1 9 8 7 – 1 9 8 8 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
Twelve years after ABC failed with a comedy set in a men’s prison (On the Rocks), Fox Broadcasting gave women equal time.
The setting for this bizarre comedy was Bass Women’s Prison in Wisconsin, where the inmates in Cell Block J never seemed to be locked in their cells.
Among the incarcerated skirts were naive Vicki (Julia Campbell), a pampered suburban housewife who had been framed for shoplifting by her philandering husband; Dawn (C. C. H. Pounder), a tough black woman who had murdered her husband; Bonnie (Antoinette Byron), a sexy, gay English hooker; and Eve (Peggy Cass), an ageing, forgetful bank robber who had lived there for decades.
In the adjoining cell, with a computer terminal but no roommates, was Pam (Wendie Jo Sperber), a brilliant but sarcastic woman who was serving time for computer embezzlement.
Meg (Denny Dillon, pictured above left) was cellblock J’s short, frumpy, sadistic guard (her favourite pastime was going down to Death Row and fiddling with the dimmer switch) and Warden Rafferty (Blake Clark) the grumpy boss, for whom Vicki worked as a secretary – she couldn’t type or file but she could cross her legs and show a bit of thigh.
Asst. Warden Clint Rafferty
C. C. H. Pounder
Wendie Jo Sperber