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The Superman Star Who Almost Beat Out Helen Hunt For Her Mad About You Role

For the better part of the 1990s, NBC's long-running sitcom "Mad About You" was the very definition of "must-see TV." Debuting in the fall of 1992, "Mad About You" followed the day-to-day grind of newlywed New Yorkers Paul and Jamie Buchman as they navigated work, love, family, and everything in between. The series was an instant hit with viewers (per Rotten Tomatoes) and became a perennial Emmy Awards player over its original seven-season run. Alongside the likes of "Friends" and "ER, "Mad About You" was a primetime staple for NBC during the era, and remained so until it aired its 1999 finale.

The lead roles of Paul and Jamie Buchman were, of course, played by Paul Reiser (who co-created the series) and Helen Hunt respectively. And it's safe to say the smashing success of "Mad About You" made household names of both stars. That's especially true of Hunt, who parlayed her "Mad About You" breakout into becoming one of the most respected, and in-demand actors of the '90s, eventually even netting an Academy Award for her work in 1996's "As Good As It Gets."

Seems, however, that Helen Hunt almost didn't land the role that made her famous. And the actor who nearly bested her for the "Mad About You" lead indeed found stardom of her own playing Lois Lane to Dean Cain's Superman.

Teri Hatcher almost landed the Mad About You lead over Helen Hunt

Dean Cain was, of course, the small screen Superman of the 1990s, playing the Man of Steel on the ABC hit "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman." As for the Lois to Cain's Superman, she was portrayed by Teri Hatcher over the series' four-season run. As it happens, that run began in 1993, just a year after "Mad About You" debuted on NBC. While "Lois and Clark" didn't earn the critical success or longevity of "Mad About You," both the series and its stars still hold an affectionate place in the cultural zeitgeist of '90s television.

According to The New York Times, however, had things broken Hatcher's way a year prior, she wouldn't have been looking to book "Lois & Clark" at all as she would've been gainfully employed on "Mad About You." And it seems Hatcher was very much in the running to land the role of Jamie Buchman before Hunt got the job. It might be worth noting here that Hunt had already booked several notable film and television roles prior to her "Mad About You" audition, and her elevated profile likely helped her win the role.

Whatever the case, things obviously worked out okay for Hatcher in the end, with the actor earning raves for her work in series like "Seinfeld," "Desperate Housewives," and most recently "Supergirl." And yes, she even became a bonafide Bond girl in 1997's Pierce Brosnan-starring "Tomorrow Never Dies." But to an entire generation of Superman fans, Teri Hatcher will ever be their Lois Lane.