It’s safe to say there wasn’t anything on late 80’s prime time that was quite like Rags to Riches. This unusual one-hour mixture of comedy, drama and music was set in the 60’s and told the story of dapper, wealthy playboy Nick Foley. Our man Nick needed a more respectable appearance to aid his business dealings, so he decided to impress a potential client by adopting a quintet of female orphans.
Rose was the tough leader of the group, Marva was the one with the smart mouth, Diane was the charismatic one, Patty was the tomboy, and Mickey was the youngest one. On the side of discipline was Clapper, the English butler who watched over the girls while trying to keep Nick’s huge mansion in some semblance of order.
Adopted children and English butlers are old sitcom standbys, of course, but at least one element of Rags to Riches was certainly unexpected: The show often veered into bizarre territory in the form of musical interludes. Most episodes featured elaborately choreographed music numbers utilizing classic 60’s pop tunes. In each number, the original lyrics of these songs were replaced with new ones that commented directly of the characters and events of the show.
This offbeat show was a moderate success, despite having its time-slot changed several times and lasted a season-and-a-half. It ended its network run in September of 1988, after which young star Tisha Campbell went go to sitcom success in the 90’s with Martin.
USA / NBC / x50 minute episodes / Broadcast 9 March 1987 – 11 September 1988
Joseph Bologna as Nick Foley
Bridget Michele as Diane Foley
Kimiko Gelman as Rose Foley
Tisha Campbell as Marva Foley
Blanca DeGarr as Patti Foley
Heidi Zeigler as Mickey Foley
Douglas Seale as John Clapper
Clochmerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)
Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochmerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
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