1 9 8 6 (USA)
9 x 30 minute episodes
Former advertising copywriter Paula Russell (Bess Armstrong) accomplishes two feats in one day – her “lucky day”, 29 March.
First, she marries Matt Russell (Terence Knox) – the inventor and marketer of Ying Yang Donuts who has a sharp-tongued teenage daughter, Sonia (a scene-stealing performance from 15-year-old Shawnee Smith) – and then she starts a new job as a secretary on a faltering New York-based TV soap opera (called All Is Forgiven) and inadvertently winds up as the producer.
Carol Kane co-starred as the show’s head writer, Southern belle Nicolette Bingham. The other characters were all associated with the soap opera, with Judith-Marie Bergan as the diva, Cecile Porter-Lindsey who plays the evil Serena in the soap, and Sherry Levy (Debi Richter) who plays Coral.
Paula works for the always-unseen Mrs Fontaine, the show’s owner, who is only an uncredited voice on the telephone. Lorraine Elder (Valerie Landsburg) is the station receptionist.
Two pilots were shot and discarded, and – despite superior script-writing – the genuinely warm and funny show (which was created by former Taxi producers Howard Gewirtz and Ian Praiser) did not rate well, and NBC pulled the series after nine episodes to make room for the insipid Cheers spin-off, The Tortellis.
Paula Winters Russell
David Alan Grier