Suddenly Susan

Suddenly Susan

Infobox television
show_name = Suddenly Susan

caption = 1997 promotional Emmy advertisement
format = Sitcom
runtime = 30 minutes per episode
creator = Clyde Phillips
starring = Brooke Shields
Kathy Griffin
Nestor Carbonell
Judd Nelson
and David Strickland
with Barbara Barrie
as 'Nana'
opentheme = "Nothing on Me" by Shawn Colvin
country = USA
network = NBC
first_aired = September 19,1996
last_aired = December 26,2000
num_seasons = 4
num_episodes = 93
imdb_id = 0115376

"Suddenly Susan" is an American sitcom that was broadcast on NBC from 1996 to 2000. Its headlining star was Brooke Shields, who got the show after a guest appearance on "Friends" in the episode "The One After the Superbowl"Fact|date=May 2008.

"Suddenly Susan" takes place at "The Gate", a fictitious magazine which is based in San Francisco. Among the magazine's employees is Susan Keane (played by Brooke Shields), who always has been cared for by someone else. However, when she realizes that she and her wealthy, vain fiancé, Kip, are not meant for each other and that there’s more to life than just being known as the "s" in "The Kip Richmonds", she abruptly leaves him at the altar... and now she’s suddenly just Susan.

Susan's boss, Jack Richmond (Judd Nelson), the rebellious brother of Susan's former fiancé, Kip, assigns Susan to write a regular column about being suddenly single. Susan's coworkers include photographer Luis Rivera (Nestor Carbonell), music critic Todd Stites (David Strickland), restaurant critic Vicki Groener (Kathy Griffin) and investigative reporter Maddy Piper (Andréa Bendewald). Susan's grandmother and confidant, Nana (Barbara Barrie), stands as a loving pillar of encouragement in Susan's otherwise hectic life.

Besides the task of putting together a magazine and focusing on the lead character's life, "Suddenly Susan" also focuses on the private lives of many employees in the show.

Original Pilot

In the show's original pilot, written by Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore which was based on a dramatic script by Clyde Phillips, Susan worked at a publishing house editing children's books. After breaking up with her live-in boyfriend Ted (Brian McNamara), Susan finds herself "single" for the first time in years. Concurrently, Susan faces even greater challenges at work when her boss Eric (Philip Casnoff) assigns her the task of working as an editor with Charlotte (Elizabeth Ashley), a hugely successful and highly opinionated romance novelist. Thankfully, always on hand to provide support is Susan's grandmother, Nana (Nancy Marchand), her co-workers; acerbic best friend Marcy (Maggie Wheeler) and Neil (David Krumholtz), who has a crush on Susan.

The main office set retained most of its features when it became "The Gate" in the show, however the major difference was that the elevator was to the right. A cardboard cut-out of Elizabeth Ashley which is featured in the pilot, makes an appearance throughout the first three seasons of the show - it can be seen briefly behind Susan's desk, near the filing cabinets along the back wall. Brian McNamara later went onto play the part of Cooper Elliot, who took Susan to Italy at the end of season one. Nancy Marchand played Nana in the pilot, however the part later went to Barbara Barrie.

David Strickland Suicide

Cast member David Strickland committed suicide on March 22, 1999, just prior to the end of the third season. Strickland's death was incorporated into the third season finale, which was turned into a tribute to Strickland's character, Todd. In the episode, Todd goes missing and Susan spends the episode desperately trying to find him. As the episode progresses, Susan learns about a number of good deeds that Todd had done around his neighborhood that Susan never knew about. Also, interviews with the main cast appear throughout the episode, with each character sharing the personal experiences they had with Todd. As the episode comes to an end, Todd's favorite song, Fat Boy Slim's "Praise You" plays outside in the street as Susan and her co-workers sit in a circle praying for Todd's well-being. At last, the phone in the middle of the room rings, but the camera cuts away before the news of Todd's fate can be revealed. The episode ends with a clip montage of David Strickland and ends with the titles "The Gods of comedy looked down upon you and smiled."

Fourth Season and Cancellation

At the beginning of the fourth season, both Judd Nelson and Andrea Bendewald left the show. The show was revamped and "The Gate" was transformed into a men's magazine by new owner, Ian Maxtone-Graham (Eric Idle) and relocated from its trendy uptown offices overlooking the bay, to a dingy former warehouse in Chinatown. In tow, Ian brought along his own team of workers; Miranda Charles, his executive assistant and Navy veteran (Sherri Shepherd), sports writer, Nate Knaborski (Currie Graham) and freelance photographer, Oliver Browne (Rob Estes). Faced with new challenges, suddenly, Susan had to prove herself all over again.

Airing between "Seinfeld" and "ER" in its first season, "Suddenly Susan" was a ratings success, attracting approximately 27 million viewers per episode, despite mostly unfavorable critical reviews. When the show was moved to Monday nights in the second season, the show experienced a large ratings fall, sliding from #3 to #65 in one year. The ratings failed to bounce back, and in its final season, the show was not in the top 100, prompting NBC to pull it from the prime-time lineup with four episodes left unaired in June 2000. This final quartet of shows aired in marathon form during the "NBC All Night" block from 2:00 to 4:00 am (EST) on the morning of December 26, 2000.


*Eric Idle's character, Ian Maxtone-Graham, is named after a real TV writer and "Monty Python" fan who currently works on "The Simpsons".
*Sherri Shepherd, who played Miranda in the fourth season, had previously guest starred on the show, playing the character Roni in the season two episode "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Maddy World."
*Kathy Griffin's character, Vicki, names her breasts "Mimi & Jeanette", a reference to the shows co-executive producers, Mimi Friedman and Jeanette Collins.
* [ SFGate] is the online version of the "San Francisco Chronicle".

External links

*imdb title|id=0115376
* [ Suddenly Susan page at]
* [ Kathy Griffin from Suddenly Susan]

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