Grapevine (TV series)

Grapevine is an American sitcom created by David Frankel, premiered as a six-episode summer series on CBS from June 15 to July 27, 1992. It was not renewed.

Grapevine
Created byDavid Frankel
StarringJonathan Penner
Lynn Clark
Steven Eckholdt
ComposerMichael Lang
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
Production
Executive producerDavid Frankel
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesCorkscrew Productions
MGM/UA Television
CBS Entertainment Productions
Release
Original networkCBS
Original releaseJune 15 (1992-06-15) –
July 27, 1992 (1992-07-27)

A revival of the series, with a different cast, premiered on CBS in February 2000, lasting five episodes.

1992 versionEdit

SummaryEdit

David owned a restaurant in Miami Beach on Ocean Drive. His girlfriend Susan worked for a cruise line. His brother Thumper was a sportscaster. The series was a 1990s take on Love, American Style in its couple-of-the-week format. Each episode presented the story of a couple, as told through short scenes interwoven with the regular characters, the couple, friends, associates talking to the camera about the couple as if speaking to an unseen interviewer. Editing allowed for jokes to be set up by one "interview" with the punch line delivered by another character, sometimes completely unrelated. Example: A husband who had sex with his estranged wife's sister says to the camera, "What we did wasn't a crime?" Quick cut to "People have been shot for less," in a medium Hispanic accent from a middle-aged City of Miami police officer first heard from earlier in the episode discussing a bizarre jewelry heist that ended with the female thief shot dead. The background music ranged from quiet jazz piano to, for outdoor scenes of relaxation and imbibing, a wailing saxophone.

Stories were contained within a half-hour. Sometimes the couples stayed together, and other times they broke up.

Realism was heightened by the show making full use of actually being shot in Miami, instead of the common practice of shooting establishing shots in a locale then shooting the rest in Los Angeles. All of David's interviews and the scenes in his restaurant used Ocean Drive's Cafe Milano as it was at the time, without set dressing (at the start of The Billy and Lisa Story episode, the green awning with the Cafe Milano name is visible and legible for several seconds). Thumper, allegedly based on creator David Frankel's brother John Frankel, then working in Miami television for the ABC affiliate, worked for the CBS affiliate and some of his interviews used the affiliate's studios. The Katie and Adam Story involved two of Thumper's employees having an affair, so the station's actual trucks, offices and news sets were used (when the philandering pair leaves one set, the camera follows them until it lingers on the background for a popular consumer news segment called "Shame on You.") Susan's interviews usually put her in her office with a view of Biscayne Bay or the MacArthur Causeway behind her. Other characters were shot in front of notable Miami buildings or South Florida-style establishments.

The series aired for six episodes as a summer replacement series and enjoyed popularity among critics[1] and many viewers in their 20s, especially in Miami. The show logged several notable guest stars, such as a young Mariska Hargitay (appearing as Katie in the episode, "The Katie and Adam Story"). CBS, with what was famously and infamously the oldest audience on television, opted not to pick up the show. Fox Network was rumored to be interested. Years later, when CBS revived the show, creator David Frankel told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel that Fox asked him to create the same show but with a different title.[2]

CastEdit

MainEdit

Guest starsEdit

EpisodesEdit

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"The Janice and Brian Story"TBATBAJune 15, 1992 (1992-06-15)
2"The Katie and Adam Story"TBATBAJune 22, 1992 (1992-06-22)
3"The Fran and Joey Story"TBATBAJune 29, 1992 (1992-06-29)
4"The Lisa and Billy Story"TBATBAJuly 6, 1992 (1992-07-06)
5"The Allison and Ken Story"TBATBAJuly 20, 1992 (1992-07-20)
6"The Jessica and Tony Story"TBATBAJuly 27, 1992 (1992-07-27)

2000 versionEdit

Grapevine
Created byDavid Frankel
StarringSteven Eckholdt
Kristy Swanson
George Eads
David Sutcliffe
ComposerJohn McCullough
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
Production
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesParamount Network Television
CBS Productions
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkCBS
Original releaseFebruary 28 (2000-02-28) –
April 10, 2000 (2000-04-10)

SummaryEdit

The original Grapevine's interview style was cited as an influence on HBO hit Sex and the City. Barry Jossen produced both Grapevine and the first season of Sex in the City. CBS brought back Grapevine from February 28 to March 27, 2000. This time, David was played by Steven Eckholdt, Susan by Kristy Swanson, Thumper by George Eads, and a hotel manager, Matt, was played by David Sutcliffe.

Where the show once seemed cutting edge with the interviews, music and subject matter so racy even some critics blushed, it now struck most critics as dated.[3] What also didn't help is the editing, so snappy in the 1992 version, seemed to move about two seconds slower in 2000, often ruining a punch line. Also, the talking head interviews literally were talking heads — the heads filled the entire screen, unlike the 1992 version that allowed the setting around the interviewee to create some atmosphere. This version lasted only five episodes. Then additional things transpired.

CastEdit

EpisodesEdit

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Pilot"TBATBAFebruary 28, 2000 (2000-02-28)
2"Thumper"TBATBAMarch 6, 2000 (2000-03-06)
3"David"TBATBAMarch 13, 2000 (2000-03-13)
4"Jamie"TBATBAMarch 20, 2000 (2000-03-20)
5"Jack"TBATBAMarch 27, 2000 (2000-03-27)
6"Matt"TBATBAApril 10, 2000 (2000-04-10)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Heady Wine of 'Grapevine' : Television: CBS' sexy sitcom, which premiered two weeks ago, has stirred up unusual interest". Los Angeles Times. June 29, 1992.
  2. ^ "'92 Vintage Grapevine Back On South Beach". Sun-Sentinel. Broward County, Florida. February 6, 2000.
  3. ^ "Latecomer". Chicago Tribune. February 27, 2000.

External linksEdit