With the beloved show’s highly anticipated reboot set to premiere on Wednesday, stars Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt stopped by The Ellen Degeneres Show and recalled when the talk show host joined them on set in 1998.
“So it was seven seasons when it was on originally — I was on, which I had to be reminded about,” admitted DeGeneres, 61.
“It’s so funny, because I don’t remember it still, even looking at it,” the host added after showing a clip from the episode, which aired during season 6.
Reiser admitted that he also did not remember having DeGeneres on the show, but Hunt said she did.
“I didn’t forget. I just looked back and I remember vaguely the feeling of like, ‘This is a lot of talent to be our nanny,'” Hunt said with a laugh. (DeGeneres played the role of the couple’s nanny Nancy Bloom for their newborn daughter.)
“Why did we ever think you would say yes, and why would you say yes?” she wondered.
In the original series, Hunt and Reiser played New York City married couple Jamie Stemple Buchman and Paul Buchman. The show ended shortly after their characters welcomed their first daughter together, Mabel. The two will reprise their roles for the limited series, which will follow the pair as newly minted empty-nesters after dropping their daughter Mabel (Abby Quinn) off at college.
Speaking to DeGeneres, they explained that the timing just felt perfect.
“The thing that made us say yes is someone did the math and our daughter would be leaving home right now,” Hunt said. “And we thought we could write 12 shows about that.”
The Oscar-winning actress added that they were going through similar experiences in their personal lives, as well.
“Paul just went through an empty nest. I’m about to go through it,” she said. “So we thought there’d be 12 stories in there somehow.”
In March, Spectrum Originals announced that it had picked up a Mad About You limited series with the original stars.
The original romantic comedy series — co-created by Reiser and Danny Jacobson (who will serve as an executive consultant on the reboot) — aired for seven seasons on NBC, from 1992 to 99, and picked up numerous Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.
The reboot will air on Spectrum Originals in two six-episode batches. The first six episodes will drop on Wednesday, and the later six will drop on Dec. 18. Additionally, all 164 original episodes are now available free on-demand, exclusively for Spectrum subscribers.