Unlike Judy, she was raised in a
Conservative Jewish home and still
Like Elon Gold, she arranged for
the -show to tape on Tuesdays so she
could spend Friday nights with her
family. Her three sons attend-
"I want them to know where they
come from and what their traditions
are," she says. "I think it's very
important to carry that on."
WILL & GRACE
NBC Thursdays, 9-9:30 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 26
Grace Adler finally gets the Jewish
doctor of her dreams in the form of
handsome surgeon Leo Markus,
played by Harry Connick Jr.
Grace (Debra Messing) collided
with a Central Park lamppost in last
season's finale, and, in hazy focus, a
horseback rider was seen coming to
her aid -- he'll be revealed as the
Connick, last seen on TV in
ABC's South Pacific remake, "was
our first choice for the part," says
executive producer Jeff Greenstein.
"He's a terrific actor and really
"Harry's got a very dry sense of
humor and we try to bring that to
the table," raves Greenstein, calling
it "kismet" that the actor-singer was
interested and available. He'll appear
in 12 episodes spread out over the
According to Greenstein, Dr.
Markus is "devoid of neuroses,
which I don't think you can say
about any other character on Will er
He is also somewhat of a Jewish
"saint," with no apparent flaws, at
least at the outset. Working with the
international organization Doctors
Without Borders and in the emer-
gency room, "he's on call, constantly
being called away."
So Will (who'll get a boyfriend
later in the season and a new boss
played by Gene Wilder) and Grace
may still find themselves "stuck on
the couch together on a Saturday
"We're going into our fifth season
and we're looking for new ways to
play Will and Grace's relationship,"
Greenstein explains. "We want to
try a serious boyfriend and see how
their relationship weathers that."
Connick, whose late mother was
Jewish, will get a mother on the
show as well, yet to be cast. "She is a
very elegant, very sophisticated New
York socialite in the Jackie 0.
mold," describes Greenstein. "We
wanted to go as counter to the -
stereotype of the Jewish mother as
we possibly could."
Her appearance later in the season
will open many comic possibilities
involving the more demonstrative,
"Grace's Jewishness, to me, is one
of the most fun things about writing
the show," says Greenstein. "She
talks about Camp Ramah, she liber-
ally sprinkles her conversation with
Yiddish words. It's part of her cul-
tural identification. You'll see that
You'll also see Jack (Sean Hayes)
teach drama and the newly separated
Karen (Megan Mullally) date._ But
whether or not you'll hear Harry
Connick Jr. sing is open -to question.
"I can't tell you right now," is all
Greenstein will say.
FOX Mondays, 8-9 p.m.
Premieres Oct. 21
Jon Abrahams plays new teacher
Zach Fischer with a twist: he's an
alumnus of the high school and former
While Boston Public has made the .
religion of Fyvush Finkel's teacher
Harvey Lipschultz a major part of the
story, Fischer's faith is not yet estab-
lished as the season starts.
So, as it now stands, there is one Jew
playing a Jew (Finkel), one non-Jew
playing a Jew (Anthony Heald as Scott
Guber), one Jew playing a non-Jew
(Michael Rapoport as Danny Hanson)
and one undecided. Got that?
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WB Mondays, 8-9 p.m.
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Eldest Camden son Matt (Barry
Watson) married a rabbi's daughter last
season, part of an interfaith storyline
that featured Richard Lewis and Laraine
Newman as his in-laws.
Watson, who was diagnosed with
Hodgkin's disease last spring, will not be
a regular this fall, but according to a
network source, Lewis may make an
appearance as Rabbi Glass.
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