Produced by: Kathy Speer, Terry Grossman
Co-produced by: Winifred Hervey, Mort Nathan, Barry Fanaro, Marsha Posner Williams
Created by: Susan Harris
Executive producers: Paul Junger Witt, Tony Thomas
Story editors: Christopher Lloyd, Bob Rosenfarb
Associate producer: Greg Giangregorio
Associate directors: Gary Shimokawa, Lex Passaris, Lex Cohen
Post production supervisor: Lex Passaris
Blanche is upset because she thinks she's pregnant -- then despondent when she learns it's the onset of menopause. Meanwhile, the others attempt to raise cash by raising minks, which seem strangely uninterested in each other.b: 27 Sep 86 pc: 026 w: Susan Harris Witt d: Terry Hughes
Excited over having won three tickets to the premiere of the new Burt Reynolds film, the girls check into a Miami Beach hotel chosen by Blanche because of the number of men hanging out in the lobby -- and promptly get arrested as suspected prostitutes. When Sophia comes to bail them out, none of the three will give up her ticket to Sophia -- who abandons them and goes to the party alone. Released the next day, and angrily refusing to believe Sophia's tales of schmoozing with the stars, the ladies are taken aback when Burt Reynolds himself arrives to take Sophia to lunch.b: 4 Oct 86 pc: 029 w: Barry Fanaro & Mort Nathan d: Terry Hughes
Dorothy's ex Stan has lost his business and wants solace, but Dorothy has a date with a dashing naval officer, so she dumps him on Blanche -- and they unexpectedly hit it off. Meanwhile, Sophia convinces Rose that they can make it big in the sandwich business --once they muscle out the main competition, "Johnny No-Thumbs.".b: 11 Oct 86 pc: 028 w: Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman d: Terry Hughes
When the city launches a campaign to widen Richmond Street, the girls circulate a petition to save an 200-year-old old oak tree on the property of a "miserable, vile, scum-sucking" woman who wants it cut down. Rose finally loses her temper and tells the nasty neighbor to drop dead -- and she does, leaving Rose devastated by guilt. Things aren't improved when the girls take responsibility for the funeral (which no one else attends), then discover that Mrs. Claxton was accidentally cremated, so Rose decides to scatter the ashes around the roots of the old oak tree.b: 1 Nov 86 pc: 034 w: Barry Fanaro & Mort Nathan d: Terry Hughes
Jean, a visiting old college friend of Dorothy's who has recently separated from her spouse Pat, falls for naive Rose, who is delighted to discover how much she and Jean have in common. Meanwhile, Sophia has been renting racy videotapes behind Dorothy's back.b: 8 Nov 86 pc: 029 w: Jeffrey Duteil d: Terry Hughes NOTE: Emmy Award, 86-87, to Terry Hughes for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series. This episode was celebrated at the time for its unsensational treatment of lesbian attaraction between mature women.
Blanche's dad arrives with a surprise: he's remarrying. An even bigger surprise is his fiancée, an attractive young widow. Meanwhile, Rose and Dorothy enter a contest to win $10,000 by writing a song about Miami: "Miami, You've Got Style".b: 15 Nov 86 pc: 035 w: Russell Marcus d: David Steinberg NOTE: The part of Blanche's Big Daddy was previously portrayed by Murray Hamilton. Although the role seemed a natural as a recurring character, Big Daddy does not appear again, and is killed off in "Ebbtide".
A generational clash occurs when Dorothy's jazz-playing son Michael and Rose's daughter Bridget visit -- and hit it off. Meanwhile, Blanche wrenches her back trying to impress a man in her aerobics class.b: 12 Nov 86 pc: 036 w: Winifred Hervey d: Terry Hughes NOTE: Scott Jacoby makes two further appearances as Dorothy's son: in the episodes Mixed Blessing and All That Jazz, but does not really qualify as a recurring character.
While the girls take a disappointing trip to the Caribbean, where their "luxury" hotel turns out to be a dump full of obnoxious men there for a college reunion, Sophia enjoys herself at home getting to know the Japanese gardener -- intimately.b: 29 Nov 86 pc: 030 w: Winifred Hervey d: Terry Hughes
After Dorothy searches fruitlessly for a part-time job during her vacation leave from school -- preferably "one that doesn't involve selling cocaine" -- Blanche gets her a position at the museum. But when Dorothy fits in so well that she gets a plum assignment, an angry Blanch accuses her of back-stabbing. Meanwhile, Rose lobbies to keep a stray dog over Dorothy's objections.b: 6 Dec 86 pc: 031 w: Scott Spencer Gordon d: Terry Hughes
Concerned that Rose spends her Saturday evening reorganizing her recipe file while her housemates all have dates, Blanche and Dorothy persuade Rose to place a personal ad in the community newspaper. But Rose only becomes more depressed when she discovers that Sophia is being chased by men while she "can't even get one to write me a letter." Finally she gets a response -- but remains unaware that the letters (from one "Isaac Newton") are being penned by Blanche. Realizing that things have gone too far when they discover that Rose has searched the phone book and invited a very real Isaac Q. Newton to accompany her to a reception, the housemates confess the truth in front of Rose and a relieved Newton -- who was beginning to believe that he really had written the letters....b: 13 Dec 86 pc: 037 w: Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman d: Terry Hughes
The girls' plans to join their respective families for the holiday are upset by a series of bizarre events -- including a lonely Santa taking the roommates hostage at the crisis center where the others have come to pick up Rose from work. Fortunately, Sophia saves the day, pointing out that any real Italian "can tell a toy gun from a real piece." They make it to the airport with minutes to spare, only to be told that all flights from Miami have been cancelled, and settle down to a makeshift Christmas with their second family: each other.b: 20 Dec 86 pc: 038 w: Barry Fanaro & Mort Nathan d: Terry Hughes
As a birthday present for Sophia, Dorothy brings Sophia's sister Angela, whom she has not seen for fifty years, over from Sicily. The trick is keeping it a surprise, especially when Rose "the Blabbermouth" is given the third degree by a suspicious Sophia. But the real surprise is Dorothy's, when Sophia screams "I hate that woman!" and refuses to speak to her sister. All is well when it is finally discovered that the feud was the result of mutual misunderstandings: Sophia didn't kiss Angela's husband, Carmine, under the mistletoe, and Angela didn't blab Sophia's secret to everyone at Francesca Raguso's Christmas party in 1955.b: 3 Jan 87 pc: 039 w: Christopher Lloyd d: Terry Hughes
Facing heart surgery, Dorothy's ex Stan confesses to his extramarital affairs -- and his need for a place to convalesce -- just as Blanche and Dorothy have discovered that the men they are dating are identical twins. Warning Stan that "You live alone and nobody likes you," Sophia invites him to stay with them to recuperate, and Dorothy reluctantly agrees -- until they discover the recovery time is three months.b: 10 Jan 87 pc: 041 w: Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman d: Terry Hughes
A local play offers a role opposite a famous TV actor; and when the girls vie for his attention, he romances them all on the sly. Meanwhile, Sophia secretly takes a job at Captain Jack's Seafood Shanty, and has a tough time explaining her new pirate outfit.b: 17 Jan 87 pc: 040 w: Barry Fanaro & Mort Nathan d: Terry Hughes
Rose, convinced that she died during a throat spasm brought on by overwork, is determined to live her new life to the hilt, including leaving the roommates to live alone on the beach. Meanwhile, Sophia receives a letter from a friend whose cousin is hanging the wallpaper in Tony Bennett's guest bathroom.b: 24 Jan 87 pc: 032 w: Bob Rosenfarb d: Terry Hughes
Rose has secretly signed everyone up for a charity weekend: while Sophia participates in a walk-a-thon, Blanche and Dorothy must mind the children of the other participants. But when the event is over, no one arrives to claim baby Emily. Concluding that the infant has been abandoned, the girls inform the authorities but become increasingly attached to the new member of their household -- until Emily's frazzled father arrives, explaining that he was delayed at the hospital because his wife was giving birth to triplets.b: 31 Jan 87 pc: 042 w: Russell Marcus d: Terry Hughes
A flashback episode: while debating how to accommodate visiting relatives, the roommates eat an Italian dinner cooked by Sophia and reminisce about places they've slept.b: 7 Feb 87 pc: 043 w: Kathy Speer, Terry Grossman, Mort Nathan, Barry Fanaro d: Terry Hughes
Dorothy is attracted to fellow teacher Frank, whom she's been working with on a Youth Opportunities Fair, but of course there's a catch: the latest man in Dorothy's life turns out to be a man of the cloth.b: 14 Feb 87 pc: 042 w: Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman d: Terry Hughes
Sophia is up in arms after Dorothy invites Sophia's feisty sister to stay with them until she finds a place in Miami -- and accuses Angela of trying to steal her beau.b: 21 Feb 87 pc: 046 w: Barry Fanaro & Mort Nathan d: Terry Hughes
Dorothy is reluctant to appear in Rose's class video project for fear of looking "like Fess Parker in heels"; and Blanche arrives home from a class reunion in shock, since she was the only woman there who hadn't had facial surgery. But when she books herself for a facelift, she settles for dating the surgeon instead.b: 28 Feb 87 pc: 044 w: Winifred Hervey d: Terry Hughes
Dorothy blames herself when her 13-year-old star pupil Mario wins a writing contest -- only to alert the INS that he's an illegal alien. Meanwhile, Rose is losing things: Julio Iglesias tickets, two sets of house keys and, most recently, Blanche's silver earrings, "fashioned from the Civil War bullets" that killed her great granddaddy. To make amends, she determined to become Blanche's personal slave.b: 14 Mar 87 pc: 033 w: Christopher Lloyd d: Terry Hughes
While helping Dorothy prepare for a hospital charity banquet, Blanche woos rugged caterer Jake, but her latest heartthrob doesn't quite meet her standards: he's more blue jeans than black tie. Meanwhile, Sophia is discovered to have forgotten to mail invitations to those whose names start with "K through L," and the all-female jazz band Rose hired turns out to be all male -- in drag.b: 21 Mar 87 pc: 047 w: Jan Fischer & William Widener d: Terry Hughes
Dorothy's daughter Kate learns her husband is cheating on her, so she arrives with the news that she has left him.b: 11 Apr 87 pc: 048 w: Harriett Weiss & Pat Shea d: Terry Hughes NOTE: Dorothy's daughter Kate was originally played by Lisa Jane Persky in Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding. The character does not appear again.
Two police detectives move in with the girls to stake out their new neighbors, the McDowells, who are suspected of dealing in stolen gems -- and both Dorothy and Rose find themselves attracted to one of the officers.b: 21 May 87 pc: 049 w: Russell Marcus d: Terry Hughes
rc: Young Dorothy, Salvadore
As the ladies prepare the hors d'oeuvres for a surprise birthday for Roberta, an elderly friend of Sophia's, they take a walk down memory lane, reminiscing about their favorite birthdays. Dorothy remembers the surprise party Rose threw for her at "Mr. Ha Ha's Hot Dog Hacienda." Sophia recalls a milestone birthday: her fiftieth, when she was fighting with her husband Salvadore. Rose tells of her first birthday alone, after her husband died, when she decided to leave St. Olaf for Miami. And Blanche tells of the time when the ladies had just moved in together and threw her a surprise party, not knowing how much she hated them. It was that party that changed Blanche's mind about being surprised, because they invited all the men in her little black book! As we return to the present day, Blanche says, "That's the best, when you're really surprised." With this, the ladies yell, "Surprise!" The story about Roberta's party was just a cover so they could really surprise Blanche. A conga line of men dances in from the lanai, and we can only assume that another memory is just beginning...b: 9 May 87 pc: 050 w: Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman and Mort Nathan & Barry Fanaro d: Terry Hughes
Friend Renee is down because the kids are gone and her husband is busy with his medical practice. Her friends next door persuade her to tell her husband how lonely she feels, but Renee finds that George is either on the phone with patients or dealing with his brother Chuck's three multiple personalities. Only when daughter Jenny comes home to visit does George realize what Renee has been trying to tell him.b: 16 May 87 pc: 051 w: Susan Harris d: Jay Sandrich NOTE: This is the pilot episode for Empty Nest. When the series actually premiered in the fall of 1988, only David Leisure remained with the cast, though his character did change.
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