Linda Lavin Discusses Her New Role On ‘9JKL’

9JKL makes its series premiere October 2nd at 8:30 PM ET on CBS. This brand new comedy revolves around the life of Josh Roberts (Mark Feuerstein), a recently divorced actor forced to move into an apartment located on the same floor as his immediate family. Josh struggles to find his personal space amidst the chaos of finding work, dating and of course – living next door to his parents.

CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Linda Lavin who plays Judy Roberts, Josh’s mother, about the show and the cast’s tight knit relationships.

MW- Hi Linda, good morning!

LL- Hi there Matt, how are you?

MW- Doing great over here! So 9JKL premieres tonight at 8:30 and the show looks hilarious from what I’ve seen so far. What was it about the show that caught your eye and made you want to get involved?

LL- Working with Mark Feuerstein. Mark and I had played mother and son in an earlier series of his about 19 years ago and when he sent me the script I read it and I knew I was going to have a lot of fun doing it. It’s just, as you said, hilarious and it’s very identifiable. The people are wonderful and especially my relationship with Mark which is a very fond, very fun relationship. I love working with him, he’s truly one of the funniest people and one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with.

There’s something about reading a script and you know it’s going to be fun to do, you want to get in on that party. It’s a story of a lot of America with adult children coming home and wanting their privacy, yet they’ve decided to live smack in the middle of their family. They’re with their parents, their siblings and nobody has boundaries [laughs]. So the show involves a real, real situation and turns it into a comedy. I knew I was going to have fun and I’ve had fun everyday shooting it.

The writing is expert, really terrific writing. The re-writes get better everyday. The director is one of the best directors I’ve worked with ever, Pam Fryman. Mark (Feuerstein) created this with his wife Dana Klein, and so they know what they’re talking about. Dana has worked on some other very successful shows including Friends. She knows what she’s doing and she knows how to run a room full of talented writers. These writers are expert, really, really good writers. That means a lot, it’s got to be on the page and then from the page you take off with your imagination and we’ve created a very real family. It’s a lot of fun to do and I hope people enjoy it as much as we enjoying doing it.

MW- You talked about the show’s chemistry and your previous work with Mark, how much fun is it work with Elliott Gould as well? The chemistry between you two looks amazing as well.

LL- It is, it absolutely is! It’s very natural. We have a very strong connection the way you do sometimes when you meet someone and you just click. Elliott and I have a very similar background, we both come from the musical theater world and in Broadway and from New York. It’s something that can’t be explained, it just happened. We have a very warm and affectionate understanding of ourselves and each other and we really enjoy working together. It’s been a real pleasure to see him everyday, he’s funny and a very kind man. There are times we have very deep conversations about life and philosophy and then we get to be crazy, zany parents.

MW- A bit of the best of both worlds.

LL- The best of both worlds, that’s exactly right Matt.

MW- So what can audiences expect from the first season of 9JKL as a whole?

LL- Well it’s one episode after another of a guy who is living next door to his parents, to the home he grew up in. We just shot the Thanksgiving episode which is hilarious. We have something about him being a romantic that wants to keep his childhood going and then he’s struggling with wanting to be an adult. He’s dating as a divorced man, so he’s struggling with two worlds and his parents are struggling to help him and to keep their own lives going. It’s very identifiable, it’s truly a contemporary story for our society.

What audiences can expect is to laugh out loud many times in a half hour and to see themselves and people they know. People should expect to have a great time. It looks great, the sets and costumes are fabulous. People are attractive and very funny, people can expect to have a really good time and I hope they do.

MW- Thank you so much Linda, it’s been a pleasure talking to you and good luck with the premiere!

LL- Thank you Matt! Take care!

9JKL makes its series premiere October 2nd at 8:30 PM ET, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.

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