From CBS' "Early Show" 5/09/2000

Thanks, Bryant. Emmy Award-winning actress Amy
Brenneman is wearing many hats these days as creator,
executive producer and star of her very own hit TV series,
"Judging Amy."

(Excerpt from "Judging Amy," courtesy Twentieth
Century Fox)

CLAYSON: Amy Brenneman, good morning.

Ms. AMY BRENNEMAN ("Judging Amy"): Good morning
to you.

CLAYSON: Nice to see you. And congratulations on the

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Thank you so much.

CLAYSON: Creator, executive producer, lead actor, all of
this based on your mom, right?

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Right. Right.

CLAYSON: How did that come about?

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Well, I hadn't done television in a little
while, and I thought if I'm going to do it, like why not, you
know, get in on the ground floor? And my mom actually
had this idea years ago. She's a juvenile court judge and

CLAYSON: And the second female judge in Connecticut.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: That's right. That's right. And she said,
'You know, why doesn't anybody do law shows about
juvenile justice?' And she's right. Nobody ever had.

CLAYSON: You say you depend on your mom because
she is so "un-Hollywood," right? She just sticks to the
script, you know. It's got to be this way, right?

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Yeah. Yeah. She is a real stickler for
details and it's very important to her to get all the details
right about the law. And, you know, every once in a while,
I have to remind her like it is television, it is entertainment,
it's OK. But we've gotten really great feedback from
judges and social workers and lawyers who appreciate
how--how truthful it is.

CLAYSON: She works on the show as an adviser as well.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Yes. She's my--she's my personal
technical adviser.

CLAYSON: You say you get a different sort of a
recognition level now, different from movie-making.
People really identify with you differently.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Yeah. It's--it's very intimate; I think
partly the--the simplicity of the name. You know, people
come right up to me. And...

CLAYSON: Yeah. You're Amy. She's Amy on the show.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Everything's Amy. You know, got it.

CLAYSON: She's the same person. Yeah.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: And I think just the nature of television.
I mean, you know this--it's--it's very intimate. You're in
people's, you know, living rooms, you're dealing with
things they're dealing with. It's not sort of up on a, you
know, 50-foot screen.

CLAYSON: Why do you think the show has caught on?

Ms. BRENNEMAN: I--I don't know. I think it's the
combination of--of the law that people haven't seen
before. I think that issues with children are really in the
news every day, and I think...

CLAYSON: But you didn't think it was going to do so well.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: I did not think it was going to do so

CLAYSON: You were skeptical.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: I was skeptical. I figured, well, I--I--lots
of things I like nobody likes, so I figured I--my
expectations were low.

CLAYSON: Does it feel good to be up against and
regularly beating "NYPD Blue," a show you were on and
won an Emmy on?

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Yeah. It--it feels wonderf--I mean, it
feels wonderful that we both have our audiences. And I
think--you know, I think people were expecting sort of
battle of the titans, but, we--you know, there's an audience
for both of us.

CLAYSON: We asked our view--our viewers--invited
viewers to send in questions. We got a lot of them for you,
Amy Brenner--Amy Brenneman.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Oh, no.

CLAYSON: And this is one--one is from Texas. We need to
ask you--our viewer writes, 'How do you keep such a
busy schedule and when do you find time for any

Ms. BRENNEMAN: I have no hobbies anymore.

CLAYSON: Well, that answers that.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: I stroke my dog and I talk to my
husband when I come home. That's pretty much it.

CLAYSON: It must be grueling, though.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: It is grueling. Yeah. That's been the big
adjustment. The days are, you know, 15-, 16-hour days
every day. And that's been the big, big life change, for

CLAYSON: Your husband directed you in "NYPD Blue."

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Right. He did, and then in his movie
"Casper" and then he directed the pilot of this. He got us
on the air. So it's definitely a family affair.

CLAYSON: Another viewer asks, 'Beyond your mom,
what kind of research did you do to prepare for your role
in "Judging Amy," because you're so convincing?'

Ms. BRENNEMAN: N--not a thing. I--I really ripped off her
style on the bench, actually. I--she--she says that I'm
much more harsh than she is, but I--I think--I think she's
wrong. I am basically--it's really her style on the bench, I
have to say.

CLAYSON: No kids yet?

Ms. BRENNEMAN: No kids yet. No.

CLAYSON: And big summer plans?

Ms. BRENNEMAN: I think I'm going to go to Bali, actually. I
think I'm just going to kick back.

CLAYSON: Oh, gosh, take me with you.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Yeah. I'm going to get out of Dodge for
a while.

CLAYSON: That sounds great.


CLAYSON: Well, good luck with the show, and thanks for
getting up early this morning.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Thanks so much. It's a pleasure.

CLAYSON: It's a--it's a big hit. Yeah. Thanks, Amy.

Ms. BRENNEMAN: Thank you.