Andrea Martin: Perfect timing for 'Working the Engels'

Andrea Martin (WENN.COM)

Andrea Martin (WENN.COM)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:23 PM ET

Working the Engels is a new Canadian sitcom, but really, if it's Canadian, shouldn't the last word be spelled Eng-LES?

"Like theatre?" asked star Andrea Martin, laughing hard. To be more accurate, Martin bellowed it in a hilariously over-dramatic tone, so it sounded more like, "THEATAAAA?"

Martin continued, "Every time I type that, my Gmail corrects me, and I want to say, 'F--- you, that's how Canadians spell it!' "

Well, as of this moment, Working the Engels - which debuts Wednesday, March 12 on Global - is sticking with its original spelling. "Engel" actually is the surname of the main characters in the show, in which Martin plays the matriarch, Ceil Engel.

With the family patriarch recently having passed away, Ceil is shocked to discover that when her husband died he was $200,000 in debt. The monetary situation inspires youngest daughter Jenna, played by Kacey Rohl, to quit her low-level job at a big law firm and try her hand at running her late father's storefront legal office.

Ceil is keen to help, as are her other children, Sandy, played by Azura Skye, and Jimmy, played by Benjamin Arthur. But Jenna is the only one who has a vague clue as to what she's doing.

So maybe the setup of Working the Engels reminds Martin of the overriding plot in her SCTV days, specifically, incompetent characters trying to run something.

"I think it's slightly different, but that's funny," Martin said. "Jenna actually is really competent. But the other three of us, well, I don't know if it's so much about running a business, although I guess that's a great marketing way to sell the show.

"It's more about the family supporting Jenna. The other three haven't all signed on to be lawyers. Although my character is a paralegal, so she likes to assert her training as much as she can."

Coming off a Broadway musical, Martin said she specifically had been looking to do a sitcom.

"The older I get, the more I set goals for myself, so I had a pro and con list, if you really must know," Martin said. "I list all the things I want to achieve in a year, and sitcom was one of my goals.

"I actually was offered something in Los Angeles that fell through. It was the show with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett (Up All Night) that they were going to try to re-do (with a studio audience, as opposed to single-camera). They had given me the part of Will Arnett's mother, but then it fell apart. This (Working the Engels) had come up before, and I said to my manager, 'I really like this script,' but I was kind of tied to the NBC thing. Then there was talk about me doing Sean Hayes' show (Sean Saves the World).

"But this is the script I actually really liked, because it was written, you know? The other ones were like, 'Well, maybe we'll do this, maybe we'll do that.' So everything just fell into place beautifully."

Now if we only could get that Engels/Engles thing worked out.

"You think more people would watch it?" Martin asked.

Hey, it's TV in 2014. Everything counts, even spelling.

 


Videos

Photos