Connect with us


Alice (CBS 1976-1985, Linda Lavin, Vic Tayback)



“There’s a new girl in town, and she’s lookin’ good,
There’s a fresh freckled face in the neighborhood…”

Let’s get this out of the way right now: Yes, this is the sitcom where the waitress said, “Kiss my grits.” Unfortunately, that’s all some people remember about Alice, but there was much more. Alice was the story of a New Jersey single mother transplanted to a Phoenix diner, but it was also the story of how a Martin Scorsese filmed melodrama turned into one of the most successful sitcoms of the 70’s and 80’s. The Scorsese film was 1974’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, featuring an Oscar-winning performance from Ellen Burstyn as Alice. Linda Lavin took over the lead role for the sitcom, which kept the Arizona setting but upped the comedy quotient.

Alice’s real dream was to become a singer, but to make ends meet for herself and her 12-year-old son Tommy, she took a waitressing job at Mel’s Diner, owned by none other than Mel himself (played by Vic Tayback, the only actor to reprise his film role). The crusty Mel made a mean pot of chili, but he was a bit of a tightwad and quick with the sarcasm. But just as quick with the snips was Alice’s fellow waitress Flo, a Southern-fried redhead with oodles of sass and clever put-downs (such as the aforementioned “Kiss my grits”). The third member of the waitressing trio was mousy Vera, who earned the Mel nickname “dingy” for her klutzy and naïve ways.

Most of the show’s action took place at Mel’s, where the cast of characters was filled out by regulars with names like Andy, Henry, Chuck and Ralph. But no matter who passed through the doors of Mel’s, the real comic interplay was always between the hard-nosed owner and his trio of employees. That kind of workplace banter made Alice a ratings hit, enough so that CBS decided to spin Flo off into her own 1980 series, appropriately titled Flo. Diane Ladd (who had played Flo in the movie version) signed on as Mel’s new waitress, Belle Dupree, that same year.


The new mix worked just as well as the old, and Alice continued to score Top-10 ratings. Ladd left after one season, opening the way for the show’s final waitress co-star, Jolene. At the start of the 1982 season, Mel’s bossy mother Carrie moved in with her son, and life at the diner got even more hectic. Vera eased the pressure by meeting and marrying cop Elliot Novak, but Alice just didn’t have that kind of relationship with off-and-on boyfriend Earl Hicks (Tommy’s basketball coach).

After nine seasons, Alice finally hung up its aprons in 1985, bowing out with a memorable farewell. Mel sold his diner, Vera retired to make time for her impending baby, Jolene decided to open a beauty shop, and Alice finally chased that dream of becoming a singer. Watch out, Nashville—there’s a new girl headed to your town now.

“There’s a new girl in town with a fresh attitude,
She was just passing through,
But if things work out she’s gonna stay awhile…”

production details
USA / CBS – Warner / 202×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 29 September 1976 – 2 July 1985


Creator: Robert Getchell / Producers: Bruce Johnson, Madelyn Davis, Bob Carroll Jnr, Noam Pitlik,

LINDA LAVIN as Alice Hyatt
VIC TAYBACK as Mel Sharples
PHILIP McKEOWN as Tommy Hyatt
BETH HOWLAND as Vera Louise Gorman
POLLY HOLLIDAY as Flo Castleberry (1976-80)
CELIA WESTON as Jolene Hunnicutt (1981-85)
DIANE LADD as Belle Du Pree (1980-81)
MARTHA RAYE as Carrie Sharples (1982-84)
PAT CRANSHAW as Andy (1976-78)
CHARLES LEVIN as Eliot Novak (1983-85)
MICHAEL DURRELL as Nicholas Stone (1984-85)
MARVIN KAPLAN as Henry (1977-85)

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

FBI Most Wanted FBI Most Wanted
News40 mins ago

FBI: Most Wanted, April 23, 2024, CBS, “Bonne Terre”

The intense and gripping FBI: Most Wanted returns with a brand new episode, “Bonne Terre,” airing on CBS on Tuesday,...

Lopez Vs Lopez Lopez Vs Lopez
News40 mins ago

Lopez vs. Lopez, April 23, 2024, NBC, “Lopez vs. Lisa”

The multi-camera comedy series “Lopez vs. Lopez” returns to NBC with a new episode, “Lopez vs. Lisa,” on Tuesday, April...

Crime Nation Crime Nation
News1 hour ago

Crime Nation, April 23, 2024, The CW, “Death in the Ozarks”

The true-crime anthology series “Crime Nation” returns with a new episode, “Death in the Ozarks,” on The CW, Tuesday, April...

Shogun Shogun
News1 hour ago

Shōgun, April 23, 2024, FX, “A Dream of a Dream”

The limited series “Shōgun” has its final episode, “A Dream of a Dream,” airing on FX on Tuesday, April 23,...

The Talk The Talk
News4 hours ago

The Talk, April 23, 2024, CBS, “Lisa Vanderpump, Joy Bryant”

On Tuesday, April 23, 2024, CBS’s The Talk welcomes television personality Lisa Vanderpump and actor Joy Bryant to the show....

Tamron Hall Tamron Hall
News4 hours ago

Tamron Hall, April 23, 2024, ABC, “April Simpkins, Emily Bonani”

On Tuesday, April 23, ABC’s Tamron Hall welcomes mother and mental health advocate April Simpkins, TikTok influencer Emily Bonani, and...

Today with Hoda & Jenna Today with Hoda & Jenna
News4 hours ago

Today with Hoda & Jenna, April 23, 2024, NBC, “Sarah Cooper, Jonathan Knight, Ally Love”

On Tuesday, April 23, NBC’s Today with Hoda & Jenna welcomes comedian Sarah Cooper, New Kids on the Block singer...

Watch What Happens Live Andy Cohen Bravo Watch What Happens Live Andy Cohen Bravo
News4 hours ago

Watch What Happens Live, April 23, 2024, Bravo, “Ally Lewber, Janet Caperna”

On Tuesday, April 23, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen welcomes Ally Lewber, a spiritual astrologer and reality...

Blue Lights Blue Lights
News20 hours ago

Blue Lights, 22 April 2024, BBC One, “Iceberg”

Blue Lights returns with its second series, and in this episode, “Iceberg,” a loyalist gangland feud intensifies, putting pressure on...

BBC Two Logo BBC Two Logo
News20 hours ago

Pompeii: The New Dig Episode 2, April 22, 2024, BBC Two

BBC Two presents the second episode of the documentary series Pompeii: The New Dig, airing on April 22. The episode...

True Crime True Crime
News20 hours ago

Murders at Little Bridge Farm Series Premiere, 22 April 2024, Crime+Investigation UK

The brand-new true-crime documentary series Murders at Little Bridge Farm makes its debut on Crime+Investigation UK, telling the shocking story...

Rhod Gilbert's Growing Pains Rhod Gilbert's Growing Pains
News20 hours ago

Rhod Gilbert’s Growing Pains, 22 April 2024, Comedy Central, “Jessica Knappett, Katherine Ryan”

Rhod Gilbert’s Growing Pains returns with another hilarious episode on Monday 22 April, welcoming Jessica Knappett, Katherine Ryan, and Gok...

Food Network UK Food Network UK
News20 hours ago

Adam Richman Eats Britain, 22 April 2024, Food Network, “Lancashire Hot Pot”

In this mouth-watering episode of Adam Richman Eats Britain, Adam Richman heads out on a culinary journey to Lancashire, where...

Made in Chelsea Made in Chelsea
News20 hours ago

Made in Chelsea, 22 April 2024, E4, Season 27 Episode 3

Made in Chelsea returns with another dramatic episode, airing on E4 on Monday 22 April, as the Chelsea elite navigate...

The Yorkshire Auction House The Yorkshire Auction House
News20 hours ago

The Yorkshire Auction House, 22 April 2024, Really, “Angus Pulls A Cracker”

The Yorkshire Auction House returns with another fascinating episode, “Angus Pulls A Cracker.” In this instalment, airing on Monday 22...

True Crime Generic True Crime Generic
News20 hours ago

Murder Case: The Digital Detectives Episode 2, 22 April 2024, Channel 4

Murder Case: The Digital Detectives returns with another compelling episode, shedding light on the groundbreaking digital techniques that are revolutionising...