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TV

It’s A Living (ABC – Syndicated 1980-1989, Ann Jillian)

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When Three’s Company found long-term success with a mixture of wacky comedy and sultry sex appeal, other shows picked up on the trend. Many tried to get this blend right, but few were successful. A notable exception to this rule was It’s A Living, a good-natured sitcom that skillfully blended hilarity and ‘jiggle’ elements to rack up a lengthy run both on a network and in syndication.

It’s A Living focused on five lovely waitresses who worked at a posh restaurant housed in a high-rise hotel (Los Angeles’ Bonaventure Hotel was used as a location). They were a mixed bag of personalities and ambitions: Cassie was the gutsy and outspoken member of the group, Vicki was the innocent young waif, Susan was the veteran waitress, Jan was the hard-working student and mother, and Dot dreamed of being an actress. Presiding over the gaggle of lovely lasses was Nancy, the staff supervisor who had a flair for discipline. Rounding out the cast and providing comic relief were Mario, the restaurant’s chef, and Sonny Mann, the smarmy cocktail pianist who delivered all the sleazy one-liners.

The show divided its time evenly between the waitresses’ battles of wits with the restaurant’s often-snooty clientele and the ladies’ catty chatter, which included some lascivious banter about their romantic lives. The multi-talented Ann Jillian, a Tony award winning singer and dancer, provided many a highlight as Cassie. There was also plenty of eye candy on display, since the waitress staff spent most of their time scampering around in deliciously revealing outfits. The end result was a show that balanced laughs and sex appeal in equal measure.

The show successfully finished its first season and returned the next year with two new characters: Dennis, a replacement for Mario, and Maggie McBurney, a sharp-witted waitress. The revised show also had a new title: Making A Living. This new version lasted another season before ending its ABC run in the fall of 1982.

After that, the show remained dormant for three years before returning in syndicated form in 1985. It returned to the It’s A Living title and mixed cast members from the previous version with some new additions. Most notable were the two new waitresses: the sweet but naïve Amy and the tough but likable Ginger. Supervisor Marion also received an able comic foil in Howard, a sarcastic customer whom her character would marry later in the show’s run.

In a novel twist, the syndicated version of It’s A Living outlasted the network version, spending four years in first-run syndication before winding down in the fall of 1989. Since then, many of its cast members have gone to impressive later work: Crystal Bernard racked up an impressive run on the hit sitcom Wings, and Ann Jillian survived a bout with breast cancer to become a popular motivational speaker.

production details
USA / ABC – Syndicated / x25 minute episodes / Broadcast 30 October 1980 – 10 September 1980 (ABC) and September 1985 – September 1989 (Syndicated)

Theme Vocal: It’s a Living by Leslie Briscusse

cast
Susan Sullivan as Lois Adams
Barrie Youngfellow as Jan Hoffmeyer
Ann Jillian as Cassie Cranston
Wendy Schaal as Vickie Allen
Crystal Bernard as Amy Tompkins
Sheryl Lee Ralph as Ginger St. James
Louise Lasser as Maggie McBirney
Gail Edwards as Dot Higgins
Marian Mercer as Nancy Beebee
Paul Kreppel as Sonny Mann
Richard Stahl as Howard Miller
Richard Kline as Richard Grey
Bert Remsen as Mario; the chef

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TV

Copper’s End (ITV 1971, Bill Owen, Josephine Tewson)

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Sitcom Coppers End was very much from the Will Hay  (and Ask A Policeman in particular) school of comedy; When the series began the boys at the station led by Sergeant Stan Short, had the art of doing nothing down to a tee, so much so that they were even able to hire out their squad car for all manner of weddings, driving lessons and even stock car racing. All until the arrival of the super efficient W.P.S. Penny Pringle that is.

cast
BILL OWEN as Sgt Sam Short
RICHARD WATTIS as PC Eddie Edwards
GEORGE MOON as PC Chipper Collins
JOSEPHINE TEWSON as WPS Penny Pringle
ROYCE MILLS as PC Dinkworth
GEORGE MOON as Ch Supt Ripper

crew details
Creator: Ted Willis
Producer: Shaun O’Riordan
Director: John Sichel

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – ATV
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 19 February – 14 May 1971

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TV

Conjugal Rights (ITV 1993-1994, Gwen Taylor, Michael Williams)

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Conjugal Rights

Sitcom Conjugal Rights detailed the ups and downs of middle-class, middle-aged married couple Gen and Barry.

cast
GWEN TAYLOR as Gen
MICHAEL WILLIAMS as Barry
STEPHEN MOORE as Philip
CORDELIA BUGEJA as Gillian
MAGGIE HENDERSON as Pam
WARREN MITCHELL as Voice of Toby the Dog (Season 1)
CHRIS ELLISON as Voice of Toby (Season 2)

crew details
Writer: Roger Hall
Producers: Humphrey Barclay, Justin Greene

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – Granada – Humphrey Barclay
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 16 April 1993 – 17 June 1994

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Christmas Story, A (Fox 2017, Maya Rudolph, Matthew Broderick)

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A Christmas Story Fox 2017

A three-hour live television event, inspired by the holiday classic feature “A Christmas Story” and the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production “A Christmas Story: The Musical.”

Executive-produced by award-winning film, television and theater producer Marc Platt (“Grease: Live,” “La La Land”). The epic adaptation is filmed at the historic Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.

cast
Maya Rudolph as Mother Parker
Matthew Broderick as Ralphie as an Adult
Jane Krakowski as Miss Shields
Chris Diamantopoulos as Old Man Parker
Santino Fontana as Off Camera Vocalist
Ana Gasteyer as Mrs. Schwartz
Andy Walken as Ralphie Parker
Laura Dickinson as Off Camera Vocalist
Sacha Carlson as Scut Farkus
Jessica Fontana as Off Camera Vocalist
Abigail Dylan Harrison as Louise
Artyon Celestine as Richie
Sammy Ramirez as Schwartz
Elie Samouhi as Grover Dill
Chris Mann as Off Camera Vocalist

crew details
Writers and Executive Producers: Jonathan Tolins, Robert Cary
Executive Producers: Marc Platt, Adam Siegel, Alex Rudzinski
Director and Executive Producer: Scott Ellis

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Fox – Warner Horizon Television
Duration: 1×180 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 17 December 2017 at 7.00pm

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