Peacock's Punky Brewster Star Talks Shooting In Front Of A Live Audience Again

Soleil Moon Frye opens up about filming before COVID hit.


Peacock's revival of the '80s sitcom Punky Brewster lands on the streaming service on February 25, and during a presentation for the show, series star Soleil Moon Frye discussed returning to the role and filming before a live studio audience.

The pilot episode of the revival was filmed before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world, so the cast was able to film before a live studio audience. During a presentation for the show at the TCA Winter Press Tour, Frye discussed her feelings about being back in front of an audience. "It felt like lightning in a bottle," Frye said. "There was an energy that was so beautiful and so amazing in the way in which we all came together. You could literally hear a pin drop in the live audience taping because people were so invested, and it felt so incredible. I'm constantly in tears of gratitude to be able to have this dream come true.

"And we were so emotional at the end when we were talking to the audience because we said [that] these are not just characters for us. These are our beings and Punky Power to us is about so much of our rediscovery of self. Then to shoot the rest of the series, during COVID, to really do it in a safe way was so incredible and to keep the authenticity, it was truly magical to see."

Outside of the pilot, the nine episodes in the rest of the first season were filmed during the pandemic. The new series is a continuation of the original '80s sitcom--which followed a young girl being raised by a foster parent. Now, Punky is an adult and has three kids of her own. She meets Izzy (Quinn Copeland), a young girl who is also in the foster system who reminds Punky of herself.

Frye reprises her role and is joined by Cherie Johnson also reprising her role as Cherie. The show also features Freddie Prinze Jr. as Travis, Punky's musician ex-husband. The new series is written by Steve and Jim Armogida (School of Rock), who also serve as executive producers alongside Frye, series creator David Duclon, and Jimmy Fox.

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