Few things propel a television show’s momentum as well as a little unconsummated romantic tension: just ask the producers of Cheers, Moonlighting, or The X-Files. Just give us the hope that the leads will end up together, but don’t tell us where, when or how, and the mixture of fascination and frustration will keep us tuning in week after week. With a little help from cute kids and a wisecracking matron, Tony Micelli and Angela Bower turned this principle into a long-running ABC hit, Who’s The Boss?
Tony (played by Tony Danza, in his second of four TV roles so far as a “Tony”) was a widower, father, and former baseball player who got tired of New York City and decided to escape to the suburbs. To do so, he applied for the unlikely job of live-in housekeeper for Angela, a divorced woman living in Connecticut. This household also included Angela’s young son Jonathan and her randy mother Mona. Also added to the mix was Tony’s pre-teen daughter, Samantha (“Sam” to her friends).
Tony took on the job and did it well, and he and Angela slowly (and we do mean slowly) took notice of each other. All too often, we’d see the two approaching the brink of becoming romantically involved, only to get spooked and decide to see other people. Each took on many significant others during the course of the show: the most notable for Angela was Geoffrey Wells, and the most notable for Tony was Kathleen Sawyer. Samantha found several boyfriends, the longest-lasting being Jesse, and even man-hungry Mona got into the act with an on-off boyfriend named Max Muldoon.
Other plot developments had Angela creating her own agency with the help of Mona after being fired from her ad-executive job, and Tony deciding to continue his education with college classes (including an advertising class taught by…you guessed it). When the show’s two child stars grew too old to indulge in kiddie antics (although the pin-up value of Alyssa Milano as a teenaged Sam was a nice trade-off), a new kid named Billy was briefly added to the show in 1990.
Tony and Angela finally admitted their attraction to each other in 1991, after more than six seasons of the ol’ romance tease. But surprisingly, in a departure from standard sitcom send-offs, Who’s the Boss? ended its run in September of 1992 without a wedding. Instead, viewers had to settle for Tony’s college graduation. After living in the same house for eight TV seasons, maybe this “are they or aren’t they” twosome just decided the title question was better left unanswered.
The UK show The Upper Hand is an adaption of this show.
USA / ABC – Hunter-Cohan – Columbia – Embassy / 195×25 minute episode 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast 20 September 1984 – 10 September 1992
Creators: Blake Hunter, Martin Cohan / Executive Producers: Martin Cohan, Blake Hunter, Danny Kallis, Phil Doran, Bud Wiser
Tony Danza as Tony Micelli
Judith Light as Angela Bower
Alyssa Milano as Samantha Micelli
Danny Pintauro as Jonathan Bower
Katherine Helmond as Mona Robinson
Robin Thomas as Geoffrey Wells (1986-1987)
Shana Lane-Block as Bonnie (1986-1992)
Scott Bloom as Jesse Nash (1987-1988)
Rhoda Gemignani as Mrs. Rossini
Jonathan Halyalkar as Billy (age 5) (1990-1991)
Kate Vernon as Kathleen Sawyer (1990)
Doug Ballard as Andy (1990)
Curnal Achilles Aulisio as Hank Thomopalous (1992)
Candy Azzara as Fran Thomopalous (1992)
William Gallo as Al
Vic Polizos as Joe Thomopalous (1992)
Clochemerle (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 Clochemerle 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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