1 9 9 5 – 1 9 9 6 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
Beautiful and sassy Ellie Walker (Jean Smart) is a New York socialite who makes her living by writing best-selling trashy romance novels.
Amongst her Jackie Collins-style books are Hermaphrodite Swedish Meat Boys, High Sierra Streetwalker, Hung Jury, Pool Boys Plunge, Stiletto Summer, Submissive Samurai and The Naked and the Deadline.
Ellie lives in the lap of luxury at 511 Sutton Place in Manhattan and has a bad habit of not only chasing men (she writes her phone number on waiters’ shirts) – and making sure the incidents get into the papers – but also drinking, which she constantly does.
When Ellie dines out, she refuses to sit at a corner table – “because no one can see me” – and thinks cosmetics should be tested on ugly people because “that way if there are any nasty side effects, who cares?”
She was born Eleanor Antoinette Worshorsky in Pittsburgh. She was voted “best French kisser” in the fourth grade and feels that “honour” planted the seed for the books she would later become famous for (changing her last name didn’t hurt either, she says).
Her best friend Dott Emerson (Mary McDonnell) co-owns Emerson Publishing (she won a 51% share in a divorce settlement) which produces Ellie’s books. It is actually a travel and leisure books company. Dott has a 17-year-old Young Republican son, Brendan (Dan O’Donahue) and a frequently-married mother (Jayne Meadows).
Dott’s publishing partner is Peter Thomas (David Rasche), and Stefano (Luigi Amodeo) is her Eurotrash secretary.
Val Brumberg (Faith Prince) is Ellie’s “bland, uninteresting, nonwealthy friend.” She was born in New Jersey and worked previously as the hostess at Le Petit Burger, where she was fired for arguing with the chef over the size of a hamburger. Val has been left pregnant and penniless by her cheating husband.
When Val whines, “I have nothing”, Ellie assures her, “Nonsense, you have our pity”.
The three women had been friends in college, where Val was their dowdy roommate.
“There was a time we were close,” Dott implores. “There was a time we were all brunettes!” screams bottle-blonde Ellie.
Often compared (unfavourably) to the successful long-running British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, the 13 episodes of this irreverent CBS show followed the events that plagued Ellie’s life, while all she really wanted was a simple, uncomplicated life with nothing to do but relax and enjoy herself.
Guest stars included Donna Mills, Stephanie Beacham, Sally Kellerman, Bronson Pinchot, Erik Estrada, Tom Arnold, Barry Bostwick and Elizabeth Taylor.