When creator/executive producer Dana Klein introduces the CBS mid-season sitcom, Friends With Better Lives (debuting March 31, 9pm) to a gathering of television journalists, she confirms the series is inspired by her own life. Klein, who is married with three young children, recalls a visit from a former classmate from Duke University who was single. Klein remembers feeling sorry for her single friend for not having someone to share her life. Then, a month later, her friend calls her to tell her she is going off on a romantic getaway with her new boyfriend – a 6’3” former football player from Duke.
“I envied her,” Klein admits. “And it got me thinking that’s sort of what friendship is; it’s this constantly moving pendulum between pity and envy, and of course, with the undercurrent of love, because if these friends didn’t love each other, then the pity and the envy wouldn’t be as funny. Friends With Better Lives takes a really honest look at friendship and how it is impossible not to compare ourselves to our friends, especially now with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. I can barely open my computer without feeling like I failed in a million different ways. Someone’s got the perfect family, perfect kids, perfect job, perfect body. It’s human nature to want what we don’t have.”
“Oh how I can relate to this,” states Majandra Delfino, the ALMA Award-winning Venezuelan-born actress/singer who first gained national acclaim as a series regular on WB Networks’ Roswell (1999-2002). She now portrays Andi, happily married to Bobby, with a toddler and another baby on the way. Majandra reveals, “It’s uncanny, just the similarities between my life and Andi’s life. She is always pushing her friends Zoe and Brooklyn to have babies. I get it. You kind of want to drag people down with you. But mostly, she is grateful she has the best life there could be as a wife and mother.”
Delfino – the younger sister of actress Marieh Delfino – has certainly experienced the highs and lows of single and married life. Born in Caracas and raised in Miami, she first gains notice portraying Maria DeLuca on Roswell when she was 18. She goes on to enjoying guest star status on Traffic, The Secret Life of Girls, The Tony Danza Show and others. She loses to Mena Suvari for the role of Angela Hayes in the 1999 film American Beauty after expressing serious distaste with having to kiss Kevin Spacey onscreen. In 2001, she is starring with Raven-Symoné in the show State of Georgia on the ABC Family. Along the way, Delfino establishes a promising vocal career, releasing her second album, Tarte, in 2007. In 2011, she marries actor David Walton. They have two children: daughter Cecilia, born in June 2012 and Louis Augustus, born in November 2013.
Delfino chuckles and confides, “You know, my husband sort of squashed my dreams of being a singer. He tells me that I sing funny. Actually, once Cecilia, my 1 1/2‑year‑old was born, my singing career kind of went out the window. I produce all of it myself in my home and that’s kind of hard to do with a toddler and all that. But that has been my choice. It gets a little sticky at times. I’ll get a text from a girlfriend who’s traveling and doing something fantastic, and I’m trying so hard not to write back, ‘Take me with you.’ But such is life. You can’t be in two places at one time. And I am delighted to be sitting here today talking about our upcoming TV series.”
Friends With Better Lives stars James Van Der Beek, Kevin Connolly, Majandra Delfino, Brooklyn Decker, Rick Donald and Zoe Lister Jones. Executive producers are Klein and Aaron Kaplan.