- Kate & Allie
show_name = Kate & Allie
caption = (back, left to right) Saint James, Meyers
(front) Curtin, Koehler, Smith.
runtime = 30 minutes (per episode)
Susan Saint James
country = USA
March 19, 1984
May 22, 1989
num_seasons = 6
num_episodes = 122
imdb_id = 0086742
tv_com_id = 616|
"Kate & Allie" is an American
television situation comedywhich ran from March 19, 1984 to May 22, 1989. "Kate & Allie" first aired on CBS as a midseason replacementseries and only six episodes were initially commissioned, but the favorable response from critics and viewers alike (its first episode ranked #4 out of all the television shows airing that week) easily convinced CBS to commit to a full season in the fall of 1984. The series was created by Sherry Coben. [O'Connor, John J. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D07EEDE1039F93AA25750C0A962948260 "'KATE & ALLIE,' ABOUT 2 DIVORCED WOMEN, ON CBS"] , " The New York Times", March 19, 1984. Accessed December 1, 2007. "Created by Sherry Coben, the series has been fortunate enough to attract some first-rate talent, in front of and behind the cameras."]
The show starred
Susan Saint Jamesas the free-spirited Kate McArdle and Jane Curtinas her more traditional childhood friend, Allie Lowell. The premise: the two decide to share a brownstonein New York City's Greenwich Villageafter their respective divorces, raising their families together.
The show also starred
Ari Meyersas Kate's daughter Emma, and Frederick Koehlerand Allison Smithas Allie's children Chip and Jennie. Both Kate and Allie dated regularly, but were portrayed as strong, independent women, which was still a relative novelty on television at the time. Unlike other successful career women portrayed before them, Kate and Allie were shown to be wiser to the games men play, but if the opportunity presented itself, they would not be against remarrying.
The show was one of the most popular and critically acclaimed sitcoms of the 1980s, consistently ranking in the Top 20 shows until its final season. Curtin won two
Emmy Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, while Saint James was nominated in the same category three times.
At the beginning of the series, Kate worked as a
travel agent, while Allie stayed home and took care of the domestic duties. Kate's storylines often revolved around her struggles to be taken seriously in the workplace, while Allie's often revolved around learning to be more independent and sure of herself after her years as a housewife. In the show's fifth season, Kate quit her job and teamed up with Allie to start their own cateringservice.
In the show's second-last season, Allie was dating Bob Barsky (
Sam Freed), a television sportscaster who proposed to Allie in the season finale. Following their marriage, Allie and Bob moved into a new apartment in the show's final season — however, Bob took a job which involved regular travel, and Kate moved into the new apartment as well. This plot development, frequently cited as one of the canonical examples of a television show jumping the shark[ [http://www.jumptheshark.com/forum/kate-allie/1099 Kate & Allie in Jump The Shark] ] , led viewers to lose interest [http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/K/htmlK/kateandalli/kateandalli.htm "Kate and Allie] from the website of the Museum of Broadcast Communications] , and CBS chose not to renew "Kate & Allie" for a seventh season.
Susan Saint Jamesas Katherine Elizabeth Ann "Kate" McArdle
Jane Curtinas Allison "Allie" Lowell. Curtin and Saint James had previously worked together in the 1979 movie " How to Beat the High Co$t of Living".
Ari Meyersas Emma McArdle, Kate's daughter. Meyers left the show a few episodes into the fifth season to attend Yale University(although her name remained in the opening credits to the end of the season); she returned for the season-ending 100th episode retrospective.
Frederick Koehleras Charles "Chip" Lowell, Allie's son
Allison Smithas Jennie Lowell, Allie's daughter
* Sam Freed was featured as three different characters during the series run. In the first season he played a married candidate for office named Johnathan Conti who flirts with Allie. At the end of season 2 he played Keith in the episode Late Bloomers (a supposed spinoff for Lindsey Wagner. In the final seasons, he was best known as Bob Barsky, the boyfriend and later husband of Allie. Actress
Wendie Malick, best known for her appearances on " Just Shoot Me!" had one of her earliest roles as the new wife, Claire, of Allie's ex-husband, Charles.
"Kate & Allie" was taped on soundstages constructed at the
Ed Sullivan Theaterand also at the Teletape Studiosat West 81st Street and Broadway in New York City. Under pressure from higher-ups at CBS to squash the suggestion that Kate and Allie were lesbians, the producers were instructed to show Kate and Allie entering separate bedrooms to sleep at the end of each episode. That pressure may have been the impetus for an episode showing Kate and Allie pretending to be lesbians when they were faced with a large increase in rent. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/k/kateallie_7773945.shtml BBC - Comedy Guide - Kate & Allie] BBC. Retrieved 14 April 2007.]
Saint James was
pregnantduring the filming of the fourth season. Her pregnancy was hidden by filming her behind a desk, under a sheet in a hospital bed, or in a bubble bath. The exception was a flashback which showed both Kate and Allie pregnant.
An episode broadcast in 1987, produced in cooperation with the
Coalition for the Homeless, was filmed entirely outdoors, on the streets of Manhattan. The episode was prompted by the likely absence of Saint James, who had been hospitalized due to kidney stones, and featured Allie struggling to find a way home after accidentally leaving her keys and money in a taxi. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE7DD1E3EF931A2575AC0A961948260 A TV Sitcom Takes to the Streets] ] , a September 12 1987 article from " The New York Times"]
The show's final season was affected by the
1988 Writers Guild of America strike.
Following are the
Nielsen Ratingsfor the show:fact|date=March 2008
* 1983-1984: #8
* 1984-1985: #17
* 1985-1986: #14
* 1986-1987: #19
* 1987-1988: #19
* 1988-1989: #82
According to an essay by
Christine R. Catronfrom the Museum of Broadcast Communications's Encyclopedia of Television, the dramatic decline in ratings for the show's last season is attributable to the fact that the show's premise had been fulfilled at the end of the previous season, when Allie accepted Bob Barsky's marriage proposal.
The American syndication rights are held by
NBC Universal Television Distribution; the show currently airs on WE tvand on RTN, weekdays at 11:30 am Eastern. FremantleMediaowns the international rights, as they own Thames Televisionand have access to Alan Landsburg Productionsand Reeves Entertainment Groupproduct.
Universal Studios Home Entertainmentreleased the first season of "Kate & Allie" on DVDexclusively in the United Statesin May 2006. A January 2007 review of the season's six episodes suggests the series has not aged well: [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/07/arts/television/07stew.html Those Two ’80s Heroines, Tough as Toenails] , a January 2007 DVD review from " The New York Times"] ::Two decades ago, "Kate" registered as a mild shock in television land: it featured two single women...rearing their children together with only minimal help from their ex-husbands. In 1984, when the top-rated network shows were “Dynasty” and “Dallas,” that qualified as feminist television. Times have changed. The first six episodes of this sitcom, now available on DVD, seem mostly quaint and a little cloying. There’s a lot of hugging and a lot of learning, two things that can seriously date a comedy in the post-"Seinfeld" universe.
For the Canadian market,
Visual Entertainmenthas released the first five seasons on DVD. Season 5 was released on September 9, 2008. [ [http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Kate-Allie-Season-5/9988 Kate & Allie - 5th Season DVDs Formally Announced: Date, Cost & Cover Art! | TVShowsOnDVD.com ] ]
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