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Living Single is an American television sitcom that aired for five seasons on the Fox network from August 22, 1993 to January 1, 1998. The show centered on the lives of six friends who share personal and professional experiences while living in a Brooklyn brownstone.

Living Single
Living single dvd cover.jpg
First season DVD cover
Created byYvette Lee Bowser
StarringQueen Latifah
Kim Coles
Erika Alexander
T.C. Carson
John Henton
Mel Jackson
Kim Fields
Opening theme"We Are Living Single", written and performed by Queen Latifah
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes118 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Yvette Lee Bowser (entire run)
Roger S.H. Schulman
Production location(s)Warner Bros. Studios,
Burbank, California
Camera setupVideotape; Multi-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)SisterLee Productions
(1994-1998)
(seasons 2-5)
Warner Bros. Television
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkFox
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Original releaseAugust 22, 1993 (1993-08-22) –
January 1, 1998 (1998-01-01)

Throughout its run, Living Single became one of the most popular African-American sitcoms of its era, ranking among the top five in African-American ratings in all five seasons. The series was produced by Yvette Lee Bowser's company, Sister Lee, in association with Warner Bros. Television. In contrast to the popularity of NBC's "Must See TV"—first on Sunday nights and then later on Thursday nights in the 1990s—many African-American and Latino viewers flocked to Fox. For the 1993–94 season, Living Single aired on Sunday nights between Martin and Married... with Children, and then on Thursday nights from 1994 to 1998. The original title for the show was "My Girls".

Contents

EpisodesEdit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedNielsen ratings
First airedLast airedRankViewers
(millions)
127August 22, 1993 (1993-08-22)May 15, 1994 (1994-05-15)#569.3
227September 1, 1994 (1994-09-01)May 18, 1995 (1995-05-18)#84[1]8.7
327August 31, 1995 (1995-08-31)May 9, 1996 (1996-05-09)#111[2]6.5
424August 29, 1996 (1996-08-29)May 8, 1997 (1997-05-08)#104[2]6.2
513September 11, 1997 (1997-09-11)January 1, 1998 (1998-01-01)#117[3]7.0

Living Single centered on six people consisting of four women and two men living the single life in the heart of Brooklyn, New York.

The series focused on two different households in one brownstone, one shared by a trio of independent women and another shared by a pair of male friends who have known each other since they spent their youth in Cleveland, Ohio. In the first apartment, Khadijah James (Queen Latifah), a hard-working editor and publisher of the fictional urban independent monthly Flavor, lived with her sweet, but naive cousin, Synclaire James (Kim Coles), an aspiring actress who worked as Khadijah's receptionist and has an affinity for Troll dolls; and her childhood friend from East Orange, New Jersey, Regina "Régine" Hunter (Kim Fields), an image-conscious, boutique buyer who was in a constant search for a well-to-do man to spend her life with (and spend his money). Later in the series, Régine became a costume assistant for the soap opera Palo Alto. When the show was canceled, she became a wedding planner and left the apartment to move in with her fiancé, Dexter Knight (Don Franklin). Maxine "Max" Shaw (Erika Alexander), a sharp-tongued attorney and Khadijah's best friend from their college days at Howard University, frequently stopped by to share her unique insights, keep them entertained by sharing her day, to make sure that the girls' refrigerator isn't overstocked, and to start trouble with Kyle, looking for any chance to make his life worse.

Kyle Barker (T.C. Carson) lived in the second apartment with Overton Wakefield Jones (John Henton). Kyle was a stockbroker whose constant verbal sparring with Max did little to mask their obvious sexual attraction. Overton was the friendly, but country, maintenance man for the owner of their (and neighboring) building who held deep affection for Synclaire and plenty of hilarious homespun wisdom for everyone else. Kyle and Max ended up pursuing a sexual relationship, but when he decided to take a job in London and invited Max to join him, she turned him down. Maxine subsequently became distraught over her decision and, after defending a man who claims to be the second coming of Jesus (Harold Perrineau), she began to seriously look for the purpose of her life. Through a series of events, Max decided that her purpose must be to become a mother and during the insemination process unknowingly picked Kyle's sperm specimen based on a list of qualities she would like for her child to have. Kyle returned in the series finale and the two reconciled. Overton and Synclaire also got together and their relationship culminated in marriage by the end of the fourth season. In season five, they moved in together, leaving Overton and Kyle's apartment open for new character Roni DeSantos (Idalis DeLeon), a New York-area D.J., to move in. It was eventually revealed that DeSantos had a fling with Ira Lee "Tripp" Williams III, (Mel Jackson), the new roommate of Khadijah and Régine who moved in when Synclaire's room became available. Tripp was a songwriter. Synclaire joined a comedy improv troupe where she gained the attention of Tony Jonas, a Warner Bros. television exec who cast her as a nun for a new comedy series he was developing.

Along with trying to make Flavor a success, Khadijah also spent time looking for Mr. Right. She eventually found him in childhood friend Scooter (Cress Williams) with whom she left the brownstone for the final time in the series finale.

Cast and charactersEdit

Main charactersEdit

  • Queen Latifah – Khadijah James, editor and publisher of Flavor Magazine, an independent magazine devoted to the interests of the urban community.
  • Kim Coles – Synclaire James-Jones, Khadijah's good-natured cousin and roommate; receptionist at Flavor and aspiring actress.
  • Erika Alexander – Maxine "Max" Felice Shaw, strong-willed attorney and Khadijah's best friend from college; spends much of her time at the girls' apartment.
  • John Henton – Overton "Obie" Wakefield Jones, Kyle's roommate and the brownstone's handyman; Synclaire's sweetheart.
  • Kim Fields (credited as Kim Fields-Freeman) – Regina "Regine" Hunter (Episodes 1–115), Khadijah and Synclaire's gossip-loving roommate; Khadijah's childhood friend.
  • T.C. Carson – Kyle Barker (Episodes 1–107; guest appearance in episode 118), Overton's roommate and stockbroker; Max's verbal sparring partner and on-again, off-again love interest.
  • Mel Jackson – Ira Lee "Tripp" Williams (Season 5), Khadijah and Regine's new roommate; aspiring songwriter.

Minor charactersEdit

  • Cress Williams — Terrence "Scooter" Williams, Khadijah's childhood friend and love interest
  • Richard Lyons — Michael Janson (Season 1–2), Max's "old stand-by."
  • Shaun Baker — Russell Montego, Jamaican-born music editor at Flavor
  • Bobby Hosea — Lawrence (Season 1–3), Kyle's rival at the brokerage
  • Chip Fields — Laverne Hunter, Regine's mother
  • Rita Owens — Rita James (Season 1–4), Khadijah's mother
  • Heavy D — Darryl (Season 2–4), Regine's friend
  • Steven Gilborn — Jeffrey Higgins (Season 2–4), Kyle's boss
  • Bumper Robinson — Ivan Ennis (Season 3–4), college-age messenger turned Flavor copy aide; infatuated with Khadijah; a journalism major at New York University.
  • J. Anthony Brown — Tibby Jones (Season 3–4), Overton's favorite uncle
  • Khalil Kain — Keith (Season 3–4), Regine's boyfriend and artist
  • Dorien Wilson — Rev. Leslie Taylor (Season 3–4), pastor at the group's church
  • Isaiah Washington — Dr. Charles Roberts (Season 4), Khadijah's anesthesiologist and boyfriend
  • Denise Nicholas — Lilah James (Season 4), Synclaire's mother
  • Ron O'Neal — Clinton James (Season 4), Synclaire's father
  • Antonio Fargas — Otis Jones (Season 4), Overton's father
  • Gladys Knight — Odelle Jones (Season 4), Overton's mother
  • Michael Warren — Ed James (Season 4), Khadijah's estranged father
  • Idalis DeLeon — Roni De Santos (Season 5), popular New York City deejay and Tripp's love interest

Guest StarsEdit

  • Cylk Cozart - Brad Hamilton, Regine's boyfriend who turned out to be married (Season 1, Episode 1)
  • Freda Payne - Miss Harper (Season 1, Episode 2)
  • Thomas Mikal Ford - Michael Edwards, Synclaire's date (Season 1, Episode 3)
  • Jeffrey D. Sams - Greg, Maxine's ex-boyfriend (Season 1, Episode 4)
  • Miguel A. Nunez - Goldie (Season 1, Episode 6)
  • Isabel Sanford - Eunetta Ryan, Synclaire's replacement at Flavor (Season, Episode 10)
  • Ed McMahon as himself
  • Flip Wilson as himself
  • Nia Long - Stacey Evans, photographer for Flavor and Kyle's date (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • Terrence Howard - Brendan King, Maxine's college-aged boyfriend (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • Cree Summer - Summer, Overton's date (Season 1, Episode 18)
  • Morris Chestnut - Hamilton Brown, the girls' new neighbor in the brownstone (Season 1, Episode 18)
  • Michael Jai White - Steve (Season 1, Episode 20)
  • Charnele Brown - Jackie, Khadijah's college friend (Season 1, Episode 21)
  • Adam Lazarre-White - Alonzo Ford, Khadijah's schoolteacher boyfriend (Season 1, Episode 24)
  • Mark Curry - Tony Ross, Regine's boyfriend, a standup comedian (Season 1, Episode 25)

Home mediaEdit

Warner Home Video released the complete first season of Living Single on DVD in Region 1 on February 14, 2006. The entire series is also available for digital download on Amazon.com and the iTunes Store.

Warner Archive subsequently released season 2-5 on DVD in Region 1. These are Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases, available from Warner's online store and Amazon.com.[4][5][6][7]

DVD name Episodes Region 1
The Complete First Season 27 February 14, 2006
The Complete Second Season 27 September 19, 2017
The Complete Third Season 27 November 21, 2017
The Complete Fourth Season 24 March 20, 2018
The Complete Fifth Season 13 June 05, 2018

CrossoversEdit

  • Half & Half: Erika Alexander and T.C. Carson reprised their roles of Maxine Shaw and Kyle Barker on the UPN sitcom, Half & Half (a series produced by Living Single creator Yvette Lee Bowser). In the episode ("The Big Performance Anxiety Episode", third season), ambitious law student Dee Dee learns that her mother's co-star in a play is engaged to Maxine, Dee Dee's idol. However, her mother gets Maxine's beau, Kyle, fired because she fears he will take attention away from her. The episode also revealed that Maxine and Kyle remained a couple and were the proud parents of their seven-year-old daughter named Kyla.
  • The Crew: In one episode "The Mating Season" of the short-lived Fox sitcom The Crew, Regine becomes a passenger on a flight and argues with a sassy stewardess in hopes of upgrading to first class. On another episode, "The Worst Noel", Synclaire also becomes a passenger. The episode served as a bridge for The Crew and its lead-in show, Living Single.

SyndicationEdit

Living Single started reruns in syndication on September 22, 1997. Reruns of the series currently run daily on TV One, Logo TV, Oxygen, and Bounce TV and BET. As of January 11, 2018, all episodes began streaming on Hulu.

Reunion specialsEdit

An hour-long retrospective special, Living Single: The Reunion Show, aired on TV One on September 22, 2008. Coles, Henton, Fields, Carson and Alexander reunited to share fond memories with the fans. Queen Latifah and Mel Jackson were unavailable to participate. The special featured clips and revealing secrets of the cast from the show's five-year run.

From August 24–26, 2018, TV One aired a weekend marathon of "Living Single" to highlight the 25th anniversary of the show. Coles, Henton, Fields, and Carson reunited once again to share memories with the fans, to share their thoughts on the characters they portrayed, and provided a tribute to Rita Owens (Queen Latifah's real-life and TV mother), who had passed in early 2018. Queen Latifah, Erika Alexander and Mel Jackson were unavailable to participate.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Awards and nominations for Living Single
Year Awards Category Performer Result
1998 Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Erika Alexander Won
Outstanding Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Queen Latifah Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Kim Coles Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series T.C. Carson Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series John Henton Nominated

In 1995 and 1996, Living Single was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Comedy Series (Bryan Hays).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Complete TV Ratings 1994-1995". fbibler.chez.com.
  2. ^ a b "Complete TV Ratings 1995-1996". fbibler.chez.com.
  3. ^ "Final Ratings for '97-'98 TV Season".
  4. ^ Living Single - HOORAY! Warner Archive Announces 'The Complete 2nd Season' 3-disc MOD set will finally be available in mid-Septembers Archived 2017-08-19 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Living Single - Warner Archive Announces DVDs for 'The Complete 3rd Season' MOD release is available online during the second half of November Archived 2017-10-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Living Single - The Next-to-Last Season, 'The Complete 4th Season,' is Now Scheduled! MOD title will be available online in March from Amazon/CreateSpace and the WBshop!.
  7. ^ "Living Single: The Complete Fifth Season". 6 June 2018 – via Amazon.

External linksEdit