Watch My Show: One Big Happy Creator on Why Her Comedy Is Overdue on TV
The old adage "write what you know" came in handy for Liz Feldman as she was creating the new NBC sitcom One Big Happy. The show, which stars Elisha Cuthbert (Happy Endings) as a lesbian who makes a deal with her best friend (Nick Zano) to have a baby together—right as he meets and marries someone else (Kelly Brook), is loosely based on Feldman's own life.
Feldman (right), whose credits include 2 Broke Girls, executive produces One Big Happy along with Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Kleeman. Feldman answered our Showrunner Survey to explain how DeGeneres' sitcom – and its 1997 coming-out episode – changed her life, and why TV is due for a show like One Big Happy.
I have time to watch one more show. Why should it be yours?
Because it's funny and fresh. I mean, Ellen thinks it's funny and fresh. And she's Ellen, so take it from her, not me, even though in this article, you are taking it from me. Also, the relationships on the show are inspired by my real life, so the characters feel like actual three-dimensional people with depth and heart. These are characters you'll care about, if you care about caring about things. The show stars Elisha Cuthbert as Lizzy, Nick Zano as Luke and Kelly Brook as Prudence. They are loveable and hilarious, not to mention almost absurdly attractive.
Who should be watching?
Humans. I don't think dogs will get it. But I think if you liked shows like Friends and Will & Grace, you will enjoy One Big Happy.
What happens if we don't watch?
The show is inspired by my non-traditional family. So if you don't watch the show, it will destroy our family. So, that's on you.
What's the best thing someone has said about your show?
Someone said it's "equally groundbreaking and hilarious" and "what the world is now." Also, my mom said it's yummier than a piece of pie. And my mom loves pie.
What's the worst thing?
A few weeks ago I read a snarky article that said it was "dead on arrival" which felt like lazy reporting, because it hadn't arrived yet.
Who was right?
My mom is always right.
What's an alternate title for your show?
Chosen Family: Catching Fire.
Give us an equation for your show.
It's Three's Company plus Will & Grace times Friends divided by Ellen's puppy episode plus 18 years times Mom minus the alcoholism and sad parts.
Come up with a premise for a spin-off.
Prudence's seven sisters move from rural England to Los Angeles and immediately get their own reality show called The Busty Brits of Burbank.
What credit of yours would you prefer we forget?
I did a stand-up comedy special on Logo and in the middle of my set, someone in the audience projectile vomited on the row in front of them. People ran screaming. I thought it was something I said. I think a lot of people would like to forget that one.
Tell us one thing about your cast.
They are really friends in actual life. And I think you can tell from their chemistry on screen.
On what other series would you like to be an executive producer?
Veep. It's consistently hilarious and the writing is fantastic.
Let's scare the network. Tell us something that didn't make it to air.
The only story that didn't make it on screen could very well be an episode of our second season, if we're lucky enough to get one. So, I can't give it away. But it does involve an entire set being on fire.
Finish this sentence: "If you like________, you'll love our show."
Modern Family and lesbians.
Pick a show and start a fake feud.
You're going down The Affair! Like that?
What other show would you like to do a crossover episode with?
I would love to do a crossover with Dateline, which is a show that I think Lizzy and Luke love. Not enough sitcoms and news magazine shows cross over anymore.
How will your show change the face of TV as we know it?
I was a teenager when Ellen came out on her sitcom in 1997, and it changed my life. She helped me grow to love and accept myself, and I know there are a lot of gay and lesbian people who feel the same. But also, Ellen's courage and authenticity inspired a national conversation. One Big Happy is the first sitcom since then that has a lesbian lead character on it. So, hopefully, in some small way, One Big Happy can continue the conversation about love, acceptance and what it means to be a family.
One Big Happy airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on NBC.