Actress Fran Drescher still remembers the moment she came up with the concept for The Nanny. She was in London visiting Twiggy, her former co-star in the short-lived 1991 sitcom Princesses, and “in a very proper accent, Twiggy’s daughter said, ‘Oh, Fran, my new shoes are hurting me,'” the star told Closer during her recent visit to Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family. “I said, ‘Oh, honey, step on the backs of them. It breaks them in.'”
The contrast between a streetsmart girl from Queens, NY, and a stiff-upper-lip Brit inspired Fran’s relationship with Mr. Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy) on The Nanny. While in London, the actress called her then-husband, producer Peter Jacobson, and said, “What do you think about a spin on The Sound of Music, only instead of Julie Andrews, I come to the door?” Fran, 60, remembers. “In a heartbeat, he said, ‘That’s it!'”
CBS agreed, and the series ran from 1993 to 1999. “Those were golden years for all of us,” she says. “We are all very grateful, and the fact that it’s still on TV is a wonderful gift that keeps on giving.” (Reruns can be currently seen on Cozi TV.)
Fran has kept in touch with her co-stars, including Charles, Renée Taylor (who played her mom), Daniel Davis (aka butler Niles), and the actors who played her young charges: Nicholle Tom, Benjamin Salisbury, and Madeline Zima. And she’s optimistic about the possibility of a reboot: “It’s in the works, and we’re excited about it,” she teases.
If it happens, you can bet Fran will take charge and bring her vision to fruition, just like she did on the original series. “I set my mind to something very clearly and put it out to the universe,” she says. “I saw opportunity knocking, and I carpe diem-ed!”
For more on Fran, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and sign up for our newsletter!