'Once and Again' goes for boomers
Just don't call it 'fortysomething'
September 21, 1999
From Gloria Hillard
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The creators of the show "Once and Again" are counting on viewers to tune in more than once in a while to make their new series a hit. Their first chance comes Tuesday night, when the drama debuts on ABC at 10 p.m.
The program comes from Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, the team that created the critically acclaimed "thirtysomething" in the '80s. This time their show centers on the lives of Lily Manning and Rick Sammler, a mom and dad (different households) in their 40s.
"As we got into our 40s and we saw the dilemmas of the people around us, we saw it in terms of stories," Herskovitz says.
In a landscape of primetime teen-age television, "Once and Again" is a series that targets the baby boom generation, something Sela Ward (Manning) couldn't pass up.
The 43-year-old mother of two won a best actress Emmy in 1994 for her role as Teddy, an eccentric artist/recovering alcoholic in the hit TV show "Sisters," and starred more recently as Billie Auster in the 1998 disco flick "54."
"I feel like only now in my life do I really get it -- do I feel that sense of calm," Ward says. "And I feel very grounded. I feel much more confident. I feel, you know, sexier, more intelligent, more to offer, more wisdom, more life experience to draw from."
Billy Campbell, who plays Sammler, says he couldn't be more thrilled with the project. "It's been like I've died and gone to acting heaven," he says.
Following "thirtysomething," Zwick and Herskovitz produced or directed several films, including "Glory," "Courage Under Fire" and "Shakespeare in Love." At this time in their lives, they say they're finding the return to a TV series more fun than when they were in their 30s.
"There's a less anxious approach to the work itself," Zwick says, "and I think that actually affects the work."
It's a show about dating and first kisses between parents.
"I have the feeling that the baby boom generation will continue to be interested in talking about itself," Zwick says.
The producers say they were never tempted to call the show "fortysomething." "We knew other people would name the show that, so there was no need for us to," Herskovitz says.
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