NBC’s new comedy Abby’s starring Natalie Morales and Neil Flynn presented at the Winter TCA press. Get to know more about the show, how similar it is to Cheers, and why this role is so special to star Natalie Morales. Plus, check out the trailer below:
This multi-cam comedy tells the story of Abby, who opens a neighborhood bar in her backyard and the characters who work there and take up the stools. Although it’s natural to compare this show to Cheers, the team behind the sitcom says that the setting is probably the only thing in common. Jessica Chaffin takes it a step further, arguing that she and Neil Flynn are two of the best “stool actors” in TV history.
The show shoots on the Universal lot, borrowing houses on Wisteria Lane as their setting because Abby’s films outdoors in front of a live audience. Shooting outside presented the production with a few challenges and technical issues, mostly dealing with planes, helicopters, and outside noise. In fact, they moved shoot days to Tuesdays as to avoid the screaming fans of Halloween Horror Nights.
Not only does this ensemble come from a comedy background (including sketch and improv), but they genuinely enjoy performing in front of an audience. Morales even loves the slapstick aspect of the show, noting that she would be happy to do more physical comedy.
Morales also commented that, like many actors, she has experience as bartending and as a server, and is actually wearing the same pair of converse on set that she wore as a bartender. Morales revealed growing up, watching NBC’s Must-See TV, she didn’t think she’d ever be the center of a sitcom, but being on this network on this night is something she’s always dreamed of.
With a history of comedic roles, Morales is honored to be the first Cuban-American sitcom star. Her character, Abby, is also “casually bisexual” meaning that her sexuality is important but not the focus. Morales expressed the important of telling “stories about marginalized people but not about how they’re marginalized” and playing layered characters, “We are all multifaceted people.”
Abby’s premieres on NBC on March 28th
— Yael Tygiel