Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence Team Up for New Sitcom After 30-Year Friendship

Sitcom veterans Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence have reunited to star in a new romantic comedy on ABC Family, which premieres Tuesday.

The duo stopped by’s “The Strategy Room” to talk about the new project “Melissa and Joey,” and their 30-year friendship.

In the show, Hart plays a reformed party girl who is now working as a local politician and raising her teenage niece and nephew, she told host Laura Ingle. Lawrence plays a victim of the financial crisis who is now out of work after an investment deal went sour. When he begins staying with her and helping her raise the kids, sparks fly between the two.

The idea came out of the pair’s successful TV movie, “My Fake Fiance,” which earned more than 3 million viewers.

“We were both big fans of the old sitcoms,” Hart said. “We’d already done a movie together, which will air before the show and we enjoyed doing the move, we felt the chemistry, the network agreed and the network had a show in place that they wanted to do.”

“We had some characters we wanted to play … (coming) back to that medium, the half hour comedy,” Lawrence added.

Both Lawrence and Hart built their careers in the sitcom arena, with Hart on “Clarissa Explains It All” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” Lawrence appeared on “Gimme a Break,” “Blossom” and “Brotherly Love.”

As for the aptly titled program, the stars told Ingle that the idea came from the network.

Lawrence said it was keeping in the tradition of other successful self-titled sitcoms like “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne,” and “Seinfeld.”

“We were sold,” he said.

“Melissa and Joey” premieres on ABC Family Tuesday night at 8 p.m. EST/ 7 CST.