Taxi,'' ''The Simpsons,'' and ''The Tracey Ullman Show.''


Disclaimer: This fan run website is for personal, non-commercial use and is totally unaffiliated with What About Joan, ABC Television, Columbia TriStar Television, or anyone else who may have rights to the show. No infringement intended and no profit is being made in any way whatsoever.
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