1 9 9 1 – 1 9 9 3 (USA)
33 x 30 minute episodes
Set in the Bensonhurst neighbourhood of Brooklyn in the 1950s, the series starred Marion Ross (Mrs Cunningham from Happy Days) as the matriarch, Sophie Berger, and told the story of a multigenerational family struggling to make it with a limited income and unlimited work.
It was a time when the beloved Dodgers were still in Brooklyn, candy was a penny at Sid Elgart’s neighbourhood candy store (officially known as ‘Sid Elgart’s Fine Confections’), doctors made house calls and street crime was virtually non-existent.
Starring with Ross were Danny Gerard as Alan Silver, her 14-year-old grandson; Louis Zorich as Sophie’s husband, Jules; Amy Aquino and Peter Friedman as Phyllis and George Silver, the Bergers’ married daughter and son-in-law; and Matthew Siegel as Nathaniel, Alan’s 9-year-old brother.
The writing and characterisations were first-rate, but – despite an enthusiastic reception from viewing audiences and a rescue attempt from Viewers for Quality Television – the series only lasted two seasons before CBS pulled it.
Phyllis Berger Silver
Matthew Louis Siegel