Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence
When '90s sitcom stars Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence teamed up for the ABC Family movie My Fake Fiance, they never expected that fans would fall so in love with the duo that it would prompt the network to create a series just for them. Why are the stars of Melissa & Joey so popular? "We've got nostalgia behind us. We've each had two successful series and the audience, more so than Hollywood, likes to see a reincarnation," Hart tells TVGuide.com.
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Hart, of course, headlined Clarissa Explains it All and then Sabrina, the Teenage Witch; Lawrence played the precocious kid on Gimme a Break and then said "Whoa!" a lot on Blossom.
Lawrence says it's their on-screen connection that fans like to watch. "We have an innate chemistry when it comes to this comedy stuff," he says. "We got lucky."
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Hart calls Melissa & Joey Moonlighting-meets-Everybody Loves Raymond. Mel (Hart), an outspoken local politician, hires Joe (Lawrence), a recent divorcee who needs money, to take care of her niece and nephew. The actress says she was sick of watching Friends reruns, and wanted to see the sitcom make a comeback. "A show like this on television is lacking [and] there aren't any right now that are romantic comedies with a domestic sidebar," she says.
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While the show certainly plays up the sexual tension between the two leads, don't expect a romantic coupling on the series. "Unless we could do it in a really smart way and keep it going, I do feel like it's an 'end of the show' thing," she says. Lawrence agrees. "You don't want them together and you don't want any babies. As soon as that happens, it's over."
Melissa & Joey airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC Family.