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Food on Television

Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken To Be Subjects of ABC Sitcom

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Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 1:41 PM
click to enlarge Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger in their wilder days.
  • Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger in their wilder days.

Sclemeel, schlemazel, hazenfeffer incorporated...

The most exciting food TV news we've heard lately came from our sister paper OC Weekly, which reports that Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken -- longtime friends, chefs and owners of Border Grill -- are to be the subjects of a new sitcom in development at ABC.

This is far form the pair's first go-round with TV: both are veterans of Top Chef Masters, and have even appeared on the Real Housewives of Orange County, and most recently, Chef Hunter. But this time, Feniger and Milliken will be played by actresses. Young actresses, as the show is set in the 1980s, when the two were first starting out at City Cafe, sporting the best haircuts ever...

click to enlarge Dig those boxtops.
  • Dig those boxtops.

We can only hope these 'dos make a comeback.

Milliken tells us a lot of details haven't been set yet, but she sums up the concept of the show by saying, "It'll be young women in the 80s in a man's profession, trying to make it in a profession that's fairly hilarious. And especially was back then on Melrose with all the punk rockers."

She added, "What excited us about the project was that Jeff Greenstein [Desperate Housewives, Will & Grace, Friends] is a great writer. He's really funny, and he really seemed to get it right off the bat. I think what ABC finds interesting, and Jeff, is how it all started at a time and place when there weren't very many chefs that were prominent. There weren't any celebrity chefs at all and there were very few women chefs, and we were making it somehow.

"And the fact that I fell in love with Susan's ex-husband."

Yes, there's certainly fodder for a soap opera when it comes to these two: Feniger, who happens to be a lesbian, was married to Milliken's husband of roughly 25 years before she was. But it certainly seems that fact is much more comic-relief than drama for this pair. In fact, Feniger notoriously set her ex up with Milliken.

Milliken and Feniger will take part in the shaping the plot, but she noted the show will take poetic license. "We'll be there to lend authenticity to the story, but it will be a story," Milliken says.

Follow Ali Trachta on Twitter @MySo_CalLife.

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