1 9 8 6 – 1 9 8 8 (USA)
44 x 30 minute episodes
29-year-old Sam Russell (Pam Dawber) is an up-and-coming freelance commercial photographer. She has a charming loft at 1345 Benchley Street in San Francisco, she has an agent (Joel Brooks), and she even has a loyal assistant in outspoken Dixie Randazzo (Jenny O’Hara) – the mother of six children. Everything in her life is neatly in place.
In her refrigerator, even the fruit juices are arranged in alphabetical order and the shoes in her closet are arranged so that all the toes point north.
Enter Patti Russell (Rebecca Schaeffer), Sam’s 16-year-old sister. She’s been living with her Aunt Elsie and her Uncle Bob in Oregon since her parents were killed in a car accident, but now she’s run away and decided to live with Sis. Won’t that be fun?
Patti plays the guitar, speaks like a valley girl, and wants to be a rock star.
Within minutes she’s, like, busted a vase and discovered that she and Sam wear the same size clothes. She’s also discovered Sam’s mischievous neighbour, Jack Kincaid (David Naughton).
My Sister Sam was a big hit in its first season, airing on Monday nights. CBS moved it to Saturday nights for the second season, opposite NBC’s successful comedy lineup, where it dropped heavily in the ratings. Subsequently, CBS cancelled it in mid-1988, after only half of the second season had aired.
In July 1989, Rebecca Schaeffer was shot and killed in her Los Angeles home by a deranged fan who had idolised her as the young, energetic character she played on My Sister Sam.
Samantha ‘Sam’ Russell