1 9 7 7 (USA)
4 x 60 minute episodes
This innovative four-episode variety show-cum-sitcom from NBC starred three beautiful, talented newcomers: dancer Debbie Allen, singer Ellen Foley, and comic Mimi Kennedy.
Each episode featured an actual variety show, along with the backstage goings-on – showing the glamour out front and the anxieties and tackiness behind the scenes.
It was a ground-breaking concept at the time, and one mastered by The Larry Sanders Show some years later.
The pilot episode aired in March 1977. The writing was sharp, the musical numbers were energetic, and the three stars were extremely talented and personable.
The show featured a genuinely hilariously funny and note-perfect segment where the three girls appeared as maids, mocking their bosses: Diana Ross, Helen Reddy and Barbra Streisand. They also nailed Charlie’s Angels (“Maybe we could do something crazy, like put on clothes for a change”.)
While critics raved about the show (calling it “fresh, lively and original” and “the slickest property NBC had unearthed in ’77”), the network pulled it after the pilot and reinstated Don Rickles in CPO Sharkey. The remaining three episodes eventually aired in June.
Guest stars included Steve Martin, Tony Curtis, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Florence Henderson, Flip Wilson, and Carl Reiner.
Mimi Kennedy played Greg’s mother on Dharma and Greg (1997 – 2002).