Mom follows Christy Plunkett (Anna Faris), a single mother who, after dealing with her battle with alcoholism and drug abuse, decides to restart her life in Napa, California's wine country working as a waitress and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Her mother Bonnie Plunkett (Allison Janney) is also a recovering drug and alcohol addict. Christy's 17-year-old daughter Violet (Sadie Calvano), who was born when Christy was 16, has herself become a teen mother by her boyfriend Luke. Christy also has a younger son Roscoe by her ex-husband Baxter, a deadbeat but likeable pothead.
Cast and characters
Anna Faris as Christy Plunkett, a single mother who has gone a year without drinking and is still struggling with addiction. Now sober, she tries to regain the trust of her daughter Violet, who is revealed to be pregnant herself in the first episode. Christy also has a younger son, Roscoe, and strives to be a good example to him. As if that were not enough, she is also trying to iron out the rough edges in her relationship with Bonnie, her mother, who never learned to play her role well, and who would rather go out and drink than baby-sit. Christy later finds out about her biological father, who was an old boyfriend of Bonnie's that ran out upon finding that she was pregnant. Christy finds the man, a now-married father of two sons, running an auto repair shop in Chico, California.
Allison Janney as Bonnie Plunkett, Christy's mother, a joyful, peaceful recovering addict who is now grateful with life. She tries desperately to regain the love and trust of her daughter, whom she was unable to properly nurture as a child. A single mother, she preferred to party and drink rather than stay home. With time and much therapy, Bonnie managed to find the balance and now wants to catch up, revealing to Christy her past, including who her real father is and how to find him, and her past side career as a drug dealer.
Sadie Calvano as Violet Plunkett, Christy's eldest daughter and half-sister of Roscoe. Violet is a girl genius, hardworking, smart and sure of herself, though upset with her mother, who never had time to take care of her children and failed to fulfill a true motherly role despite now being sober for some time. After having her boyfriend Luke's baby, Violet made the decision to give up her baby for adoption because she felt that this was the best way to break her family's repeated cycle of poor life choices and give her child a better chance than she, her mother, or her grandmother ever had, even though it broke her heart.
Blake Garrett Rosenthal as Roscoe, Christy's youngest son by Baxter, and half-brother of Violet. Unintelligent, bratty and simplistic even for his age, he loves and idolizes his father, even if he is not the best example to follow.
Spencer Daniels as Luke, a young student who loves to enjoy life and adventure. He had been dating Violet for a little over a year, and got her pregnant. Luke is considerably airheaded, smoking marijuana often, but always tries to prove to Christy that he is not as crazy as he appears: he seems to genuinely love Violet, staying beside her and supporting her throughout her pregnancy, and he is often more sensitive towards Christy than her own children are, perhaps because his parents are right-wing religious extremists who he does not connect with.
Matt L. Jones as Baxter, Christy's ex-husband, and the father of Roscoe. Sweet and charming, but very unstable, he is unable to maintain a serious relationship or steady work for much longer than a month. Loves life easy, and always gets into fraudulent deals to make money. Despite his flaws, he is a loving father who usually comes through for his son.
Nate Corddry as Gabriel, the manager of the restaurant where Christy works. Married to a domineering woman who scares him somewhat, Gabriel keeps a secret relationship with Christy which Christy later ends but which Gabriel himself frequently and desperately tries to renew. He is a hardworking, competent manager, but often put in his place by his subordinates, particularly Chef Rudy.
French Stewart as Chef Rudy, the head chef for the restaurant where Christy works as a waitress. A dominant and difficult self-made genius, Rudy acts superior in his relationships with others. He is boastful and arrogant, often yelling at his subordinates without mincing words, and will not hesitate to humiliate anyone who opposes him. He is secretive about his past and distant from people, but briefly dates Bonnie at one point: during this time, he is revealed to be a fetishist with expensive tastes and hobbies who enjoys stealing food from the restaurant.
Mimi Kennedy as Marjorie Armstrong (season 2, recurring previously), an old friend-turned-enemy-turned-friend-again of Bonnie, who meets Christy at AA and they become great friends. She has had many problems with alcohol and drugs in the past, and is now facing a greater threat after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Justin Long as Adam Henchy: A civil engineer who becomes Christy's first boyfriend since her becoming sober. Christy later breaks up with him in a nervous fit after attempting to hold off any sexual interaction in favour of a committed emotional relationship.
Octavia Spencer as Regina Tomkins: A fellow AA member and money manager who embezzled from her clients and is now facing a prison sentence. While a close if questionable friend to Christy, Regina and Bonnie typically hold each other in contempt, but beneath the surface they bear some affection for each other.
Kevin Pollak as Alvin Biletnikoff: Christy's father and Bonnie's ex-boyfriend who abandoned them when Christy was born. Despite his being married with two sons, he loves Christy and does what he can to be in her life and help out, even attempting to reach out to Christy's children as a grandparent. He and Bonnie typically treat each other with contempt and hatred over the various mistakes each of them has made in their past, but they do appear to still retain some affection towards one another.
Courtney Henggeler as Claudia: Gabriel's wealthy and snobbish wife, who nevertheless appears to be miserable about his "supposed" infidelity.
Reggie de Leon as Paul: Chef Rudy's silent and often submissive sous-chef.
Development and production
Mom was one of the many projects that became a priority for CBS and Warner Bros when it was pitched in December 2012, in part due to Lorre's new four-year deal with Warner the previous September. It was green-lit by CBS for a series order pickup on May 9, 2013. This pickup also gives Lorre the distinction of having 4 sitcoms airing on one network starting in the 2013–14 season. The following week, the network announced that it would place the sitcom in the Monday night 9:30 pm (ET/PT) time slot following 2 Broke Girls. However, after the cancelation of We Are Men, 2 Broke Girls was moved into the show's 8:30 pm slot, with repeats of The Big Bang Theory occupying the 9 pm lead-in time slot to Mom until the season debut of Mike & Molly on November 4, 2013. The show received a full first season order for 22 episodes on October 18, 2013.
On March 13, 2014, CBS announced the second season renewal of Mom.
The series gives Faris, who had guest-starred in various television programs between her film projects and been sought-after for other television projects (including a failed pilot called Blue Skies that was being produced for NBC), her first full-time television role, as she landed the part of the lead character, Christy, in January 2013. On January 28, 2013, Janney was next to come aboard the project, playing Christy's mother. Matt Jones and Spencer Daniels were added to the cast in February 2013, with Jones playing Christy's ex-husband, Baxter, and Daniels taking the role of Luke, the boyfriend of Christy’s daughter, Violet.