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What a brilliant idea, to add flavor and humor to "Unforgettable" by bringing in the Queen of Deadpan herself, Jane Curtin, as mouthy medical examiner Joanne Webster. Her debut this month on the Poppy Montgomery-Dylan Walsh CBS crime procedural won her praise from both critics and fans. For us, it's a treat to see this Grownup TV favorite back on the tube.
"I'm thrilled to be here. There are terrific people working on this show," she notes. She's glad not to be carrying the series. "That's Poppy Montgomery's job, and she's really good at it. I pop in as needed, and I like that a lot."
Jane knows what it's like to star in an hour drama from her experience making a pilot that never sold years ago: "I was in every scene and we worked 17-hour days which is just wrong." In fact, she says she was so punchy from fatigue, she jumped off the third floor ledge of a Federal Building instead of pretending to almost jump. The director planned to cut and then have stunt people substitute for her and Peter Riegert, but "When he said, 'One, two, three,' I was airborne. I landed in the dumpster they had set up."
Jane stays in touch with cast mates from all three of her former long-running shows. "I saw John on Monday," she says during a Thursday's conversation, speaking of her "3rd Rock From the Sun" cohort, John Lithgow. "I saw Bill Murray and Laraine Newman two weeks ago," she says of those fellow "Saturday Night Live" alumni. And she occasionally sees her former fellow "Kate & Allie" title star, Susan Saint James. "Susan and I bump into each other at this great clothing store in Litchfield that we both go to." Now, that would be worth seeing.