Fran Drescher’s own life inspires ‘Happily Divorced’

“Happily Divorced” premieres Wednesday at 10:30 on TV Land. To kick off the second season, last night Drescher officiated three gay weddings for the winners of her “Love is Love” contest.

In the penultimate episode of “Happily Divorced” last season, Fran Drescher’s character sleeps with her ex-husband, who in the pilot episode came out of the closet. As the series is based on Drescher’s own life, we had to ask: Was that rendezvous inspired by true events?

“No, once we divorced we never got drunk and had sex,” she says of her ex, Peter Marc Jacobson, adding her trademark laugh.

Though their romantic relationship ended after 21 years of marriage, the two, who co-created “The Nanny,” still maintain a bond and are now working together on the second season of “Happily Divorced,” which premieres tonight. Drescher tells Metro that we’ll see her character, also named Fran, finding herself “more and more as an independent single woman” and also get introduced to some secondary characters.

“We’re gonna meet some of [the character] Peter’s family,”?Drescher says. “Peter’s got a brother, [which] was how I actually met my ex — I met the brother first, and we were supposed to go out and then he couldn’t go, so he asked if Peter could take me on the date. And then Peter and I ended up falling in love. But now, all these years later, Peter comes out to his brother, and his brother’s now divorced, and we’re divorced, so he asks me out on a date [on the show].” Drescher says we’ll also meet Fran’s parents, as well as see more of her friend Judi: “she’s got a lot more to do in this season.”

And while the show is a comedy, deeper feelings are at the crux of it. “The shows themselves are coming out so good and so funny and so full of pathos and healing and laughter,” Drescher says of the series’ cathartic qualities. “We’re very proud of this second season.”

Wednesday night’s installment

“We’re gonna open the show with a big, splashy reunion where Fran, Peter and Judi go to their UCLA drama depart­ment 10-year reunion,” says Drescher. “Fran doesn’t want to go because she feels like she’s fat, old, poor and still living with her gay ex-husband — the combination just makes her feel like a loser. But in the end, she realizes that her life is better than most.”

No canned laughs

Like “The Nanny,” “Happily Divorced” is filmed in front of a live studio audience. Drescher wouldn’t have it any other way.
   
“I think with a comedy, it’s nice to hear the laughs. It helps bring the energy up,”?Drescher says. “You feel the energy of the audience and their laughter. And that really helps the show have a performance level that seems to work well and get the home viewers energized.”



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