Pictured: Paul Reiser as Paul in "The Paul Reiser Show"...

Pictured: Paul Reiser as Paul in "The Paul Reiser Show" Season: 1. Credit: Chirs Haston/NBC/Chirs Haston

Paul Reiser returns to series TV this week (Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on NBC/4) in "The Paul Reiser Show," in which he plays himself (a stay-at-home dad whose most recent series has been off TV for several years). Here are five things you need to know about the "Mad About You" (and "My Two Dads") star:

1. Born in Manhattan, he graduated from the elite Stuyvesant High School.

2. While attending Binghamton University, he founded an on-campus community-theater group.

3. His big film break was 1982's "Diner" -- he reprised his character in a failed 1983 pilot based on the movie that also starred James Spader.

4. He has written two bestsellers: "Couplehood" (1994), about the ups and downs of being in a committed relationship, and "Babyhood" (1997), about his experiences as a first-time father.

5. He has two sons, Ezra Samuel, 15, and Leon, 10.

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