'Greek Wedding' to be updated for television series

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

— The hit film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" will get a modern-day makeover when it's transformed into a television series, its star and creator, Nia Vardalos, said.

The movie, which received a People's Choice Award on Sunday for best comedy film and is a Golden Globe nominee, is the basis of the CBS series "My Big Fat Greek Life," debuting next month.

The sitcom will reflect a more contemporary sensibility than the movie's "old world" feel because watching TV is a different experience than watching a movie, Vardalos told the Television Critics Assn.

"In a movie theater, you accept the reality given you. ... When you're in a living room, surrounded by 2003 appliances and your 2003 wife," a show has to be more accessible, she said.

The series also will focus on more than her character's love life, Vardalos said. "You can't just carbon-copy something. We have to be creatively interested in what we're doing," she said.

Vardalos starred in the romantic comedy as Toula, a single woman whose Greek-American family is appalled when she falls for a guy who isn't Greek. The series picks up after their marriage, with Vardalos' character renamed Nia.

"My Big Fat Greek Life" will debut at 8:30 p.m. CST Feb. 24 after the Grammy Awards on CBS, and it will move to its regular 7 p.m. CST Sunday slot March 2.