The Stockard Channing Show
|The Stockard Channing Show|
|Created by||Nick Arnold|
Eric Cohen (developed by Aaron Ruben)
|Theme music composer||Delaney Bramlett|
|Opening theme||"Brand New Life"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Little Bear Productions|
Columbia Pictures Television
|Distributor||Columbia TriStar Domestic Television|
Sony Pictures Television
|Original release||March 24 –|
July 12, 1980
|Preceded by||Stockard Channing in Just Friends|
The show first aired on CBS from March 24 to July 12, 1980, with 13 episodes produced. The series aired at 8:30 P.M. ET, along with WKRP in Cincinnati, M*A*S*H and Flo on the Monday night lineup. After the show ended, Channing would not star in another sitcom until Out of Practice in 2005.
Susan Goodenow (Channing) was a recent divorcee whose ditzy friend/neighbor Earline got her a job working as a consumer reporter for the local Los Angeles TV show The Big Rip-Off. Headlining the show was Brad Gabriel (Ron Silver) a tightly-wound journalist who was convinced everything was toxic and bad. Flamboyant Gus Clyde (Max Showalter), a former Broadway entertainer, was the station owner; Alf (Bruce Baum) was a burnout hippie who landed a job as a security guard at the station after the health food store he owned was targeted by The Big Rip-Off; and Mr. Kramer (Jack Somack) was Susan's landlord. Plots often revolved around Susan's attempts to expose corporations who were swindling consumers, which afforded Channing plenty of opportunities to don various disguises and personas.
After wowing audiences in Grease and The Cheap Detective, CBS sets their sights on making Stockard Channing into a TV star. Channing and her then-husband, producer David Debin, were offered ownership and creative control of a movie and television series. The result were the 1979 made-for-TV movie Silent Victory: The Kitty O'Neil Story and series Stockard Channing in Just Friends. Just Friends was moderately successful and was never officially canceled, but it didn't secure a slot on the fall schedule.
In March 1980, Channing returned in The Stockard Channing Show, which like Just Friends debuted as a mid-season replacement. "I felt last year I became the workhorse, and had to push the show along," Channing told the Associated Press in 1980. "In doing this season, I didn't feel I desperately had to do anything to keep the show moving." Although it was a completely different show, there was certainly familiar ground, beginning with the opening theme song (the same on both series). Stockard's character was again named Susan (Susan was Channing's legal first name; her last name in the series was "Goodenow" as opposed to "Hughes" in the previous) and her apartment was simply redressed. In Just Friends, Susan was in a failing marriage; for this series, she is fully divorced. Sydney Goldsmith was retained as Susan's flighty friend/neighbor, now renamed Earline. In addition to the on-screen similarities, many crew members from Just Friends were also retained.
|1||"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Unemployment Office"||March 24, 1980|
|Susan lands a job working for consumer reporter Brad Gabriel. For her first assignment she goes undercover as an Argentinian socialite to expose a corrupt dentist.|
|2||"Catch a Falling Star"||March 31, 1980|
|Susan poses as a young Texan actress to expose a shady talent agency, but unwittingly falls for their con.|
|3||"Advise and Consume"||April 7, 1980|
|When Susan's former classmate Spencer Farrell (Granville Van Dusen), who is now a politician, arrives she expects to be swept off her feet, but it's Brad who falls victim to Spencer's charms.|
|4||"A No. 3 with Sprouts to Go, Hold the Ptomaine"||April 14, 1980|
|Susan tries to promote Mr. Kramer's new felafel business, but Brad becomes convinced the felafels gave him food poisoning.|
|5||"You Can't Quit Me, I'm Fired"||April 21, 1980|
|Just as Susan is feeling burnt-out at work, she befriends a free-spirited new neighbor (Maureen Arthur) whom the other tenants suspect is a prostitute.|
|6||"Life Begins at 30"||April 27, 1980|
|Susan gets depressed on her 30th birthday and decides to go out and party with Wendy (Wendie Jo Sperber), a plucky 20-year-old intern.|
|7||"The Threat"||April 28, 1980|
|Brad becomes such a nervous wreck after receiving a death threat that he begins popping Valium.|
|8||"Exclusive: Love Finds Brad Gabriel"||June 7, 1980|
|After Brad falls for a beautiful reporter, Susan discovers she works for The National Smarm.|
|9||"Susan's Big Break"||June 14, 1980|
|Susan's favorable test of Stuck-It Glue goes so well that she ultimately pushes Brad out of the TV show.|
|10||"Puppy Love"||June 21, 1980|
|When Gus dumps his 15-year-old nephew on Susan, the boy ends up falling for her.|
|11||"Texas Bob and The Consumer Ranch Gang"||June 28, 1980|
|Susan befriends her childhood matinee idol (Arch Johnson), but is forced to expose the car dealership that he owns.|
|12||"Punt, Pass and Kick"||July 5, 1980|
|Gus hires a chauvinistic football player (Hunter von Leer) who makes a play for Susan.|
|13||"Ask Gratis Gus"||July 12, 1980|
|Susan makes the mistake of agreeing to look at the overlong manuscript for Gus's autobiography.|
The complete series was released on DVD in 2006 by the Canadian company Visual Entertainment paired with 10 of the 13 episodes of Channing's previous series, Stockard Channing in Just Friends. The first episode of The Stockard Channing Show appears at the end of the first disc.
- the Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1133. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
- "Stockard Channing No Ordinary Actress". Ironwood Daily Globe. March 2, 1979.
- Whitbeck, Charles (March 3, 1979). "Stockard Channing? viewers know her now". King Features Syndicate.
- Silden, Isabel (July 8, 1979). "STOCKARD CHANNING: TVS NEWEST FUNNY LADY". Family Weekly.
- Jory, Tom (April 3, 1980). "Channing is wiser this time". The Gazette (Cedar Rapids).