The Middle star Patricia Heaton is back on TV this season with Carol's Second Act, a new CBS sitcom in which she plays a mother of two hoping to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. CBS released a behind-the-scenes look at the new show earlier this week, ahead of its debut on Thursday, Sept. 26. The show also stars Kyle MacLachlan and Ashley Tisdale.
Heaton is hoping this show becomes her third hit series. Since Everybody Loves Raymond debuted in 1996, she has been an almost non-stop presence on primetime television. After Raymond ended in 2005, she signed on to ABC's The Middle, which ran from 2009 to 2018. Carol's Second Act brings Heaton back to CBS, which originally aired Raymond.
"Having The Middle end just as my kids left the house left me a little unmoored," Heaton told TV Insider when asked what drew her to the new show. "Who was I without the identity of a mother or a working actress? I sympathized with Carol going through her divorce, her children grown up, and thinking, 'What do I do now?' I love that she chose something challenging."
The series picks up after Carol's marriage ended in divorce. Now a single mother of two, the 50-year-old Carol has found the opportunity to become a doctor.
"She's a no-nonsense, pragmatic person. Her personality is right for a doctor because she always loved science. She also was a longtime teacher who had to be organized, dealing with high schoolers and their hormones and emotions," Heaton told TV Insider.
Notably, Carol is 10 years younger than Heaton, 61, in real life. Heaton told Entertainment Tonight she had no issue with the character being 11 years younger, since it helps make the story a little more believable.
“Realistically, to be able to get into medical school, I would think they would take your age into consideration. So, If you start at 60 and don’t get into your internship until 65," Heaton said, trailing off.
“I am 61 and I don’t have a problem with that. I kept saying I don’t think people will really believe I’m in my 50s -- do I need gray in my hair? I really [think] I look like Angelina Jolie until I look into the mirror and realize I don’t," Heaton joked. "So, I thought it was realistic she’s in her 50s because I look like I’m in my 50s!”
The main cast features MacLachlan as Dr. Stephen Frost, the senior attending physician at the ward where Carol is an intern, and Tisdale as Carol's daughter, Jenny. Ito Aghayere plays Dr. Maya Jacobs, the chief resident in charge of Carol and three other interns. The three other interns in Carol's group are played by Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Sabrina Jalees and Lucas Neff.
In August, TV Insider reported that Cedric Tarbrough will have a recurring role as Nurse Dennis. Yarbrough recently starred in ABC's Speechless.0comments
Carol's Second Act debuts on CBS Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Photo credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS