The Gregory Hines Show

CBS (ended 1998)


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The Gregory Hines Show

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"Gregory Hines, star of stage, screen, and television, makes his television series debut as Ben Stevenson, a widower who has been mother, father, and confidant to his 12-year-old son, Matty since his wife's death a year-and-a-half ago. Now, even Ben has to admit that it's time to resume a social life. As he eases back into dating, he finds he has as much to relearn about women as Matty is learning for the first time. Contributing plenty of advice are Ben's brother, Carl, and his dad, James, as well as his publishing house co-worker Alex, Alex's ex-wife, Nicole, and their assistant, Angela. This process proves even more awkward than necessary, since the modest Ben, with his offbeat wit, has no idea how attractive he is to women. For Ben and Matty, who have never had trouble talking openly about anything, now even the simplest conversation has become complicated - especially when the topic is the women in their lives." (CBS press release) In 1997, CBS entertainment president Les Moonves sized up that ABC's commitment to TGIF was waning, and, because his own network was dead on Friday, decided to pick up the slack. He started by swooping in and snatching Family Matters from them by offering its production company, Warner Bros., a higher license fee than ABC was willing to pay. Then he picked up Step by Step when ABC cancelled it. Then he ordered a new comedy, Meego, from those two shows' producers, starring an actor to which they had previously tailored a TGIF show. That left one half hour, and it was filled with Gregory Hines' first television series -- which should have never been in a TGIFish lineup to begin with. Christened The Friday Night Block Party, Moonves thought he had a sure thing on his hands, promising far more to advertisers than any of the four comedies ended up delivering. Or, in the case of Family Matters and Step by Step, had been delivering. To cut down on make-goods, he blasted Meego into orbit six weeks into the season. Then he began shuffling the three he kept, as if they were going to suddenly show growth by moving to new time slots on the same night, with little advance notice. Then came the preemptions (of which there were five in November and December), during which Kids Say the Darndest Things and Candid Camera specials filled in -- and got higher ratings. In January came the Kids Say series -- which continued to make Hines' ratings look bad. February brought CBS' disastrous coverage of the Nagano Winter Olympics, which lost the network far more money than any of the Block Party shows did, as well as the Candid Camera series, which took Family Matters' place. In March, Moonves' axe started hovering over the schedule, looking for something to chop away at to ease the blow. And, poof, Gregory Hines and Step by Step were gone. Family Matters and Step by Step returned that summer to burn off unaired episodes, but Moonves apparently had some grudge against Gregory Hines, opting to throw seven episodes in the garbage of the only one of these four shows that got any positive press at all. What we're sure he doesn't want you to know is that the series did rather well in a trio of special airings after Cosby, but, unlike Everybody Loves Raymond, he didn't like it enough to move it there permanently. Theme song "The Gregory Hines Show (Main Title Theme)" written by Rick Cutler performed by Gregory Hines The Gregory Hines Show is produced by Katlin/Bernstein Productions / Darric Productions / CBS Productions, in association with Columbia TriStar Television Broadcast History ----------------- Sep 1997, Mon 8:30-9:00 Sep 1997-Oct 1997, Fri 9:00-9:30 Nov 1997, Fri 9:30-10:00 Dec 1997, Mon 8:30-9:00 Dec 1997, Wed 8:30-9:00 Dec 1997-Jan 1998, Fri 8:30-9:00 Feb 1998, Fri 9:00-9:30 First telecast: September 15, 1997 Last telecast: February 27, 1998 Show type: Multi-Camera Sitcom Number of episodes: 22 Media:35mm film


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