After nine seasons on The Middle and Everybody Loves Raymond, Patricia Heaton was asked whether she was looking forward to another nine season run on CBS comedy Carol’s Second Act.
“My perfect scenario, as I see death getting near, is that I’d die on a sound stage, that’s how I want to go. Just as long as I’ve had full hair and make-up,” she jokes.
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Heaton was front and center of the show’s TCA summer press tour panel, joking alongside creators Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins and co-stars Kyle MacLachlan, Ito Aghayere, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Sabrina Jalees and Ashley Tisdale.
The show, which is produced by CBS TV Studios in association with Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Heaton and David Hunt’s FourBoys Entertainment, is based around Carol Chambers (Heaton), who after raising her two children and retiring from teaching, embarks on a unique second act: she’s going to become a doctor.
Heaton said that that series came about a year after she finished on The Middle. “What was perfect, was my kids are pretty much out of the house, and I was feeling a bit at sea. I very much felt the things that a person like Carol would feel so this idea was so perfect. It’s been interesting to go on this journey and explore that. I think it’s important to keep challenging yourself.”
Halpern said that the show allowed the Trophy Wife creators to “put women front and center”. “Everyone has that fantasy of the road not taken. We loved the idea of an older women, of a time in her life, expected to retreat or become less visible, we thought let’s put her in an environment where her age is her strength. It might have remained a fantasy if Patricia Heaton hadn’t been interested in doing another TV series…. We want to celebrate that people can start over.”
Halpern’s co-creator Haskins added that there is also diversity of age on the crew. “Our youngest writer is 24 and our oldest writer would be mad if I said how old she was,” she added.
But the show, which airs on CBS on September 26, will not just be jokes about old people not understanding Venmo or eating too much avocado on toast. “This is a show about people who have to fundamentally work together,” she said.
Halpern and Haskins executive produce with Heaton, Hunt and Rebecca Stay for FourBoys, Adam Griffin, and Kaplan and Dana Honor for Kapital Entertainment. CBS TV Studios is the studio.