Producer: Jenna Elfman's Accidentally on Purpose No Knocked Up Knock-Off


Yes, the new Jenna Elfman sitcom Accidentally on Purpose is about a career woman in entertainment journalism who finds herself impregnated by an unsuccessful slacker.


But it's not inspired by Knocked Up, executive producer Claudia Lonow said at Monday's Television Critics Association fall TV tour. In fact, it's based on the real life of Time movie critic Mary Pols, who wrote about her unexpected pregnancy in the memoir Accidentally on Purpose: The True Tale of a Happy Single Mother.


"This is based on a true story," Lonow said. "In the book, she even talks about her feelings when the movie Knocked Up comes out."


Lonow noted that the story is more universal than the memoir or the movie: "Those are not the only people who've gotten accidentally pregnant in the world."


Elfman, star of the long-running Dharma & Greg, said she was thrilled to return to a sitcom.


"I thought the character was so refreshing... I loved her wit, which really comes from Claudia and Mary Pols, who wrote the book, is very witty as well. And the subject matter I felt was timely, and it was actually funny," she said. "To have good storytelling that's actually funny and interesting characters, and then to have the casting all happen the way it does - oh my God, it's great."


The CBS fall series also features Jon Foster as the father of Elfman's character's baby and Grant Show as her boss and possible romantic interest. Her friends include Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty) and Lennon Parham, the latest veteran of the Upright Citzens Brigade Theater to break into television.


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