FOX Business Network’s Melissa Francis recently launched her own show entitled MONEY with Melissa Francis (weeknights at 5 PM/ET). The program features a breakdown of the day’s top stories and how they impact the American taxpayer.
Melissa opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her new show and passion for business and the economy, growing up as a child actor and working on shows such as Little House on the Prairie and Mork & Mindy, and her sons Thompson, 5, and Greyson, 2, who “are the most handsome boys who have ever lived.”
CBS: What was it like working with TV legend Michael Landon on Little House on the Prairie? Did you enjoy working on that show?
MF: “It was a blast. By the time I joined the show, there had been a million kids on it, so they really had the system down to a science. They knew how to bribe and cajole kids into being cooperative. It was a great way to grow up. I know a lot of people who say they didn’t enjoy being a child actor, but it’s hard to understand. We were always treated so well and had a lot of fun. Plus it taught me the value of working hard and being responsible; you always had to hit your mark and have your lines learned like the adults. I definitely have fond memories.”
CBS: And you worked with Robin Williams on Mork & Mindy! Any funny memories working with him?
MF: “He was incredibly unpredictable. He’d do every take in a wildly different way. The script supervisor had to try to keep track of what was going on and manage continuity, so she thought he was a nightmare, but it sure was entertaining for me. I had a prop teddy bear named Mr. One Eye. The prop guy had to rip his eye out (hence the name) which was traumatizing, but Robin made sure they gave me the bear when the episode was done. I still have it.”
CBS: Rumor has it you’re the inspiration for Avery Jessup on 30 Rock. Fact or fiction?
MF: “Everyone who works for NBC wants to be on that show. It’s hysterical. When I was at CNBC I pitched the show producers an idea about Jack falling for a feisty, conservative blonde business reporter, hoping for a shot. Avery showed up the next season. Could be a coincidence. You be the judge.”
CBS: How did you go from child actor to FOX Business anchor?
MF: “I majored in economics at Harvard, and business and the economy are my passion. I fell in love with news because it’s unscripted, at least in my case. Business news puts all this together. I love my job.”
CBS: Tell us all about your new business show on FOX. What will we learn about the world of business?
MF: “It’s called MONEY with Melissa Francis and airs daily at 5 PM Eastern. I debate and debunk the top money stories of the day. The market, the economy, the intersection of Main Street and Wall Street, the political stories that involve your money. We hit the serious topics hard, but we also have fun. We created a segment called Disagree With Me. It basically saves my mother-in-law the trouble.”
CBS: Do you miss acting? Are you hoping to return one day?
MF: “I don’t miss acting at all. I had a 30 second cameo in The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s new movie. It took a whole day and hours of voice over sessions to complete. I don’t have the patience!”
CBS: Please tell us your kids’ names and ages. What are they into?
MF: “I have two sons: Thompson (5) and Greyson (2). They are the most handsome boys who have ever lived. They are so filled with energy, we are constantly running around, playing soccer, playing tag, and riding scooters. And all that is before we leave our Manhattan apartment. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I look at people who have nice little girls who sit quietly and play with dolls and I wonder what in the world that must be like.”
CBS: How do you balance motherhood and your career?
MF: “I think when you are a working mom, you just feel guilty all the time, no matter what you are doing. When I’m at work, I feel guilty I’m not with my kids, and when I’m with my kids, I feel guilty that I’m not doing my job. I try to let it go and just enjoy what I’m doing since I do really love both. One plus is that when I get home, I really do put my work away and give my kids my undivided attention because we are all so happy to see each other. I’m blessed for sure.”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
MF: “Next? A nap, I hope. Actually I have a book coming out in the fall called Diary of Stage Mother’s Daughter. I dish on everyone, so if you knew me growing up, watch out!”