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High Society (1995 TV series)

High Society is an American sitcom that aired Monday nights on CBS from October 30, 1995 to February 26, 1996; it was entered into the CBS schedule as a replacement for If Not for You, a sitcom starring Elizabeth McGovern, which was quickly canceled by the network.[1] The theme song was "The Lady Is a Tramp" sung by Chaka Khan.

High Society
High Society (TV series) ad.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by Robert Horn
Daniel Margosis
Written by Lisa Albert
Pat Dougherty
Markus Flanagan
Robert Horn
Daniel Margosis
Directed by Stan Daniels
Iris Dugow
Ellen Gittelsohn
Michael Lembeck
Starring Jean Smart
Mary McDonnell
Theme music composer Howard McCrary
Mark Stevens
Opening theme "The Lady Is a Tramp" performed by Chaka Khan
Composer(s) Frank Fitzpatrick
David Tobocman
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Executive producer(s) Gary Dontzig
Markus Flanagan
Robert Horn
Daniel Margosis
Steven Peterman
Producer(s) Lisa Albert
Barbara Dorio
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) JVTV
Look Ma Productions
Warner Bros Television
Original network CBS
Original release October 30, 1995 (1995-10-30) – February 26, 1996 (1996-02-26)

Its premise was similar to the campy British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous.



The series revolves around two New York City women who acted in an outrageous, campy, and decadent manner. Ellie Walker (Jean Smart) was a successful author of trashy romantic novels, and her best friend and publisher was Dorothy 'Dott' Emerson (Mary McDonnell). Emerson was a divorced mother with a preppie college-aged son, Brendan Emerson (Dan O'Donahue), a College Republican, who rejected the relentless sexual advances of Ellie, but who otherwise appeared to be heterosexual. In the pilot episode, the women's small-town former college friend, Val Brumberg (Faith Prince), arrived and moved in with Dott. At the publishing house, the women worked with a flamboyant gay male secretary named Stephano (Luigi Amodeo) and a sleazy publisher partner named Peter Thomas (David Rasche).

Aside from the situational comedy that arose from Ellie and Dott's campy antics, the storylines often centered on the notion of family. Val started to become something of a mother figure to Brendan. Stephano was often seeking a boyfriend and was seen more as a family member than a mere secretary, and in the final episode Ellie decided that she wanted to have a baby and she scouted out possible fathers.


Despite garnering decent ratings, the series was canceled after 13 episodes and replaced with "Good Company."



  • Jean Smart as Ellie Walker
  • Mary McDonnell as Dorothy "Dott" Emerson
  • Dan O'Donahue as Brendan Emerson
  • David Rasche as Peter Thomas
  • Faith Prince as Valerie "Val" Brumberg (episodes 1–6)
  • Luigi Amodeo as Stephano



Episode # Production Code Episode Title Synopsis Airdate
1 465051 "Family Val's" Dott invites Val to stay with her, much to Ellie's chagrin October 30, 1995
2 465053 "Whose Son is It Anyway?" Dott fears Val has developed a maternal bond with Brendan. Meanwhile, Ellie and Stephano each throw themselves at Ellie's buff new bodyguard November 6, 1995
3 465052 "Sleeping with the Enemy" In an attempt to get rid of Val, Ellie tries to reunite her with estranged husband Mitchell, but soon comes to realize that Val might be better off without him. November 13, 1995
4 465055 "Dolce & G'bye Now" After being humiliated by Ellie, Stephano quits and Dott reluctantly hires Val as his replacement, which sends Ellie into a frenzied fit. November 20, 1995
5 465056 "Tomb with a View" When Alice's neighbor dies, Ellie tries to impress the snooty building committee in order to secure a lush apartment. November 27, 1995
6 465054 "The Naked and the Deadline" When Ellie develops writer's block, Dott goes to great lengths to get her unstuck. December 4, 1995
7 465057 "Finnigan's Rainbow" Dott falls in love with a motivational speaker (Barry Bostwick). December 11, 1995
8 465058 "We Ought to be in Pictures" When production begins on a film based on one of her novels, Ellie is horrified to discover she's forfeited all creative control. December 18, 1995
9 465059 "Nip and Tuck" Alice convinces Dott and Ellie to see a plastic surgeon (Bronson Pinchot) before an upcoming photo shoot. January 15, 1996
10 465060 "Alice Doesn't Pump Here Anymore" After sustaining a heart attack, Alice finds herself being smothered by Dott. January 22, 1996
11 465061 "Touching up Your Roots" Ellie's parents (Doris Roberts, Paul Dooley) visit with a shocking confession. February 5, 1996
12 465062 "I Found My Thrill on Nancy Garvey Hill" Ellie discovers a rival romance novelist is actually the guy she's been sleeping with (Tom Arnold). February 12, 1996
13 465063 "The Family Jewels" Ellie decides she wants to have a baby. February 26, 1996

Award nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result
1996 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Jayne Meadows Nominated
1996 Casting Society of America Best Casting for TV, Comedy Pilot Leslie Litt Nominated


  1. ^ James, Caryn (1995-11-06). "Television Review; It's Monday, So It Must Be Women". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 

External linksEdit