‘The Nanny’ star Fran Drescher initially felt the sitcom was ‘too white,’ would want ‘an Obama type’ in a reboot
The flashy girl from Flushing won’t be coming back to television anytime soon.
After rumors insisted Fran Drescher was eager to launch a reboot of “The Nanny,” the 61-year-old told Fox News the hit CBS sitcom isn’t being revamped as a new TV series.
“It’s not happening now,” said Drescher. “We’re doing some things that are kind of ‘Nanny’-related, but not a TV reboot. It’s going to be very funny and I think the fans are going to be very happy about it. I’m not allowed to tip it just yet, but we are doing something with that, and I can’t do that and a reboot.”
“The Nanny,” which catapulted Drescher to fame, explored how a cosmetics saleswoman fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend, becomes the nanny to the three children of a rich English widower living in New York City. And as time passes, the two fall for each other. The show, which ran for six seasons, aired from 1993 until 1999.
However, Drescher stressed that while she didn’t initially pursue the possibility, she hasn’t ruled out the idea altogether. She explained that if “The Nanny” were to ever get the reboot treatment in the future, she would want the show to offer something completely different for today’s audiences.
“It’s never really been something that I’ve aggressively chased because [‘The Nanny’] is such a classic and it was done so well that unless it’s really right, I’d rather do new things and keep moving forward than looking back,” she explained. “In my head, I had thought, well down the road, maybe we can update the show and get Cardi B to play the nanny and get an Obama type to play Mr. Sheffield. And I could be Cardi B’s mother. I could play Sylvia. It would be the new ‘Nanny.’ The updated ‘Nanny.’”
“That’s what’s been in the back of my mind, if and when it ever comes to fruition,” added Drescher.
Drescher has previously campaigned to get rapper Cardi B, 26, to play the role in a possible reboot. And if she had it her way, the former president would also make an appearance.
“Wouldn’t that be cool?” said Drescher. “You know, he’s pretty funny. I don’t think he would ever do it but there are plenty of actors out there that could be unimaginably sexy, distinguished and everything Mr. Sheffield was in the original. Let’s get [the show] a little more updated.”
Looking back, Drescher said she wanted “The Nanny” to be as relatable and diverse as possible, which is how she managed to get some surprising stars to appear in the series during its run.
“We were actually very ahead of our time because weeks in I felt like the show was too white,” said Drescher. “We brought in a lot of [diversity] in the show which I was thrilled about, starting with Ray Charles as Grandma Yetta’s boyfriend at the home. Ray had a whole family which included Bryant Gumbel, Whoopi Goldberg and Coolio.”
“The show itself is still on the air, still beloved by all and really present on the Internet,” continued Drescher. “I’m just grateful. It’s the gift that keeps on giving… I continue to support it. I love it. I love her. It’s my baby and it always will be.”
These days, the comedienne is keeping busy and looking forward to what the future holds for her. In addition to negotiating a talk show for Bravo, she was also booked on an NBC pilot titled “Uninsured.”
The star is also president of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, an organization dedicated to raising awareness on the importance of early detection and prevention of the illness. Drescher learned in 2000 she had uterine cancer and has since used her healing to educate others.
If that weren’t enough, Drescher is also starring in “Safe Spaces,” which will its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 29. The film explores how a professor spends a week reconnecting with his family while defending his reputation over controversial behavior at his college. It stars Justin Long and Dresher plays his mother.
“I was drawn to the fact that this is a small story about a family,” said Dresher. “A Jewish family in New York. It felt very comfortable. I liked the cast and it seemed like there was an opportunity to create something meaningful. It wasn’t trying to be ‘Star Wars’ on a shoestring budget. The writer was inspired by his own family, so there was a lot of authenticity to his writing and storytelling.”
Drescher also shared she quickly bonded with her co-star Long, 40, while on set.
“He’s a doll,” she gushed. “I’m going to do his podcast when I’m in New York. We enjoyed each other. He’s really a very sweet guy and very talented. I like him in everything he does but I think he’s very good at this, too. It’s a challenging role and I think he captured it really well.”
Drescher revealed that whether she’s in front of the camera or behind it as writer, producer or director, she’s always finding new ways to be inspired as a performer.
“I love what I do,” said Drescher. “I’m interested in a lot of diverse things in terms of expressing my creativity… I’m now starting to do stand-up comedy. I’m on a special on Showtime right now called ‘Funny Women of a Certain Age.’ It makes life exciting for me and so enjoyable. I’m just blessed.”