The Nanny co-creator Peter Marc Jacobson reveals the one guest star the show wanted but couldn’t get. Created by Fran Drescher and Jacobson, her former husband, The Nanny stars Drescher as Fran Fine, an eccentric, boisterous and nasal-voiced woman from Queens, New York. By a stroke of luck, Fran becomes the nanny of widowed Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield’s (Charles Shaughnessy) three young children: Maggie, Brighton, and Grace. Making its debut in 1993, The Nanny ran for six successful seasons on CBS.
Putting Drescher’s career on the map, The Nanny also stars Daniel Davis as the butler Niles and Lauren Lane as C.C. Babcock, Maxwell’s business partner. Known for featuring Fran’s over-the-top fashion, C.C and Niles’ chronic banter, Fran’s obsession with Barbra Streisand, and the undeniable chemistry between Fran and Maxwell, The Nanny infused memorable celebrity guest stars during its run. Celebrity cameos included Rosie O’Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg, Ray Charles, Roseanne Barr, Bette Midler, and many more.
Speaking on the podcast, Oh, Mr. Sheffield!, Jacobson revealed that Fran’s great love, Barbra Streisand, was the one guest star The Nanny always wanted but couldn’t get on the show. Jacobson said, the team “talked about it all the time,” but the cameo didn’t work out due to budget and scheduling conflicts. However, Jacobson shared that he and Drescher did get the chance to meet the icon in real life, which he said was “amazing.” Read Jacobson’s full comments below:
“When we started doing The Nanny, we had no money at all. It’s when Streisand had her first big comeback tour. We bought tickets to Madison Square Garden… We could only afford the last row of Madison Square Garden at the time. Between then and then The Nanny happened. So, we go to Madison Square Garden, the two of us, and we sit up in the boondocks, and on the big Tron, they put Fran’s face up there. Two security guards tap us on the shoulder and said, “Follow us”. They take us to the second row and said, “Sit here and after the show, Miss Streisand would like to meet you.” It was an amazing night.”
Indeed, viewers who followed The Nanny for six seasons were always anticipating that Barbra Streisand would eventually make an appearance and fulfill Fran’s lifelong dream. Although Streisand’s appearance didn’t pan out on The Nanny, the legendary singer and Fran’s desire to meet her remains a beloved running plot point of the sitcom. Decades after its completion, The Nanny continues to be extremely popular and is deemed a classic in the sitcom world. Earlier this year, to the delight of fans, The Nanny began streaming on HBO Max.
Of course, Drescher continues to stoke the fires of the idea that The Nanny reboot could come to fruition. According to Jacobson, several concepts have been considered for a reboot, such as a sequel series with the characters in the present-day, and even rapper Cardi B starring in her version of the role in a new version of The Nanny. And even though Fran Fine never got to meet her ido, at least fans of The Nanny can delight in the fact that Drescher and Streisand had a unique encounter in real life.