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ABC's Thirtysomething(else): Meet the New Characters

Here's who's set to join the returning players in the series pilot from the creators of the original Thirtysomething.
  • Baby Janie is all grown up in Thirtysomething(else). She'll be joined by returning cast members Mel Harris, left, and Ken Olin. (Photo: ABC)
    Baby Janie is all grown up in Thirtysomething(else). She'll be joined by returning cast members Mel Harris, left, and Ken Olin. (Photo: ABC)

    FIRST ON PRIMETIMER:  It was just a few weeks ago that ABC announced it had given an early pilot order to Thirtysomthing(else), based on the seminal late 1980s relationship series that captured the angst of the baby boomer generation and its struggles with real-life issues.

    With the original series creators Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick returning along with several members of the original cast, the proposed series falls somewhere in between revival and a spinoff, revolving around the children of the characters from the original show, who are now thirtysomething themselves (and whose parents are still very much in the picture).

    Alongside news of show's early pilot order, ABC has announced the return of several members of the original cast: Ken Olin as Michael Steadman, Mel Harris as Hope Steadman, Timothy Busfield as Elliot Weston and Patricia Wettig as Nancy Weston. Since his character died on the original series, Peter Horton won't be returning in his original role of as Gary Shepherd.

    Beyond that, little else has been known about the series, but Primetimer can now share some key information about the other characters who figure prominently in the pilot.

    JANEY, the daughter of HOPE and MICHAEL is now 32 and a mess of a millenial with unruly dark hair and piercing eyes. Like her mother, she went to Princeton, and she's described as both idealistic and depressed. She clearly has attachment issues and her parents are probably to blame. She's had a boyfriend, BRAD HARRIS, for quite some time now. He's only two years older than her but eager to start living with her and then to start a family. That makes her very anxious. Brad is bi-racial, handsome, pragmatic and adoring, but sometimes a bit pre-occupied. They work together on an housing project in Philadephia. Janey's brother LEO, who's not thirty yet, is a good-looking young man who still lives with his mother while he's trying to develop an app.

    Janey shares an apartment with BRITTANY WESTON, now 33, the daughter of ELLIOT and NANCY. She's a therapist with self image issues, although others find her very attractive. Described as bisexual, her most recent relationship was with a woman named ANGELICA, a 30 year-old latinx lesbian. She doesn't believe in monogamy, which led to some complications with Brittany. Now they're in an on and off ilove/hate relationship. Brittany's older brother ETHAN recently became a dad at 36 with the much younger KAT, a tattooed and pierced woman in her mid-twenties who doesn't seem to care about their six month-old baby. They're both musicians and potheads, and clearly not ready to be parents.

    Fans of the original Thirtysomething were dismayed to learn that Melanie Mayron was not among the cast members confirmed to be returning to the series. Mayron, who played Michael's cousin MELISSA, has become a prolific television director in the years since the original series. While her character does make a quick appearance in the pilot script, it could easily be removed if producers aren't able to sign her on.

    A fall launch looks to be in the cards for Thirtysomething(else), as ABC has already committed to open a writers room and appears to be gearing up for a series order. Bookmark our pilots area for more information, including casting details for Thirtysomething(else) and all the other series in contention this pilot season.

    People are talking about Thirtysomething(else) in our Thirtysomething forum. Join the conversation.

    Jean-Maxime Renault is a TV addict based in Paris who writes about television and movies on AlloCiné (aka "the French IMDB"). In 2015 he created Season Zero, a website about television development and pilot season, which is now a part of Primetimer. Follow him on Twitter @SeasonZeroCom

    TOPICS: Thirtysomething(else), ABC, Thirtysomething, Pilots