Peter Marc Jacobson is 'Happily Divorced'

11.22.2012

By Andrew Villagomez

Talks about new season of the TV Land hit show, coming out to Fran Drescher, gay life and dating, and how he helped save a suicidal young girl.

Photo of Peter Marc Jacobson by Andrew Villagomez

Known to many for creating '90s hit show The Nanny—and as Fran Drescher’s gay ex-husband—the handsome Peter Marc Jacobson continues to not only be a successful producer, but still best friends with Fran and, as he explains, will always love her. Happily Divorced stars Fran and is based on the events of her and Peter's post-marriage lives together, as it would've happened today and instead of the late '90s when they separated and divorced. The show returns for a new season packed with guest stars and fan-pleasing events.

Out: What was the process behind creating Happily Divorced?

Peter Marc Jacobson: Fran and I took a vacation together to Paris after we were divorced, and we started getting into all these fights, and started going back to the way we were when married. We looked at each other and said, this would be a funny movie. We started writing it and called it Happily Divorced. Keith Cox at TV Land then called Fran and said, what would you like to do for TV if you were producing your own show ... and if you were to star in the show? She said well, that would be easy, it would be me and my gay ex-husband, and her boyfriend and our weird little triangle. She asked, should I tell you the rest of my ideas, and he said no because I just bought that one. Easiest sale in television history. [Laughs]

You publicly came out in 2010, but came out to Fran before then correct?

I actually came out 11 years ago, and everyone who knew me, knew I was out. Then a tabloid [In Touch] called about three years ago and said we are going to out you, and I said, well I’m out already … save yourself the news ... They then [asked if I] would do an interview, and I said no, because it would look like it's being gratuitous and looking for attention. So I said, why don’t you just make a statement that we’re friends and we love each other.

Instead, they put out the story as 'Fran Drescher outs her husband,' which was not true. The next morning it was all over CNN, and Oprah called and said, 'We want to do a show about you and Fran.' Fran and I figured, well if we are going to talk about it, we'd bring up Happily Divorced, since at that time [we working on the pilot], and Oprah said what a great idea, [about the show] on the air. Then the show got picked up. So we thank Oprah and the tabloid ... But yes, I came out years ago. I was going to the Roxy, can't come out more than that. [Laughs]

Speaking of nightlife, in Happily Divorced there is a local gay bar, the There Bar, played off Here Lounge in LA. Is Here a favorite spot?

I love going there Sunday afternoons, and The Abbey. Sunday Funday is my favorite day to go out [Laughs]. I go to the Abbey around 5 o'clock with my friends, and we have a drink or two. Then go to Here Lounge. It's like a ritual with me.

As a big Nanny fan, it is wonderful to see guests such as Renée Taylor, who played Fran's mother on The Nanny, and Charles Shaughnessy, who played Mr. Sheffield, on Happily Divorced. Who else will be making an appearance?

Renée is now a reoccurring character, and we are hoping to get Danny Davis [who played Niles the Butler] and Lauren Lane [CeCe] on, and maybe Rachel Chagall [Val]. We also have great guest stars this season - Joan Collins, Florence Henderson, Robert Wagner, and Cyndi Lauper, who just shot an episode. Molly Shannon is also doing an episode ... it takes a while for a series to get its groove going, and now this season is really out there. We are pushing the envelope.

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