'Cagney & Lacey renewed -- so is 'Designing Women'

Source: New York Daily News - April 18, 1987
Written by: George Maksian

Put away those nasty letters and petitions. CBS has announced it has renewed Cagney & Lacey and Designing Women, both of which reportedly had been candidates for cancellation. Designing Women ranks No. 36 out of 103 regularly scheduled shows in the season-to-date rankings; Cagney & Lacey is in 43rd place. The latter program will enter its sixth season in September; Designing Women will start its second season.

The end-of-the-road talk about Cagney & Lacey, which has stumbled badly in the ratings in recent weeks, was fueled recently by the scheduling of CBS' West 57th newsmagazine in its long-held Monday 10 p.m. time slot. But the Emmy-winning cop show, starring Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless, is returning for a special two-parter May 4 and 11, after which it will go into reruns.

Barney Rosenzweig, the series' executive producer, was not available for comment. But a spokesman for the producer said, "We're all ecstatic" about the renewal notice. "We expect to resume production on the fall shows in New York on July 6 and in Los Angeles the following week."

"It was touch and go for some time, but we finally made it," said Georgette Deveney of Columbia Pictures TV, the producers of Designing Women, which is about four sassy Atlanta interior designers. "Our ratings have been exceptionally good, especially since CBS moved us back to our former time slot on Monday nights. It's champagne time here. The women are all here in L.A. raring to go."

The series, which got a firm 22-week pickup, may be back in production some time next month, she said, depending on whether the scripts are ready.

Designing Women has had its ups and downs since its fall debut. When it was temporarily shelved earlier this season, the show's fan club started a massive letter and protest campaign to get the show back on the air.

CBS Entertainment President Bud Grant finally put up a white flag and gave in to the fans' demands. The show returned to the air and was given what was considered a better time slot on Sunday nights, but ratings were disappointing. After a few weeks it was moved back to Mondays, where it had been slated at the start of the season.


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