It may routinely rank in the top 20 TV shows week after week, but as Mom hits 100 episodes, its stars Anna Faris and Allison Janney are still marveling at the fact that the show ever made it this far.
Ahead of the CBS' comedy's big milestone episode, airing Thursday, Feb. 1, E! News caught up with the dynamic duo as they celebrated the occasion, and the funny ladies made it clear that they never really thought this day would come.
"100 episodes! It's an extraordinary milestone for us because every year, we hope and pray that we get renewed for another season," Janney told us on the red carpet. "Every season, it was a nail-biter for us."
"The first season, I was terrified about getting picked up, so I was like, 'Hey, what are our chances? I don't understand this world. Do we get any clues? Do we get any hints,'" Faris, whose performance as recovering alcoholic Christy Plunkett marked her first foray into series regular television, admitted. "[One of our producers] was like, 'I'm going to be talking to you at season five.'"
As TV legend Chuck Lorre, who co-created the series alongside Gemma Baker and Eddie Gorodetsky, told us, despite his many years at the helm of successful sitcoms, he didn't approach Mom with any certainty that it would see this day. "You're just trying to make the best show you can at the moment. And then the next week, you try and make that one the best show you can do at that time," he explained. "And then you look up and five years have gone by and you've made a hundred of them."
Over the course of the past five seasons, Mom has morphed from a sorta-family comedy centered around Faris' Christy as she navigated being a single mom to daughter Violet (Sadie Calvano) and son Roscoe (Blake Garrett Rosenthal) as she embraced her recovery and welcomed her estranged mother Bonnie (Janney), who's a recovering addict herself, back into her life into a richer exploration of recovery and female friendship, as Christy's family was phased out and Mimi Kennedy, Beth Hall and Jaime Pressly became series regulars as Bonnie and Christy's AA pals Marjorie, Wendy and Jill, respectively. The dedication to the subject matter—and willingness to get dark when necessary—as well as the current cast comprised of women of a certain age has earned the show praise in recent years, and it's also what's kept its stars excited about coming to work 100 episodes later.
"I'm so thrilled because it's one of my favorite jobs. There's nothing better to me, as an actor, than having a steady job. Getting to show up to work every day with people you love to work with," Janney gushed. "I couldn't be prouder of what the show tackles and [am] so happy that we're celebrating this moment tonight."
When asked about her favorite things about the job, Faris started with some praise for her two-time Emmy Award-winning (for this role) co-star. "My co-star, Allison Janney. I love her so much. I'm so lucky I get to work with her," she said. "And also this group of incredibly talented women. We have the most brilliant writers. I love performing live. It's terrifying, I feel my whole body start to shake before we're about to go."
As for what Janney loves about her TV daughter, she admitted it was Faris' willingness to take the lead. "She'd probably say something diferent than me, but for me it's her heart and her generosity and her kindness and her work ethic," she told us. "I like that she leads and gives speeches to the crew. I love that she's leader and I'm just there like, 'How can I help you, my queen?'"
For more from the trio, including what Lorre thought when his leading ladies came in to read for the pilot, be sure to check out the video above!
Mom airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CBS.