This Wednesday at 8:30/7:30c, Jennifer Finnigan (‘Close To Home’) and JoAnna Garcia (‘Reba’) hope to succeed where Kelsey Grammer’s ‘Hank’ failed, by rounding out ABC’s otherwise solid two-hour block of comedy.
In ‘Better With You,’ Jen and Jo play Maddie and Mia, sisters whose lives and loves are rather different. The more grounded of the two, Maddie has been in a long-term relationship with the similarly career-minded Ben (played by Finnigan’s ‘Committed’ costar, Josh Cooke).
Mia meanwhile is a free spirit who springs on her sis and their parents (Debra Jo Rupp and Kurt Fuller) the news that she is engaged to her beau of mere weeks (Jake Lacy) – and that’s not the only bombshell she’s poised to drop.
Familiar to and beloved by many a TV fan, Finnigan (who is married to ‘Weekend At Bernie’s’ Jonathan Silverman) and Garcia (engaged to Yankees slugger Nick Swisher) sat with Fancast to talk up their funny little sister act, recall a certain someone’s soapy exploits, and dish on the bromance between their real-life loves.
Which of you is most like her character?
Jennifer Finnigan: We both have characteristics of each other’s characters.
JoAnna Garcia: Yeah…
Finnigan: I can be completely spontaneous and impetuous, but at the same time I’m definitely an overthinker, and I overanalyze – for the most part. Sometimes I jump in feet first – that would be like a Mia thing. But I think there’s probably more Maddie in me.
Garcia: I think there’s more Maddie in me, too! [They both laugh] When you get to be a certain age, everyone sort of becomes more of a Maddie.
Finnigan: It’s true. It’s just more practical.
Garcia: Mia is refreshing because she shows you that life can work out if you just don’t think about it too much. Our characters have very strong characteristics, and in some ways they’re really “out there,” but it’s all grounded in goodness, and in love.
Jo, you’ve done ‘Reba’ and ‘Privileged.’ Jennifer, you did ‘Close To Home’ but also ‘The Bold and the Beautiful.’ From where do people usually recognize you?
Garcia: It’s really funny – I will meet people on the street saying, “Oh my gosh! Do you know what your sister on your new show did [when she was 'B&B's Bridget]?!”
Garcia: I swear. I actually texted [Jennifer's] husband the other day to say, “There is a man I met who is very impressed by your little lady. So keep your eyes peeled. I’ve got your back.”
One of you is dating a high-paid baseball player, the other is married to an actor. Who has the higher-maintenance guy?
Garcia: I don’t have a high-maintenance guy. At all.
Finnigan: Johnny’s a man… but he’s really weird about his hair.
Garcia: Johnny and Nick knew each other before I ever knew Nick, so when we all went to dinner to celebrate us doing the show together, Jennifer and I were like in the corner [being ignored]…
Finnigan: They have such “man crushes” on each other. Jonathan is like, “What should I wear? We’re meeting Nick out tonight!”
Garcia: Literally! What did Nick say that one day? “I am in the presence of comedic genius!” I was like, “Thank you, honey!” He then said, “Jonathan Silverman is amazing.” Oh, OK – now I get who you’re talking about.