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Melissa Rivers Puts Her All, Including Her House, into ‘Joan Knows Best’

Joan and Melissa Rivers WE photo

Melissa Rivers reports “There’s going to be a second season” of “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” reality show for the WE Channel.  Her feeling about that:  “Oh, Lord.  We haven’t even finished the last one.”

The younger part of the mother-daughter TV team, who’s also an executive producer on the show, says she’d like to get into production on Season 2 while her 10-year-old son Cooper is still in school.  “Seeing my mom trying to do math homework with him the other night was really funny,” she adds.

 “Joan Knows Best,” for the uninitiated, takes viewers into the household shared by Melissa, her boyfriend Jason Zimmerman, and Cooper — now that the 77-year-old comedy icon is “staying” with them in a regular way.  Joan’s luxurious $25 million New York City apartment is famously on the market, but of course, whether she actually gives it up remains to be seen. 

Meanwhile, reports Melissa, “In her mind she’s just staying with me, but she’s here full-time when she’s not on the road.  I love having my mom around.  She and Jason get along really well.  No one feels they have to entertain the other, or be ‘on’ or be someone they’re not.” 

Cooper’s relationship with his grandmother is “the best part of the whole thing,” Melissa goes on.  “My mom freaked out a little at first when she’d come back from a club date and he’d sort of look up and ‘Hello, Grandma’ — when she was used to a level of excitement like, ‘Oh my God!   Grandma’s here!’  I told her ‘This shows you’re part of the fabric of his life, as you should be.’

 “Me, on the other hand, I don’t think of her as an ordinary part of things.  Everyone else seems to be completely content with this situation.”

Not only is Melissa’s home more crowded these days, she’s found that using it for the production is full of challenges.

“It caught me by surprise that I couldn’t actually run my house at the same time.  We would wrap at 10 c’clock at night, and afterwards I’d try to catch up on everything and prep another show, then get ready to go to bed and there would be one damp towel.  You couldn’t run the washer or have the vaccuum or dishwasher going because it interfered with the audio.  I didn’t factor all that in when thinking about people working in the house.”

She managed with some extra household help, and such ploys as sending laundry out to the laundromat.  A retaining wall next to her swimming pool came down during production, but construction work to repair it had to wait until Season 1 shooting wrapped at summer’s end.  

 “The other problem we encountered was, when the cameras were up, they’d use up all the wireless monitors and it shut down our internet,” she says.  Jason, who works in finance, “spent a lot of time at Starbucks.  Luckily, he has an office he can go in to.” 

Her own commitment was such that when Melissa got sick “They captured it for the show,” she lets us know. ” They followed me to the bathroom.  I was down, I was green.”

But even with all the long hours and soldiering on through difficulty and stress, Melissa says, “I feel like a slacker compared to my mother.”