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Welcome to Toledo, OH – my hometown. This is my councilwomen, Mel Burke; she’s half of the newly married couple, Melissa & Joey.
You probably know that’s not Mel Burke, but instead, Melissa Joan Hart. She plays Mel Burke on ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey but the show is set to take place in my hometown of Toledo, OH! We even talked about their new “You’ll Do Better In Toledo” shirts they’ll be sporting on the show this season.
While in LA recently for the screening of Disney’s Into The Woods, we had the opportunity to stop by the sets of ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy.
About: Melissa & Joey is a half-hour comedy that follows Mel, the grown-up former wild child of a political family, who is now a local politician herself. When her sister ends up in prison and her brother-in-law flees after a scandal hits, Mel must take responsibility for her teenaged niece, Lennox, and nephew, Ryder. Help comes in the unlikely form of Joe, who moves in and becomes the family’s manny.
The series stars Melissa Joan Hart as Mel, Joey Lawrence as Joe, Taylor Spreitler as Lennox and Nick Robinson as Ryder.
On The Set Of ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey
It’s an absolutely surreal moment when you walk onto the set of a television show you watch. It seems smaller, you notice details you might have missed before, and you get to shake hands with a few of your favorite 90s sitcom stars.
During our time on the set, we were able to meet a few of the cast members of Melissa & Joey, including Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence. They were so fun and so accommodating, taking time to answer questions, allowed us to take photos of the set, and even took selfies with all 25 of us.
Yes, those are real flowers. I smelled them, after I touched them and broke a petal off. Here’s something you don’t think of until you’re on a television set – had they been shooting an actual episode, moving anything could disrupt the continuity of the details on the set.
Melissa & Joey was only in rehearsals, but it’s small details like such as the location of the flower pot, or where a cup is placed, that could affect the way a set operates during filming.
Just moving things around could be very distracting for the audience, especially for those who watch the show regularly. Imagine working on a set and constantly worrying about these small details. We watched as they rehearsed a shot where Taylor Spreitler, who plays Lennox, is having a conversation with Melissa, played by Melissa Joan Hart. As she’s talking she walks to the table to a plate of pancakes and begins to eat them.
Seems simple enough, right? But, Taylor brought up the fact that the audience might wonder from where the pancakes came, or how she would know they were there. In the same scene, Melissa discusses with the crew two lines that are similar enough that she’s mixing them up; should they change them and do they make sense arranged how they are?
Something else that’s fun when you’re visiting a set? Finding products that you use in your own home. A few of the girls and I are noticed a set of nested mixing bowls – one of us had the same set at home! I had that OXO salad spinner (it broke when we moved), and I’ve been looking for canisters just like the ones found here! We also noticed what looked like a KitchenAid blender down there. A few of us have that, as well.
While most of these items are simply props and maybe never used on the show, it’s fun to see things you recognize or have used!
It’s fun details like these that make a set a home – or, at least, feel like a home. Wonder what books Melissa & Joey read? I found these on the bookshelf in their on-set living room. Perhaps they never read them, but it’s fun to sort of peek into their world. Which one of these have you read?
Did you know that Melissa & Joey is a multiple-camera sitcom as opposed to a single-camera setup? This means that multiple cameras are filming the same shot at the same time; one might be shooting a broad shot of the whole set while the other two are each shooting a close-up of one or more of the show’s stars. This creates a more efficient shooting process because scenes are shot more quickly and there’s less editing and re-shooting.
For more on-the-set fun, this week we’ll post our interviews with Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence and we’ll feature more photos from the set of ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey!
Tune into ABC Family when Melissa & Joey returns on Wednesday, 1/14 at 8:00pm EST. We actually previewed the season premier and – though I can’t tell you much because I’ve been sworn to secrecy – it’s so funny! There are definitely some surprises coming! And, we were there to see Greer Grammar – Kelsey Grammer’s daughter and Miss Golden Globe 2015 – getting ready for her Melissa & Joey debut!
Be sure to also follow the #ABCFamilyEvent hashtag to see other exclusive set photos and interviews from the other bloggers that visited with me.