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Designing Women
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TV Series
    (September 29, 1986-May 24, 1993)
    Aired on CBS
    Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
    Dixie Carter as Julia Sugarbaker McElroy
    Delta Burke as Suzanne Sugarbaker Goff Dent Stonecipher (Seasons 1-5)
    Annie Potts as Mary Jo Jackson Shively
    Jean Smart as Charlene Olivia Frazier Stillfield (Seasons 1-5)
    Meshach Taylor as Anthony Bouvier
    Jan Hooks as Carlene Frazier Dobber (Season 6-7)
    Julia Duffy as Alison Sugarbaker (Season 6)
    Judith Ivey as Bonnie Jean 'B.J.' Poteet (Season 7)
    Theme song: 'Georgia on My Mind' as performed by Doc Severinsen (Seasons 1-5) or Ray Charles (Season 6)
    Premise: Professional and personal lives of four women and one man who work at a design firm in Atlanta
    Show creator Bloodworth-Thomason inserted plenty of liberal politics into the show, including unabashed Bill Clinton boosterism.
    Dixie Carter, a registered Republican, cut a deal with the producers that they would let her do a musical number for every liberal speech her character delivered.
    The show was set in Atlanta, but the exterior shots of the Sugarbaker home are actually the Arkansas governor's mansion.
    Delta Burke was let go for either gaining weight (her version) or being argumentative on the set (the producers' version).
    Burke reprised her Suzanne Sugarbaker character for the short-lived spin-off 'Women of the House.' (1994)
    The character of Charlene Frazier was replaced by her sister, Carlene. (Apparently, Ma and Pa Frazier were not very imaginative.)
    After struggling in its first season on Sunday nights, a letter writing campaign by fans saved it from cancellation.
    After being teamed up with fellow liberal working woman Murphy Brown on Mondays, the show became a solid ratings hit.
    Despite (or because of) the controversy over Burke's departure, the next season was the show's most successful as it finished #6 in the year-end Nielsen ratings.
    Burke's future husband, Gerald McRaney, made several appearances as one of Suzanne's exes.
    A speech in which Julia castigates a beauty queen who made fun of Suzanne, concluding with 'And that... was the night... the lights... went out... in Georgia!' became a favorite for word-for-word recitals in gay clubs.

Credit: C. Fishel

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