'Mr. Peterman' has an expanding catalog of roles
Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/28/2000 8:00:00 PM
Playing Seinfeld's oh-so-put-together catalog king, Mr. J. Peterman, John O'Hurley was never at a loss for words. But, starting this fall, O'Hurley may have trouble finding time to talk: He's hosting two new syndicated series (Pearson's game entry 'To Tell the Truth' and PGA Tour-produced sports series 'PGA Tour: Get Golf'), while plugging dozens of products. The guy's also up for a role on 'The Steven Weber Show,' a new NBC series. O'Hurley talked to staff writer Susanne Ault.
Are you aiming for the title 'master of the TV domain?'
King of all media.well, I guess that's already been chosen. It's true that I walk a lot of lines between the advertising world, television and hosting. I'm on kind of all the time now; isn't that funny? So it's a busy time, almost to a fault.
How much do you owe to Mr. Peterman? Did he pave the way for your TV career?
Oh, yeah. Let's suppose I did that character on any other show: Nobody would have watched. It was because the part was on Seinfeld that it drew so much attention and became cult-like.
How did you snag the starring role on 'To Tell the Truth?'
My name had been floated around to the networks [for various projects], beginning with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? ... But I wasn't sure I wanted to get into the game-show arena, even when Millionaire came around. But what I did like was the concept of To Tell the Truth being a game show that you play around with. It's a different sort of show. It's all about content, it's not about money. Hell, we're the worst-paying show on television. It makes it much more appealing to me.
With everything going on in the fall, is there one thing you'd like to see happen?
As much as I say that I don't have time for it, I'd really like to do another sitcom. It's still a genre that I love so much.
Are you hoping your role on 'The Steven Weber Show' pilot is more than a one-shot deal?
Yes, that would be nice. But if not, I'd go somewhere else. But [the show producers] know that, with the timing of everything, I'm kind of whacked out right now. But I would like [for the character to be expanded].
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