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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Interview with Jordana Spiro, star of TBS’s ‘My Boys’

t1_spirotbs“My Boys,” a low-key comedy about a female Chicago sportswriter and her poker buddies, has not been TBS’s  make-or-break program. The network is more apt to promote its Tyler Perry properties, George Lopez and now its prized possession Conan O’Brien.

After three seasons, “My Boys” ratings haven’t justified huge marketing expenditures. In fact, it was unclear if TBS was even going to renew the show for a fourth season after last season concluded.

So amiable star Jordana Spiro earlier this year signed on to a new NBC romantic comedy “Love Bites.” But TBS had first dibs on Spiro and renewed “My Boys” this spring for another nine episodes. Given her contractual obligations, Spiro had to drop off “Love Bites” and return to “My Boys,” which debuted its first two episodes last night.

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“I thought, ‘Why not?’ It didn’t put TBS at any risk,” Spiro said in a phone interview earlier this month from an iPhone that was causing her problems with reception in New York City. (She had to call back.) “The script [for "Love Bites"] was really fun. I heard such great things about Becki Newton [her pending co-star who just left 'Ugly Betty'.]”

Spiro said only taping nine episodes a year of “My Boys” allows her “a really rich life outside the show,” since it only takes up three months out of the year. And the writers have plenty of time to write crisply amusing scripts.

But the comedy’s limited run also “makes it hard for your fans to find you.” At 40 episodes so far, “My Boys” may never reach even 88 episodes, which is considered a passable number to sell into syndication. And TBS doesn’t air repeats that often.

For its hard-core fans, the show’s pleasure is primarily the witty repartee among the actors, not the plot lines, which are seldom groundbreaking or memorable in and of themselves. “The creator Betsy Thomas has never relied on gimmicks,” Spiro said. “The writing is witty and subtle. It never becomes broadly cliched humor.”

Last night’s opening episode focused on a search for a new poker partner for the gang after P.J.’s brother leaves for China. (P.J.’s one female bud Stephanie takes over.) And the funnier second one included single guys Mike and Brendan trying to act like full-blown adults  to meet more sophisticated ladies while Stephanie, Kenny, P.J. and Bobby go on a double date. The two couples ingest pot brownies and hilarity ensues.

“It was fun just sabotaging takes so we can see how many vanilla wafers covered in jelly Michael [Bunin, who plays Kenny] can eat,” Spiro said.

As for the loss of comic Jim Gaffigan as always complaining Andy, Spiro looked on the bright side: the arrival partway through the season of comedienne Rachael Harris, whose character is house sitting Andy’s home.

Spiro’s relationship with Bobby deepens. She teased some plot lines: “What happens when Guitar Hero is introduced into the relationship? Or what happens when the woman is making more  money than the guy? Now that the guy gets the girl, where does it go from there? To me, it opens up a whole new door to comedy.”

P.J. also has a nightmare dream in which she envisions everybody’s future. And in a rare moment, she actually addresses her job as a sportswriter. The show often acts like she isn’t one. In reality, most baseball beat writers work strange hours, Tweeting and blogging madly – just ask our very own Braves writer Dave O’Brien. Spiro said she has even suggested P.J. carry around a Blackberry, texting around the clock. “To me, I’m like that,” she said.

But alas, this is a comedy about relationships, not the workplace. “You have to suspend reality” on any TV show, she reasoned.

In her spare time, Spiro is taking classes at Columbia University to get a degree in directing. “I didn’t get turned on to directing through acting,” Spiro said. “I got turned on through photography. It has become a big hobby of mine.”

But she isn’t sure what her future holds just yet. “I got interested in this whole business in the first place because I never wanted to get stuck in a routine,” she said. “I wanted to meet new people and do new projects.”

On TV

“My Boys,” 10 p.m. Sundays on TBS

7 comments Add your comment

COCOPOP

July 26th, 2010
4:53 pm

How about interviewing Johnny Crawford. Let’s hear some inside scoop about The Rifleman!

observor

July 26th, 2010
9:45 pm

The show has lost its steam…..

Was pretty decent the first two seasons or so, but it has run it’s course. I highly doubt it will have a fifth season.

HC1

July 27th, 2010
7:29 am

That show is awful! I can’t believe it made it past season one.

missblondie13

July 27th, 2010
12:38 pm

I love this show, but I’m sad that Jim Gaffigan left. I also wish that they’d put more about her job in there – like there was in the first season.

As for TBS, they’ve burned us all out on Tyler Perry shows. Every commercial break I have to hear about House of Payne. I’ve watched it, and gotta tell ya – his movies are great, but the shows are just overkill. And someone please put the Paynes on Biggest Loser, stat. They’re starting to look like the Klumps.

Juggs & Buns Magazine

July 27th, 2010
1:40 pm

How can we get her in our magazine?

Tyrone Biggums

July 27th, 2010
1:42 pm

I enjoy this show.

michele

August 12th, 2010
11:57 am

I like this show, but they need to re-run it more often. They show a season & then months & months go by & they show the next one, but you never get to see the shows after the first week they air. They play the shows at 10pm & then midnight or later. Some said Jim Gaffigan leaving would be its downfall. I don’t see why. He wasn’t a big part of the show & he’s not that funny. The show isn’t about him.