Fall TV Preview: 5 Things to Know About ‘Mom’

Allison Janney, top, and Anna Faris of "Mom" (Photo: CBS)

Another year, another Chuck Lorre sitcom poised to dominate the TV season’s newest comedies in ratings. The latest accessible, broad-appeal comedy to enter the CBS fold is “Mom,” premiering Monday, Sept. 23 at 9:30/8:30c.

The half-hour multi-camera sitcom stars Anna Faris as a newly sober single mom from Northern California wine country who reconnects with her own estranged mother (Allison Janney) in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Hijinks definitely ensue.

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How does "Mom" fit in with Lorre's other shows, "Two and a Half Men," "The Big Bang Theory," and "Mike & Molly" - not to mention the rest of CBS' comedy lineup? Judge for yourself.

Here are five things to expect from the new comedy “Mom”:

1. Dynamic duo Anna Faris and Allison Janney. You probably already like Anna Faris from the multitude of goofy, ditzy blondes she’s played on-screen (“What’s Your Number,” “The House Bunny,” to name a few), and her turn as Christy, a single mom waitress in Napa Valley struggling to raise her kids and stay sober, will win you over even more. “The West Wing’s” Allison Janney has played some upstanding citizens, along with some screwed up, wacky women, and her Bonnie is solidly the latter. She and Faris pair well together — it’s nice to see such strong comic actresses playing off each other on screen.

2. A solid supporting cast. “Mom” is also a workplace comedy, with a significant portion of the action taking place at the restaurant where Christy works. That introduces French Stewart (“3rd Rock from the Sun”) delivering zinger after zinger as the angry, pompous chef, and Nate Corddry (“The Daily Show”) as Christy’s mild-mannered restaurant manager/boyfriend. (The only problem? He’s married.) Also excellent is “Breaking Bad” vet Matt Jones as Christy’s slacker ex baby daddy.

3. Sex jokes. This is a Chuck Lorre show, after all, so some of the humor is crude — actually, a lot of it is — especially the curt, rude Chef Rudy (Stewart) or any joke involving Christy’s slutty teenage daughter. But “Mom” also has a lot of heart, which is another of Lorre’s trademarks.

4. Great guest stars. Justin Long has already signed on to play Christy’s new love interest. “Poor bastard doesn’t know what he’s in for,” Lorre told reporters during a panel about “Mom” at the 2013 Television Critics Association summer press tour. “But he is going to be her first shot at a meaningful relationship in this new chapter in her life.” But the show is also beefing up its guest star roster with some Oscar cred: Octavia Spencer will stop by for one episode as a woman who helps put Christy’s problems into perspective.

5. A delightful cameo. Someone familiar to the Lorre-verse pops up as a diner at Christy’s restaurant in the very first episode. It won’t be a regular thing, but it’ll certainly elicit a chuckle of delight and perhaps will pave the way for more Lorre-verse cameos.

“Mom” premieres Monday, Sept. 23 at 9:30/8:30c on CBS.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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