Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Five pick.
I didn’t catch the first season of this show during its original run but, started watching during season two (it was a while before I got to see season one). I was immediately hooked by the quirky interaction between the sisters and their day to day lives in Winnetka, IL and, I was already a Patricia Kalember fan due to the short-lived Kay O’Brien TV show. ~Vic
Created by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, the series begins one year after the death of the family’s father, Dr. Thomas Reed, a workaholic, played in flashbacks by three different actors but, mostly by Peter White. The matriarch of the family is Beatrice (Elizabeth Hoffman), a long-suffering, neglected wife, who turns to alcohol to deal with the doctor’s multiple affairs. She has four daughters:
☆ Alexandra…”Alex” (Swoosie Kurtz), the eldest. She married a plastic surgeon that had affairs on her and she divorced him, retaining some wealth. After battling breast cancer, she became a talk show host. She frequently butts heads her daughter, Reed Halsey (played by three different actresses, most notably Ashley Judd). She eventually remarries.
☆ Theodora…”Teddy” (Sela Ward), the second daughter. At the beginning of the series, she is returning from California and is shocked to discover that her ex-husband, Mitch, is engaged to her youngest sister, Frankie. She, drunk, temporarily, stops the wedding with a shotgun (she inherited Beatrice’s drinking habits). An artist in school, she becomes a fashion designer, helming three different companies. She goes on to marry twice more…to Det. James Falconer (George Clooney), the cop that investigated her daughter Cat’s rape (he was killed in an explosion) and Dr. Gabriel Sorenson (Stephen Collins), the doctor that saved her life when she was shot in the head.
☆ Georgiana…”Georgie” (Patricia Kalember), the third daughter. She is the stay-at-home mom with the most level head of all the sisters. A part-time real estate agent, she is the one the other sisters come to for guidance. She and her husband, John, have two sons, the youngest surviving leukemia. She carries and gives birth to Thomas George, Frankie & Mitch’s son. After trouble with her first son, she has an affair with her therapist, separates from John, has a second affair with a much younger classmate in college and, eventually returns to John.
☆ Francesca…”Frankie” (Julianne Phillips…Springsteen’s first wife), the fourth daughter. She is a highly paid executive, a workaholic like her father and discovered that she was infertile. Georgie becomes her surrogate for her baby. Her work habits break apart her marriage to Mitch. Afterwards, she quits her job and buys a local diner. She eventually moves to Japan for another job.
☆ Charlotte…”Charley” (a doctor, originally played by Jo Anderson, then Sheila Kelley) as the unknown, fifth, illegitimate daughter that shows up in the fourth season, looking for a bone marrow donation (a shift in the story-line as Julianne Phillips prepared to leave the show). The nicknames are a product of their father wanting boys and never getting one. The four older sisters tagged Charlotte with her own nickname.
★ John Witsig (Garrett M. Brown), Georgie’s husband.
★ Mitch Margolis (Ed Marinaro), Teddy’s high school sweetheart, ex-husband & Frankie’s ex-husband.
★ Catherine “Cat” Margolis (Heather McAdam), Teddy & Mitch’s daughter that goes on to be a cop.
Much of the show is full of flashbacks, particularly the interactions of the sisters growing up.
♦ Patricia Kalember’s husband in real life, Daniel Gerroll, had a recurring role in season five. He played psychiatrist Dr. David Caspian, who was counseling her character Georgie.
♦ Julianne Phillips and Patricia Kalember also co-starred in Fletch Lives.
♦ Elizabeth Hoffman was a minor, recurring character on Stargate SG-1 and played Eleanor Roosevelt in two mini-series: The Winds of War (1983) and War & Remembrance (1988-1989).
Scene & Opening Theme
Tommy Lee Jones won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and, the film was nominated for Best Cinematography, Film Editing, Best Original Score, Sound, Sound Effects Editing and Best Picture. Jones reprised his role of U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard in the spin-off U.S. Marshals.
The television show started before I was born and I was just an infant when it ceased production. I have picked up a re-run or two over the years. Harrison Ford managed to capture the intensity that David Janssen displayed nearly 30 years earlier. ~Victoria