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Current Updates | 'This is sad and frustrating' 10/16/01 | New focus, new tone for Joan 10/1/01 | Cusack's learning curve 10/1/01 | 'Joan' Is Her Comfort Zone 10/2/01 | *Cusack bucks odds with 'Joan' 7/26/01 | *WAJ Zap-IT 8/6/01 | Hey, what's not to like about Joan? | From the Seattle Times | GET A GRIP, JOANIE | 'What About Joan': A Bouquet of Neuroses | CHICAGO STYLE GAL | Name That Show, Part II | Joan Cusack's WHAT ABOUT JOAN To Premiere On ABC (3/27/01) | BECAUSE SHE'S WORTH IT | WAITING IN QUEUE FOR CUSACK | CUSACK PUTS CHICAGO ON THE LAUGH TRACK | The Joan Cusack Show
Joan Cusack's WHAT ABOUT JOAN To Premiere On ABC (3/27/01)


Mon, Mar 5, 2001 07:36 PM PDT

Academy Award-nominated actress Joan Cusack ("In And Out," "Working Girl" ) stars as Joan Gallagher in the new romantic comedy series "What About Joan," premiering TUESDAY, MARCH 27 (9:30 -10:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Shot entirely on location in Chicago, the series focuses on the private lives of an intimate group of high school teachers, exploring the complexity and endurance of close friendships among women, as well as the challenging relationship between Joan and Jake (portrayed by Kyle Chandler, "Early Edition," "Homefront") -- two bright, independent, experienced people -- as they blunder toward intimacy.

Ms. Cusack, starring in her first television comedy series, portrays a high school teacher who depends on the daily support, counsel and friendship of her two best friends: Ruby, played by Tony Award-winner Donna Murphy ("The King and I," "Passion" ), who is a psychiatrist, and Betsy, played by Jessica Hecht ("Friends," "The Single Guy" ), who is a music teacher at the school. Although Ruby appears the picture of strength and stability, she still allows herself to be taken advantage of by Betsy who is locked into an on-again, off-again relationship with fellow teacher Mark, portrayed by Wallace Langham ("Veronica's Closet," "The Larry Sanders Show").

Joan also bonds with Alice Adams, played by Kellie Shanygne Williams ("Family Matters" ), who is a new student teacher at the high school.

In the premiere episode, "Pilot," Joan Gallagher receives the surprise of her life - representing both her fondest wish and her greatest anxiety -- when her new boyfriend, Jake, decides to sweep her off her feet. Joan goes into a full-blown anxiety attack when Jake unexpectedly gets serious, and she turns to Betsy and Ruby for their sage advice on her dilemma.

But after gauging Joan's reaction to his suggestion, Jake decides to turn the tables on her.

"What About Joan" stars Joan Cusack as Joan Gallagher, Kyle Chandler as Jake, Jessica Hecht as Betsy, Donna Murphy as Dr. Ruby Stern, Wallace Langham as Mark, Kellie Shanygne Williams as Alice Adams.

Guest starring are Greta Honold as Maya, Mitchell Fain as waiter, Maia Madison as waitress and Bruce Jarchow as Bob.

Academy and Emmy Award-winner James L. Brooks ("As Good As It Gets," "Jerry Maguire," "The Simpsons," "Terms of Endearment" ), David Richardson ("Malcolm in the Middle," "Phenom," "Manhattan AZ," "The Simpsons") and Richard Sakai ("As Good As It Gets," "Jerry Maguire," "The Simpsons") are executive producers of the series. Emmy Award-winner Michael Lembeck ("Friends," "Mad About You") directed "Pilot" from a script by series creator and producer Gwen Macsai. "What About Joan," which is filmed before a studio audience in Chicago, is a production of Gracie Films in association with Columbia TriStar Television. (CLOSED- CAPTIONED) (Broadcast in stereo where available).