Mom: TV opular Series, Starring Oscar Nominee Allison Janney and Anna Faris

When Mom premiered in 2013, the mother-daughter duo of Christy and Bonnie Plunkett had been estranged for years after Bonnie (Allison Janney) had neglected her daughter in her childhood, due to addiction, which was then a cycle repeated by Christy (Anna Faris).

Tension was high from the start, with both characters “extremely flawed,” says co-creator and exec-producer Gemma Baker.

Hopeful Show

“People assume we started ‘Mom’ with a desire to do a show about mother-and-daughter relationship, but our starting place was the word ‘redemption,’” Baker says. “watching characters completely turn their lives around over the course of the series. The whole point of ‘Mom’ was to make a show that would give people hope.”

Casting Crucial:

Faris had specialized in comedy since she played in the Wayans brothers launch the “Scary Movie” franchise in 2000.  In 2004 she had a recurring guest-star arc on the final season of Warner hit, “Friends” and then played a version of herself in HBO’s comedy “Entourage.” But it wasn’t until “Mom” in 2013 that she got her first starring TV comedy role.

“There’s something about Anna as a human being that makes you care and root for her. You want her to succeed in life,” says co-creator and exec producer Chuck Lorre.  “She’s a very skilled actress and she can do comedy and she can do the dramatic moments and she can do slapstick and the whole range of acting. But beyond that, just [as a] person [she] is very empathetic.”

Faris was the first person cast when CBS ordered the pilot for the 2013-14 TV season. She was cast as Christy Plunkett at the end of January, when the producers tried to find an actress to balance with Faris for the role of her mother.

Janney had appeared in comedy films like “Drop Dead Gorgeous” and “10 Things I Hate About You,” as well as sitcoms including “Frasier.” But she was better known for her dramatic turns, her Emmy-winning performance as CJ Cregg in “The West Wing,” when she was cast in the role of Bonnie.