1 9 8 2 (USA)
3 x 30 minute episodes
1 9 8 4 (USA)
10 x 30 minute episodes
This abrasive CBS sitcom starred Lila Kaye as Renata Malone, a widowed Italian-American housewife who hosted a live cooking show from her home in a fourth-floor apartment in Brooklyn. Renata had been married to an Irish-American cop, hence the surname ‘Malone’ – although she pronounced it ‘Ma-lone-ee’ as a tribute to her Italian roots.
Mama’s broadcasts were constantly interrupted by a procession of zany friends, relatives, and neighbours who streamed in and out of the apartment with their problems.
Among them were her man-hungry sex-happy divorced daughter, Connie (Randee Heller), her crooner brother, Dino (Don Amendolia), her 12-year-old grandson Frankie (Evan Richards), and the new parish priest, Father Jose Silva (Richard Yniguez).
Written by Broadway playwright Terence McNally, Mama Malone didn’t quite work as a farce comedy and was broadcast with one of the loudest and most forced laugh tracks in broadcast history.
CBS had publicised the series for its fall schedule in 1982 but suddenly pulled it after only three episodes had been completed to replace it in the 9.30 pm Wednesday timeslot with the Dallas-spoof Filthy Rich.
Production on Mama Malone continued and the episodes were finally dusted off and broadcast in 1984, having been bumped from the schedule at least twice.
Unusually, the series had already aired in 17 other countries before US audiences got to see it.
Mama Renate Malone
Connie Malone Karamakopoulos
Father Jose Silva
Stanley, the announcer
Pilot | The Commitment | Connie’s Old Flame | Father Romeo | The Education of Frankie | Karamakopoulos and Son | A New Neighbor | Shall We Dance? | Even Dino Gets the Blues | Connie’s Move | Dino’s Fan | A Call from the Vatican | Back to Basics