Jessica Walter reports that she and George Segal are having a blast shooting their forthcoming “Retired at 35” comedy. The second TV Land original series, it will be paired with the oh-so-hot “Hot In Cleveland” come January.
“Initally, they offered me a guest-starring role as George Segal’s wife, who leaves him. I hoped I’d get back on for an episode or two. But then they came back to me and I”m going to be in all shows produced,” says the actress, who lets us know her new character is not as mean as such well-known Walter women as “Arrested Development’s” Lucille Bluth.
“Retired at 35” has a New York professional man (Johnathan McClain) becoming so charmed by his parents’ upscale retirement community in Florida, he decides to quit the rat race and move in with them. “Now he’s also dealing with the separation of Mom and Dad, which ups the stakes a little,” says Jessica.
Her and Segal’s interplay as long-time spouses is helped by their long-time friendship. “I first worked with my Georgie Segal in ‘Bye Bye Braverman,’ a movie with Sidney Lumet directing, that came out in — are you sitting down? — 1968,” she notes with a laugh. Also, Jessica’s husband, Ron Leibman, has worked with Segal on such productions as “Where’s Poppa?” “The Hot Rock” and assorted television shows. Jessica played Segal’s ex-wife on his “Just Shoot Me” series as well.
“We bring a history to this,” she points out. “It’s funny because I threw a little birthday party for my husband recently and of course George Segal was there. At one point George and I were sitting on the couch, and we have this interesting relationship where he’ll kid me, and I’ll kid right back. My husband watched us, and then said, ‘This is the show, right here on the couch.'”