The comedian-actor-producer’s FOX series, in which he shows the organizing and aftermath of flash mobs for various events — some joyous, others potentially heartbreaking — makes a big return this week, with two of its five new episodes airing both Wednesday (Jan. 2) and Thursday (Jan. 3).
“I’m really excited about it,” Mandel tells Zap2it. “I have a production company and we do a lot of shows, most of which I don’t host. I just shot another pilot for another network, but ‘Mobbed’ is a show that I love, and nobody’s as excited about it coming back as I am.”
“Mobbed” is just one element of Mandel’s ongoing TV career. He’s uncertain about returning as a judge in NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” this summer, which he says is more the network’s decision than his, noting he’d be happy to continue. Also, he recently followed his “Deal or No Deal” game-show-hosting success with the one-week run of “Take It All,” which NBC also has yet to decide the future of.
Mandel and the network began their relationship with “St. Elsewhere,” the much-acclaimed 1980s hospital drama on which he provided comic relief as Dr. Wayne Fiscus. Though co-star Denzel Washington wasn’t available, much of the show’s cast reunited several months ago for an Entertainment Weekly photo shoot.
Recalling the occasion as “amazing,” Mandel explains, “I got thrown out of school, so I didn’t have a great social life and had never had a reunion. That’s the only reunion I’ve ever been part of in my entire life, and it was so sweet, so great just to see everybody.”
With Gwyneth Paltrow‘s late father Bruce as an executive producer, “St. Elsewhere” also featured Mark Harmon, David Morse, Ed Begley Jr. and William Daniels (who was seen recently on another medical drama, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy”). “I think I can speak for almost everybody there,” Mandel reflects, “that the series was the biggest life-changing moment for us. All of us, including Denzel, didn’t have anything bigger going on.
“That got us all the most notoriety and the most exposure, and I think we didn’t realize how good it was until it was gone. There aren’t a lot of series with that consistency of writing, and to come back together 30 years later, we could all talk about that time and how great it was. And who would think it’s been 30 years?”