1 9 8 1 – 1 9 8 3 (USA)
44 x 30 minute episodes
This NBC series was based on the TV movie Sidney Shorr: A Girl’s Best Friend, about a lonely, middle-aged, gay commercial artist (Tony Randall), scarred by memories of his domineering (deceased) mother.
His life as a “confirmed bachelor” is entered by Laurie Morgan (Swoosie Kurtz) – a perky young actress (she plays a nymphomaniac in a daytime soap opera called As Thus We Are), who also happens to be pregnant and unmarried.
Laurie had originally considered an abortion but Sidney had talked her out of it.
Now, a few years later, a grateful Laurie and her cute young daughter Patti (Kaleena Kiff), moved into Sidney’s eight-room apartment at 136 East 46th Street, Manhattan, where he dotes on the precocious Patti like an indulgent uncle.
Jason Stoller (Chip Zien) was the art director for Sidney’s biggest account, Nancy (Lynne Thigpen) was Jason’s secretary, Judge Harris (Alan North) was one of Sidney’s neighbours, and Mrs Gaffney (Barbara Bryne) his superintendent’s nosey wife, who was also romantically attracted to an uninterested and unresponsive Sidney.
The series caused problems for NBC when the Reverend Donald Wildmon, head of the Coalition for Better Television, complained publicly; “I’m concerned about why NBC decided to identify the man as a homosexual. And why does the woman have to be promiscuous? Why does the child have to be illegitimate? Where is the normal family on TV?”
George Eckstein, the show’s producer, said the homosexual theme was very peripheral to the story. “It is the raison d’etre for why Randall’s character and the woman have a platonic relationship. It really is a story about a man and his surrogate family”.
Judge Mort Harris