Parenting in 2017 requires a new set of rules. That is one of the many issues Matt LeBlanc and Liza Snyder dive into on their CBS sitcom “Man With A Plan.” LeBlanc plays Adam, an old-school guy dealing with the modern challenges of parenting, family and marriage. Snyder meanwhile is LeBlanc’s co-star Andi, who is Adam’s wife and deals with the struggles of balancing work life and family life.
Season Two of “Man With A Plan” premieres tonight and LeBlanc and Snyder chatted with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about what viewers can expect this season, parenting today’s generation of kids and why their sitcom feels like its been on the air for years.
DJ Sixsmith: What’s been the best part about working on “Man With A Plan?”
Liza Snyder: Mine is that I get to work with you Matt. See what I did there. But I really have learned so much from Matt. We have such a great job and we have so much fun. We shouldn’t be allowed to have this much fun at a job. The live audience provides great energy. Our cast, crew and writers are so tremendous. It’s a good time.
Matt LeBlanc: For me, it always starts on the page. You have to have good material. If you don’t have good material, you are already fighting a losing battle. I feel like we have good material and a great group of actors to put that material on its feet. It doesn’t feel like a new show, it feels like a show that’s been on for a while. It’s funny because a lot of the crew is from “Friends” and I’ve known them for years and years. I think we have a group of actors that have a really high standard of work ethic. Everyone is willing to go the extra mile and make sure things are right. I’m proud to be part of that. The focal relationship in the show is Andi and Adam and working with Liza is great. I don’t have to worry about her because she’s a pro. It’s a good time. All we’re trying to do is give people a half hour of escapism and laugh and forget about their problems between 8:30pm-9pm EST on a Monday night.
DS: How have your characters Andi and Adam grown heading into Season Two?
LS: Last year, Andi went back to work and there was a lot of turmoil in the house and everyone was trying to find their new roles. This year, everyone is more settled into their role. I think Andi was struggling with not being around as much. She used to have her hands in everything. I think Andi will have a few struggles not being around for things and not having things done the way she would’ve done them. Now Adam is doing it the way he wants to do it. That never causes any problems!
ML: Adam this year is a little more outspoken on his opinions of how to raise kids today versus how he was raised. He is constantly pointing out the differences in how much easier it was back then to be a parent than it is today.
DS: What is the most difficult part about being a parent today?
ML: Kids today feel like they’re a little more worldly at a young age. They have more resources at their fingertips. They’re harder to outsmart and you can’t pull the wool over their eyes like the wool was pulled over my eyes as a kid. If I wanted to look something up, I had to do that in an encyclopedia! Now kids have a super computer in their hands at all times. It’s interesting how we as a society are adapting to how big of a role technology plays in our lives. It’s a struggle and each generation has their unique set of problems. That’s what Adam struggles with. He struggles with how this generation compares to his parents’ generation.
DS: The new season of “Man With A Plan” premieres tonight. What do you want the audience to walk away thinking after tonight’s episode and after watching this season?
LS: I think the most important thing to us on the show is to take a moment to grab some joy and have some laughs with people who love each other and care about each other. Laughing is the best medicine. That’s what I hope people get out of this.
ML: We’re not dealing with global warming here! We’re a half hour television show that hopes to alleviate some anxiety for people. We want you to come for a half hour and have some laughs and see a bit of yourself as a parent or a child. We try to deal with families and things that people relate to.
DS: Finally, you both have worked many different roles in your careers. What’s the key to having longevity and success in the television industry?
ML: You try to choose good material. If you’re at a party and someone tells you a crappy story, you tend not to listen. If someone is telling you a great story, you’re really focused. You try to choose materials that tell good stories and work with writers that tell good stories. I feel like I’ve been fortunate.
Watch “Man With A Plan” tonight starring Matt and Liza at 8:30pm EST on CBS.