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Fran Drescher: 'The Nanny' is the 'gift that keeps on giving' as younger fans find it

"The Nanny" ended 21 years ago, but young audiences continue to embrace it.
/ Source: TODAY

It's been 21 years since "The Nanny" ended its six-season run on CBS, but the show is possibly more popular than ever!

As star and co-creator Fran Drescher told TODAY Monday, she's well aware of the legion of young fans who've watched it in reruns and even set up adoring Instagram pages devoted to the show, such as "What Fran Wore."

"I feel very grateful that the show continues to be so beloved," she told TODAY's Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, noting that there's even an Instagram account that feature a museum curator who compares her Nanny character's clothes to fine art.

"There are tons of millennials that are obsessed with the show today, and they were either young children while it was originally airing or not even born yet," she continued. "It's the gift that keeps on giving."

The cast of "The Nanny" in 1998, from l.-r.: Madeline Zima, Nicholle Tom, Fran Drescher, Daniel Davis, Benjamin Salisbury(C)CBS / Courtesy Everett Collection

As is Drescher herself, who reunited with her former castmates in April for a virtual pandemic table read of the show's 1993 pilot, and who's been working on a Broadway musical of the show (perfect, since Fran's on-show love interest/boss, Mr. Sheffield, was a Broadway producer).

"It's been a joy for us to be able to write the show again," she said Monday. "You have the opportunity to break out of the small box and use your imagination to create a world that's even bigger and able to do more amazing things than you could have ever done on television."

Including, as she noted, "big musical numbers"! We're kvelling over here.

Fran Fine (Drescher) and Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy) were destined to be more than just employee/employer.(C)CBS / Courtesy Everett Collection

Meanwhile, Drescher, 63, has another big present coming for her fans ... a Christmas present, thanks to her appearance in the groundbreaking Lifetime film "The Christmas Setup." In the upcoming film, she's a mom who tries to set up her son with his high school crush while he's home for the holidays. Sounds like a typical Christmas movie conundrum ... except that her son is gay, and she's trying to set him up with another guy.

"It was such a feel-good movie," she says. "It normalizes having a gay child, which to me is a breakout... It's lovely to see that networks like Lifetime are beginning to normalize this and represent a large population as they really are, so I'm thrilled about that."

In real life, she revealed she's attempted a bit of matchmaking — but is happy to stick with acting as a career. "I'm terrible (at it)," she said, chuckling. "They never like my ideas and I've decided I'm never doing that again. It surprises me that people are so ready to dismiss somebody that I think is wonderful!"

"The Christmas Setup" airs on Lifetime on Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. ET.