Before our intrepid TV Club correspondents traveled to this summer’s Television Critics Association press tour, we asked readers to submit questions that we could pose to the TV pros attending the event. (And we made one up ourselves.) With those questions and the answers they prompted, we bring you the TV Club Questionnaire.
Maura Tierney arrived on most viewers’ radar as a result of spending five seasons as Lisa Miller on NewsRadio, but she confirmed that her chops weren’t limited solely to comedy during her lengthy stint on ER. At present, Tierney remains firmly ensconced in the dramatic world, offering one of the many perspectives on Showtime’s The Affair.
If you could be working on any other television series currently on the air, which one would it be, and why?
Maura Tierney: I would like to be on Denis Leary’s Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, because I had the greatest time on Rescue Me, and that would be fun for me. And I’d like to be on Veep.
A.V. Club: What sort of character would you want to play?
MT: I don’t know. I just think Veep is the funniest show on TV. I’d just love to be able to do that. Whatever they would want me for, I would do.
What are your earliest memories of TV, and did they have any bearing on you wanting to have a career in TV?
MT: Oh, my God, how long do you have? [Laughs.] Yeah, I watched so much TV, I practically could’ve eaten my television set when I was a kid. I mean, I watched all of that stuff like The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Gilligan’s Island… All those reruns. But I watched everything. You know, in the ’70s, there wasn’t the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. We had to watch grown-up shows. I remember watching Baretta with my dad. And Columbo and Police Woman. I remember watching Angie Dickinson in Police Woman, and I loved that she got to dress up and be different things as a policewoman. Like, she got to go undercover. So that might’ve been part of what I liked. Oh, and I loved Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda. So those ladies shows were probably formative in me wanting to do [TV].
What efforts do you take to promote diverse viewpoints, and how do you think that has affected storytelling, either on your show or the television medium as a whole?
MT: I’ll never be Miss America, so this is my only chance to answer a question like this, and I will respect it and value it. [Laughs.] But in terms of diversity, I guess I try, but… I don’t really have any power! So I’m probably not very effective any which way. I don’t feel that I have much of a voice in that arena, because, you know, I’ve been an actor for hire. But perhaps I should explore that. Maybe that might not be true.
If you could add something to the show you’re working on, without anyone knowing about it beforehand and free from any consequences from upset coworkers/networks/viewers, what would it be?
MT: Diversity. [Laughs.]
AVC: Nice callback.
MT: Seriously, though, how about that for an answer? Because I would do that!
If any character from your show could be given a spin-off, who would it be and what would be the premise of the new show?
MT: Oh, my goodness. I think it should be Jadon [Sand], who plays Trevor, and I think he should become a teenage banjo-playing YouTube sensation…but with a heart of gold! [Laughs.]