Editor's note: We are scheduled to interview Melissa McCarthy on Monday. Our story from that interview will be posted later that day.
Melissa McCarthy, a Plainfield native who's gone on to star in a series of movies and television shows, has landed her biggest role to date: the lead in the new CBS comedy, Molly and Mike, which debuts at 8:30 p.m. Monday.
McCarthy plays Molly, a fourth-grade teacher who finds romance at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting when she meets Chicago cop Mike Biggs (Billy Gardell). The story lines revolve around the couple's efforts to lose weight while Mike deals with teasing from his partner Carl McMillan (Reno Wilson) and Molly must live with her svelte mother and sister (Katy Mixon and Swoosie Kurtz), who never gain weight despite what they eat.
The show is executive produced by Chuck Lorre and Mark Roberts, who also produced the wildly successful Two and a Half Men. It's garnered some good reviews, 3 and a half stars from People magazine, and some criticism ("I believe that this new wave of entertainment focusing on those that are overweight will do nothing except showcase human flaws for the sole purpose of profiteering," education expert Dr. Janet R. Wojtalik told Foxnews.com).
Until her Molly role, McCarthy has been a supporting actress, starring first as Sookie St. James for seven seasons on the Gilmore Girls and then as Dena on Samatha Who? which ran from 2007 to 2009.
More recently, she had a role in the Jennifer Lopez movie The Back-up Plan, which came out earlier this year, and will be seen next month in Life As We Know It, which stars Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. Another movie in which she appears, The Bridesmaids with Maya Rudolph and Jon Hamm, will be released next year.