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What About Joan (TV Series 2000–2002) Poster

(2000–2002)

Trivia

One of Joan Cusack's conditions for starring in this show was that it had to be produced in Chicago so she would not have to leave her family.
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Nearly half of the episodes produced were never shown in the USA, plus ABC destroyed continuity by broadcasting them out of sequence. Four first season episodes were shelved in case they needed new programming during a potential writers strike which never materialized, and the network abruptly halted production two weeks into the second season, leaving an additional six episodes unaired.
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The show's title was an inside joke. The production team couldn't come up with a name for the series, although it came close to being named "Sweet Home Chicago," which was the theme song in the original version of the pilot. Calling it simply "Joan" seemed dicey since Bette (2000), Emeril (2000), The Michael Richards Show (2000) and The Geena Davis Show (2000) had all recently tanked in the ratings and NBC had Kristin (2001) slated to premiere on their schedule. With time running out to get a name in the press, they utilized the complete and oft-asked question as the show's title: "What about Joan?"
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Joan Cusack was informed that the show was canceled on her 39th birthday.
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During the first season (while video streaming was still in its infancy) the crew had to provide a live feed from Chicago so executive producer James L. Brooks could give his input from L.A.
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Joan's real-life brother, John Cusack, was scheduled to guest-star in the second season, but the production was shut down before his episode was shot.
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One of more than a dozen quickly-canceled star vehicle sitcoms from the 2000/2001 TV seasons. Others included The Geena Davis Show (2000), Bette (2000) (Bette Midler), Normal, Ohio (2000) (John Goodman), Bob Patterson (2001) (Jason Alexander), Danny (2001) (Daniel Stern), DAG (2000) (David Alan Grier), Kristin (2001) (Kristin Chenoweth), The Job (2001) (Denis Leary), Emeril (2000) (Emeril Lagasse), The Ellen Show (2001) (Ellen DeGeneres), The Michael Richards Show (2000), and The Weber Show (2000) (Steven Weber).
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Kyle Chandler lived in the Chicago area during the four years that Early Edition (1996) was on the air, but when that was canceled in 2000, he sold his townhouse and relocated to Los Angeles. Not long after, Chandler landed a leading role in this Chicago sitcom and found himself renting a Chicago apartment and commuting back and forth to his new home in L.A.
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Originally the show was based on creator Gwen Macsai's book "Lipshtick," but once Joan Cusack was cast, they tailored the show to suit her.
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Joan Cusack was pregnant during the filming of the pilot, but they disguised it with baggy clothing.
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The show was originally broadcast on ABC in a 4:3 aspect ratio, but it was shot 16:9 for posterity, and the widescreen version later aired in foreign markets. TV crews at the time were not accustomed to working in this format, so secondary cameras and other gaffes can frequently be glimpsed in the widescreen version.
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