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The actress talks about her new show and why her guest-starring role on 'Grey's Anatomy' was one of the 'hardest things' she's ever done

By MSN TV Mar 28, 2013 2:36PM

'How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)'/ABC

 

By Lie Shia Ong
MSN TV


Sarah Chalke has been making TV audiences laugh with her characters on "Roseanne" and "Scrubs" through the years. Now the actress is back with a new comedy called "How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)," which premieres on ABC on April 3.

Bing: More about Sarah Chalke | More about 'How to Live With Your Parents'

Chalke plays newly-divorced mom Polly who takes her daughter Natalie and moves back in with her mom, Elaine (Elizabeth Perkins), and stepdad, Max (Brad Garrett). Polly doesn't exactly see eye-to-eye with her parents when it comes to raising Natalie. Elaine and Max are eccentric and have a more hands-off parenting approach, whereas Polly tries to be the perfect, organized mom.

More: 'How to Live With Your Parents' official ABC show page

MSN TV spoke with the actress about her new show and also about her guest-starring role on Thursday's "Grey's Anatomy." The episode, which raises awareness about Kawasaki disease, is something very important to Chalke, because her own son was diagnosed with it at age  2.

Video: Sneak peek at 'How to Live With Your Parents'

MSN TV: Your fans are so excited to see you back on the air with a new show. What can they expect from "How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)"?

Sarah Chalke: I'm so excited about it. We had the best time filming it. With that cast I feel so damn lucky. I fell in love with the script. First of all I fell in love with Claudia [Lonow], who is the writer and creator of the show. It's extremely funny, and I met her first. It's about her life, and it's her true life story. I play her. What I loved about [the show was] that it made me laugh out loud and it also pulled at your heartstrings. I love that balance it had between being really funny and also really drawing you into these people's lives. I loved Claudia and I loved the script, and then they hadn't cast anyone else at that point, and you never know who you'll get to work with. And then that was just such a huge bonus. It's been an incredible cast to work with. Brad is one of the funniest people I've ever worked with. Elizabeth is amazing. I was a huge fan of hers from "Weeds," and I couldn't believe it when they were offering her the part.

... and then Claudia's background is stand-up and her parents co-owned the Improv, and so she grew up in the stand-up world doing stand-up herself around a lot of stand-up comedians. So Brad Garrett is from stand-up. She hired Jon Dore as my ex-husband, and he's from stand-up. Joe Wengert who plays my boss is from stand-up ... and so it's just one of the funniest groups of people I've ever worked with and hung out with.

For your character of Polly, did you also draw upon your own experiences as a mom to develop her personality?

Totally. It's one of the parts I've played I can relate to the most. When you have a kid it kind of changes the lens through which you see the world. You just want to be the best mom to your kid. That's really the driving force for Polly. She's just trying to figure out, "How do I do this, and how do I be this great mom for my kid?" She's also trying to figure out how to have a life in terms of going back to the dating world and finding a job. So yeah, it's definitely cool to get to play a mom.

'How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)'/ABC

 

You mentioned working with Brad Garrett and Elizabeth Perkins. People will also remember you from your "Roseanne" days working with Roseanne Barr and John Goodman. Which set of parents would you say are kookier? Elaine and Max or Roseanne and Dan?

[Laughs] That's a great question! They are very different. One interesting similarity between the "Roseanne" show and "How to Live ..." what was neat about the "Roseanne" show working on it at the time is that it really pushed the envelope and sort of tackled some interesting subjects and that was sort of Roseanne herself saying "I want to tackle this. I want to have the first lesbian kiss on television. I want to have this. I want to deal with x, y, z." It was neat to see where the show went when we were filming "How to Live ..." and the different topics they would tackle.

We did this one episode on what it's like to try and raise a kid together when you're divorced. [My daughter] Natalie starts saying, "How do we do this? Why can't we do things all together?"

We also did this episode where I try and set up my ex-husband on a date because my daughter says, "Well you're dating, and I want daddy to be happy too." So I try to set him up and it kind of ends up backfiring. It was fun to sort of see the different directions that they took, and I felt a couple times it reminded me of working on the "Roseanne" show in terms of the show pushes the envelope.

Any funny behind-the-scenes stories you can share with the fans from filming?

There were definitely times working with that many stand-up comedians in one room where we just can't get through takes. I've never laughed harder. When I start laughing and it was late in the day, and you've worked a lot of hours, you've had too much coffee, there were times where I had to say "Brad can you not say that one line? Because I can't get through the take."

We just had the wrap party, and it was the longest gag reel that I've ever seen from any show. It was just constantly people losing it, losing it, losing it. [Laughs]

It was a ridiculously fun working environment. It's the best for doing comedy because when you're having the most fun is when you're most creative.

It's not that uncommon for grown-up kids these days to move back in with their parents. Now that you've done this show, do you have any wise advice for people who may be experiencing those living arrangements now?

What I loved about the show and how they put it is, Claudia always said between her and her parents they make one responsible parent. Polly, because of the mother she did have, she wants to be the mother she never had, but because of the mother she did have, she has to go to her mother and get her help. I think what lies at the bottom of this is yes, they have very different parenting philosophies. Her parents have this much more laid-back philosophy. They take Natalie to the Hawaiian Jazz Festival, and they actually lose her by accident. Polly is much more trying to do the helicopter parenting style and micromanage everything and be sort of this type A perfect mom, and she realizes she's not and that's OK. At the bottom of it they all really care about each other and that it takes a village to raise a kid, and they've got a pretty cool village.

'Grey's Anatomy'/ABC

 

You're also guest starring on the episode of "Grey's Anatomy" this Thursday, and I understand fans should have their tissues ready.

More: Official 'Grey's Anatomy' ABC show page

It was definitely one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was a big decision to do it. At the end of the day the scales just tipped in terms of just going through something like that and feeling like we got lucky and our son is OK. He got the treatment late. It was really important to me to raise awareness because there is a treatment you can get to save your kid's heart, but you only have a 10-day window to get this treatment. It's basically called IVIG. It's a high dose of immunoglobulin, so they get this IV 12-hour drip that is a product that's made from 10,000 people's blood that's been donated. It makes heart damage not happen.

Video: Sneak peek at Sarah Chalke on 'Grey's Anatomy'

It was really scary to do. I was nervous about what the experience was going to be like to walk onto the set and hold a kid who was made up to look like my son did. It's very visual. You get this high fever and everything goes red. You've got these red blood-shot eyes and red tongue, red throat and red hands and feet. So I was nervous about what the experience was going to be like.

It was interesting the morning I started -- and it was literally 5 in the morning and I had jumped out of the shower to go to work -- and I had gotten this email from my Kawasaki doctor, Dr. Jane Burns, who's one of the world-leading expert researchers on the disease. I didn't know her during our experience. We found her since. She said one of her Kawasaki patients' mother had emailed her, and her son had been cast to play my son. It was complete coincidence. They cast one of her triplets, and they had had KD a year ago. No one knew. The casting department didn't know. It was just a total coincidence. I just felt like it was a sign and it was meant to be. The chances of that happening are zero. It's been a powerful experience already and it hasn't aired yet.

... I have had such an overwhelming response from other parents saying, "Thank you for raising awareness about this," or "I had KD or my kid had KD or my kid died of it in my arms. Thank you for doing this." Obviously it was a tough decision to do it in the first place, but I feel like that's been a really great thing to have that response from parents. But really the drive behind doing it was how do we raise awareness for something that needs awareness? It's rare. People don't know about it. It's treatable. It can save a kid's life. What can we do? ... My Kawasaki doctor told me if we do an episode about it, the show will save a life.

There's something called the KDFoundation.org and which is a great website, and it's the website that saved my son. It's where we had read the symptoms online and as a result kept fighting for him to get seen by a specialist. It laid out exactly what we had. The "Grey's" episode called "Can't Fight This Feeling," what I loved about it is it gives a message whether it's KD or whether it's something else, fight for your kid. If you have a feeling, if you have this gut feeling, a parent knows. Just advocate for your kid. Don't feel bad to go and get a second, third, fifth, sixth opinion because it doesn't hurt.

"How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)" premieres Wednesday, April 3, at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

 

Geek alert: 'Mythbusters' hosts lend their voices in this special episode

By MSN TV Partner 17 hours ago
Loads of fans are getting their geek on at Comic-Con this weekend. For the rest of us, there is the upcoming "Star Wars" themed "Phineas & Ferb" special episode. The animated stepbrothers and their friends will find themselves in a parallel universe, during "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope". Expect encounters with the major players, including Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2.

MSN TV has this exclusive image of "Mythbusters" hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman as members of the Empire:

Creators and executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh expressed their excitement about adding Savage and Hyneman to the cast: "We’ve been wanting to do something with them for ages, because they are the living adult versions of Phineas and Ferb in the real world. We ran into them at Comic-Con last year and knew that they worked on the original 'Star Wars', so when this opportunity came up we asked if they could come voice a few characters for us. It was really cool for us; we're hoping it was cool for them."

It's definitely cool for us!

"Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars" premieres July 26 at 9PM ET/PT on Disney Channel.
 

The animated host reveals her thoughts on new twists for Season 16

By MSN TV Partner Jun 24, 2014 9:07AM
Last week CBS announced some new twists in the upcoming season of "Big Brother" and also introduced the new cast. Just in time for the two-night premiere, MSN TV has exclusive photos of host Julie Chen hamming it up for the cameras. Chen also shared a little bit more insight into what to expect this season.

Photos: Reality TV villains

Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBSOn which of the new twists will have the most impact on Houseguest survival week after week:
Julie Chen: "I think "Battle of the Block" will have the most impact on a Houseguest's ability to survive.  First, those competing in it will literally be fighting for their lives in the game.  Second, it will get one of the HOHs (Head of Households) into BIG trouble.  Let’s just say that if I were HOH, I would nominate two weak players."

Video: Meet the new 'Big Brother' houseguests


Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS
On the rooms and design of this season's tree house theme:
"My favorite room in the urban tree house this year is the honeycomb room.  It's cozy and secluded.  A perfect spot to 'buzz' with your alliance members about your team's strategy.  The room has a door you can close for piracy from others.  This is key to have in the house if you want to scheme!"

Video: Take a tour of the 'Big Brother' Tree house

Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBSOn her most memorable "Big Brother" interview:
"One of my memorable Big Brother interviews was last year with Aaryn.   I had to check my feelings and ego at the door and set aside any personal bad feelings I had for her ugly comments.  I had to do my job and be fair and straight despite how personally offended I was.  It wasn't easy, but it was memorable." 

Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS

"Big Brother" premieres June 25 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.

(Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS) 

Wayne Brady's improv skills nab a nomination for best original song, a first for the show

By MSN TV Partner Jun 18, 2014 11:06AM
The Daytime Emmy Awards are around the corner, and CBS' "Let's Make a Deal" has three nominations. In addition to Best Game Show, host Wayne Brady is nominated twice. No surprise that Brady picked up his fifth nomination for Best Game Show Host, but thanks to those stellar improv skills Brady also finds himself in the Best Original Song category. With the help of keyboardist Cat Gray, watch Brady create this impromptu tune for adoring fan and contestant Daphne:
Over the years, Brady has collected a number of Emmy nominations, and won twice for Best Talk Show Host (for "The Wayne Brady Show"). He also won a Primetime Emmy for his work on "Whose Line Is It Anyway."

The current version of "Let's Make A Deal" has been nominated for Best Game Show twice. This is the first time the show's been nominated in the Best Song category.

"Let's Make A Deal" airs weekdays on CBS. The 41st Daytime Emmys Awards will be live streamed at 8PM ET on June 22 at www.daytimeemmys.net.


 

No sparkles here. "This is absolute, pure horror."

By MSN TV Partner Jun 17, 2014 1:10PM
Earlier this month we shared the trailer for FX's "The Strain", the vampire thriller from director Guillermo del Toro. Today, courtesy of Xbox Video and FX, we are showcasing two behind-the-scenes clips.

Learn more about the story of this modernized vampire world and hear from the cast and crew, including Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro, David Bradley and Sean Astin, as well as director del Toro and executive producer Carlton Cuse ("Lost").


The Season Pass for "The Strain" is now available on Xbox Video.

"The Strain" premieres July 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.
 

Plus, watch a DVD extra, "Fact and Fiction Collide"

By MSN TV Jun 10, 2014 9:24AM
Just in time for the 5th season premiere, MSN TV is giving away the Season 4 DVD of TNT's "Rizzoli & Isles". At the end of Season 4, the popular series left us wondering last season if Jane (Angie Harmon) might be pregnant.

Season 4 is also the final season featuring cast member Lee Thompson Young, who committed suicide last year. Young played detective Barry Frost, and the "R&I" will pay tribute to the actor the first two episodes of the upcoming season.

Watch our exclusive DVD extra, "Fact and Fiction Collide" where you get more insight behind the Paddy Doyle storylines. Then enter our giveaway:

1. Like MSN TV on Facebook or Twitter

2. Tweet or comment the following message: I want to win the @MSNTV #Rizzoli&Isles giveaway

3. Email msn_tv_buzz@hotmail.com with the following message: I want to win the @MSNTV #Rizzoli&Isles giveaway

And that's it! Complete both steps by 11:59 p.m. PT on June 16, 2014 and we'll select two winners at random by 12 p.m. PT June 17, 2014.

Other details:
Open to U.S. residents only but no P.O. Boxes, please. We will not distribute your email address. Your email address will only be used to notify you if you are the winner of this giveaway. The prize will be shipped directly from Warner Bros. to the winners.

"Rizzoli & Isles" Season 5 premieres June 17 at 9PM ET/PT  on TNT. "Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Fourth Season" is now available in stores and online.

 

Exclusive pics gives perspective from Drew Carey's suit lapel

By MSN TV Partner Jun 2, 2014 11:17AM
This week is Socially Awesome Week on "The Price Is Right", where followers have been and will be participating via Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

For Tuesday's Pinterest show, host Drew Carey wore a camera on his lapel, which snapped candid shots throughout the taping. Get a first look at a few of these photos from the episode, first on MSN TV:

In the dressing room, Mr. Carey sans glasses!
Photo Credit: CBSGetting ready for the cameras:
lPhoto credit: CBSSpinning the wheel:
Photo credit: CBSCool prizes:
Photo credit: CBSTuesday will also feature a sweepstakes where fans will have the opportunity to enter to win a trip to Hawaii via Pinterest.

Other highlights from this week includes Friday's "You Decide" show, which will feature fan-driven content decided by the show's Twitter audience. "The Young and The Restless" stars Melissa Ordway and Daniel Goddard will appear as guest models as well. 

Watch a preview here:
For all of the shows social handles, www.priceisright.com

"The Price Is Right" airs weekdays 11AM ET, 10AM PT on CBS. The special Pinterest episode airs June 3.
 

Official extended trailer for the upcoming vampire horror series

By MSN TV Partner Jun 2, 2014 9:06AM
This summer, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan brings their best-selling vampire horror novels to the small screen. Corey Stoll and Mia Maestro star as members of a special CDC team sent in to investigate unexplainable viral outbreaks.

Thanks to our friends at Xbox Video, see the official extended trailer for FX's "The Strain" before it is available anywhere else:



The Season Pass for The Strain is now available on Xbox Video.

More "The Strain"
| "The Strain" on Facebook

"The Strain" premieres July 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.

What summer premieres are you excited for? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter.
 

It's Coronation Day for the 'Ellen' cuties

By MSN TV May 19, 2014 10:00AM
Sophia Grace and Rosie made a viral splash with their sassy rendition of Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" on 'Ellen'. The YouTube clip where the girls meet Nicki has received over 76 million views since their first appearance on Ellen's show three years ago.

The young British girls have a new movie coming out this week, 'Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure', where they attend the coronation of a new queen. Scroll down to watch clip of one of their sweet appearances on "Ellen", and then enter to win both the DVD and a signed poster from the little stars!

How to enter:

1. Like MSN TV on Facebook or Twitter

2. Tweet or comment the following message: I want to win the @MSNTV #SophiaGraceandRosie giveaway

3. Email msn_tv_buzz@hotmail.​​com with the following message: I want to win the @MSNTV #SophiaGraceandRosie giveaway

And that's it! Complete both steps by 11:59 p.m. PT on May 23, 2014 and we'll select five winners at random by 12 p.m. PT May 27, 2014.

Other details:
Open to US residents only but no PO Boxes, please. We will not distribute your email address. Your email address will only be used to notify you if you are the winner of this giveaway. The prize will be shipped directly from Warner Bros. to the winners.

Good luck!