I guess Mackenzie Phillips was too busy? This weekend, news broke from our esteemed pop culture nerds over at the mucho vaunted Hollywood Reporter that classic television sitcom actress Valerie Bertinelli – perhaps best remembered as Bonnie Franklin’s youngest daughter in the original and still bestest TV series One Day at a Time – had been tapped herself to graduate into the role of a mother in an upcoming NBC comedy series entitled Hungry (or, as Bertinelli’s fellow foodie and chef at the Food Network Maneet Chauhan of Chopped fame might say: “Hangry”).
Hungry is about a group of friends that harbor their own issues with food and attend an ongoing food issues support group in order to achieve a healthier outlook on the grub they ingest. How does Valerie Bertinelli figure into the proceedings? Well, other than in real life being the host of a popular Food Network series – surely a plus for the industry vet when it came time to cast the part – Bertinelli is still an accomplished actress with chops to spare, making her idea casting in the role of Demi Lovato’s character’s mother. Betinelli essays the part of Lisa, someone who has her own baggage when it comes to food and eating: Lisa has chronically battled the same 30 pound weight loss and weight gain over the last 30 years. Described as “warm and loving”, her character is also a self-professed “emotional mess.” Owning a popular restaurant has served her no good, either – Lisa is constantly at the front of the battle lines in the world of food, both in serving it and ruminating over it.
Bertinelli’s role in Hungry marks the first bit of scripted work the actor has worked on since the ensemble series Hot in Cleveland gave up the ghost back in 2015. Perhaps not coincidentally, the creator of that series Suzanne Martin is also writing and executive producing the new NBC comedy series. In the interim, Ms. Bertinelli has whipped up many-a mouth-watering dish on her own cooking programs Valerie’s Home Cooking and Kids Baking Championship.
So, when can we all catch the first episode of Hungry? Word ‘round campfire has it that the series landed a pilot order this past April with a strong probability of finally gracing our respective boob tubes in early 2022. Now if we could somehow wrangle a guest-starring role for her sublime co-star Mackenzie Phillips from One Day at a Time, we can all indeed “go and have a ball.”