Season 1 Cast

Season One

Executive Producers: Harry Thomason
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Producer: Emily Marshall
Supervising Producer: E. Jack Kaplan
Associate Producer: Douglas Jackson

"Georgia On My Mind" performed by Doc Severinsen




PILOT -September 29, 1986
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Ellen Chaset Falcon
(Episode Feature available)

Mary Jo offers the name of her ex-husband, Ted, as a new gynecologist for Suzanne, but is not quite prepared when Suzanne returns with the news that she and Ted are now dating. Julia tells off a man who tries to pick up on the ladies in a sushi bar.

Guest Cast: Scott Bakula (Ted Shively), Arlen Dean Snyder (Ray Don Simpson, uncredited)



THE BEAUTY CONTEST -October 6, 1986
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Jack Shea
(Episode Feature available)

A debate begins over whether beauty contests are sexist after Charlene sponsors Mary Jo's daughter Claudia in a teen pageant. Meanwhile, former Miss Georgia-World Suzanne is thrilled to coach Claudia, despite her depression over her 30th birthday and her fear that she is nothing more than a washed-up ex-beauty queen.

Guest cast: Pamela Bowen (Marjorie Lee Winick), Priscilla Weems (Claudia Shively), Virginia Bingham (Debbie Hammonds), Elaine Wilkes (friend), Stacy Nicole Bloodworth (Stacy Nicole), Brian Lando (Quinton Shively), Brian Moore (announcer)



DESIGN HOUSE -October 13, 1986
Written by: Joan Brooker and Nancy Eddo
Directed by: Jack Shea
(Episode Feature available)

After implications that she is nothing but a bimbo front-person for Sugarbakers, Suzanne decides she wants to try her hand at decorating. Confident that she will lose interest, Julia promises her the next job that comes through the door, not realizing that it will be an important Design House project. Everyone is surprised and impressed by Suzanne's dedication ---- until Design House burns to the ground while she is working on it.

Guest cast: Stephen Tobolowsky (Boyd), Meshach Taylor (Anthony)



A BIG AFFAIR -October 20, 1986
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Jack Shea
(Episode Feature available)

Suzanne arranges a date for Charlene with an overweight man to get Sugarbakers a discount on merchandise, which sets loose conflicting emotions in Charlene when she discovers how much she likes the man -- but is embarrassed by his weight. Meanwhile Julia, Mary Jo, and Charlene each secretly make loans to a fraternity that owes the design firm for sofas, and Suzanne's important dinner party becomes a spectacle when she hires a new maid from a third-world country.

Guest cast: Walter Olkewicz (Mason Dodd), David Winn (Dane)



MARY JO'S FIRST DATE -November 3, 1986
Written by: Cheryl Gard
Directed by: Jack Shea
(Episode Feature available)

After hearing that Mary Jo hasn't dated since she and Ted split, Suzanne sets her up with J. D. Shackleford, a scout for the Atlanta Braves baseball team -- who wants to spend the evening with his tongue down Mary Jo's throat. Plus, Sugarbakers must struggle through an IRS audit by the same Ray Don Simpson who once tried to pick up the ladies in a sushi bar and suffered a tongue-lashing from Julia.

Guest cast: Richard Gilliland (J.D. Shackleford), Arlen Dean Snyder (Ray Don Simpson)



JULIA'S SON -November 17, 1986
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Jack Shea
(Episode Feature available)

Julia invites her 19 year old son Payne home from college with his new girlfriend, but everyone is shocked to find that his girlfriend is over 40!!

Guest cast: Natalia Nogulich (Primrose Horton), George Newbern (Payne)



PERKY'S VISIT -November 24, 1986
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Jack Shea
(Episode Feature available)

Julia and Suzanne's mother Perky and her friend Bernice escape the dull routine of their lives in the retirement home by joining the girls and their ex-con deliveryman Anthony for Thanksgiving. Things become eventful as Suzanne's disastrous attempts at cooking are overshadowed by the fear that Anthony has murdered one of Sugarbakers' clients.

Guest cast: Louise Latham (Perky Sugarbaker), Alice Ghostley (Bernice Clifton), Meshach Taylor (Anthony Bouvier), Tony Maggio (policeman)



I DO, I DON'T -December 4, 1986
Written by: Emily Marshall
Directed by: Jack Shea
(Episode Feature available)

Julia is mistaken to think that her current beau Reese Watson is planning to propose, but in a drunken state they get married anyway. The next day Julia regrets the deed, but is furious and embarrassed when Reese shows up with annulment papers.

Guest cast: Hal Holbrook (Reese Watson), Richard Balin (waiter), Ritchie Montgomery (minister)



THE IT MEN -December 11, 1986
Written by: Emily Marshall
Directed by: Jack Shea

Charlene begins to feel guilty over having chemistry with a new man so soon after her boyfriend Mason moves to Japan, but things escalate when the girls discover that her new man is married to one of Sugarbakers' clients.

Guest cast: Madison Mason (Ed Boeving), Brandis Kemp (Mrs. Boeving), Rodney Stone (waiter)



THE SLUMBER PARTY -December 18, 1986
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Jack Shea

After a heated argument, Suzanne's maid puts a curse on her proclaiming that she will be dead by midnight. Meanwhile, the ladies of Sugarbakers agree to help Mary Jo with her daughter's slumber party, which allows the opportunity for bonding as Suzanne tries to make her final moments count.

Guest cast: Priscilla Weems (Claudia Shively), Brian Lando (Quinton Shively)



NEW YEAR'S DAZE -January 1, 1987
Written by: Trish Vradenburg
Directed by: David Steinberg

The ladies' New Year's Eve celebration goes awry when Reese is forced to cancel on Julia because of business, Mary Jo's beau keeps getting phone calls from his ex-wife, and Suzanne's ancient date keeps losing consciousness. But none of these things compare to the news that Charlene's mystery date is a prison escapee and the subject of a massive FBI manhunt.

Guest cast: Richard Gilliland (J.D. Shackleford), Thomas Callaway (Shadow), Nathan Haas (FBI agent), Russell Anderson (Worth Carrington), Suzanne Rains (waitress)



OLD SPOUSES NEVER DIE -(60 minute episode) February 1, 1987
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Barnet Kellman
(Episode Feature available)

Charlene is devastated by the news that she may have breast cancer, leaving Julia to wonder why her doctor said not to be concerned. Meanwhile, Mary Jo's fears of intimacy with J.D. are made worse by the constant interference of both of their ex-spouses, and Anthony hides from a gangster who wants to force him into a $5000 game of poker.

Guest cast: Richard Gilliland (J.D. Shackleford), Scott Bakula (Ted Shively), Julie Cobb (Janet Shackleford), Michael Jeter (Calvin Klein), Priscilla Weems (Claudia Shively), Dennis Howard (Dr. Knight), John Petlock (Dr. Mitchell), Frank Miller (Otis), John C. Anders (Clifford), Brian Lando (Quinton Shively), Jennifer Andrews (nurse)



MONETTE -February 8, 1987
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Barnet Kellman
(Episode Feature available)

An old high school friend of Charlene's moves to Atlanta and asks Sugarbakers to redecorate her mansion, thrilling the ladies, until they begin to suspect that she is practicing the "world's oldest profession", and Julia refuses to take on the very lucrative project.

Guest cast: Bobbie Ferguson (Monette "Monica" Marlin), Dean Dittman and Terry Wills (clients)



AND JUSTICE FOR PAUL -February 15, 1987
Written by: Trish Vradenburg
Directed by Jack Shea

Suzanne gets Sugarbakers a desperately needed new client who wants period furniture on an impossible budget, so Charlene's new boyfriend Paul offers to get them antiques at wholesale. Unfortunately, the ladies end up in jail after the bargain prices turn out to be for stolen goods. The ladies are asked to testify against Paul, but a series of threatening phone calls makes them question their civic duty.

Guest cast: D.David Morin (Paul), Diana Bellamy (prison matron), Dierk Torsek (Detective Delaney)



REESE'S FRIEND -February 22, 1987
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Arlene Sanford

Julia's jealous side comes forward after Reese cancels several dates because of late nights working with an attractive new attorney in his office. Deciding that two can play that game, Julia gets her own boytoy date for the annual country-club fund-raiser. Meanwhile, Charlene looks for her future husband after a tip from her psychic, and Anthony uses the skills he learned in prison to earn some extra money waiting tables at the event.

Guest cast: Hal Holbrook (Reese Watson), Richard Gilliland (J.D. Shackleford), Lisa Peluso (Shannon Gibbs), Michael Griswold (Burton Riffel), Brian Taylor (Harrison Wright), Vincent Pantone (swarthy man)



NASHVILLE BOUND -March 16, 1987
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason

Just as Charlene's entire family is scheduled to visit (all ten siblings and their families), she falls victim to a con-man record producer who promises to make her a star----with a little financial investment. Anthony incites the wrath of an angry football player after he rejects the advances of his hot-to-trot wife.

Guest cast: Michael Ross (Gaylon King), James Ray (Norvelle "Bud" Frazier), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Ione Frazier), Andre Rosey Brown (Wendell Mack), Tom Kindle (club owner), Justin Burnette (Harold Thomas Frazier)



OH, SUZANNAH -March 23, 1987
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Matthew Diamond
(Episode Feature available)

While in Reese's office to sign legal papers with Julia, Suzanne offhandedly volunteers to keep a Vietnamese boat child for four weeks until her adoption is finalized. The more time the little girl spends with Suzanne, the more like her she becomes. Suzanne unexpectedly comes to love the girl, and isn't prepared to give her up --- running off with her when her adoptive parents come to pick her up.

Guest cast: Connie Lew (Li Sing), Michael Griswold (Burton Riffel), Ann Walker (Rosalind Shelton), Richard Jamison (Ed Shelton), Joe Nesnow (delivery man)



MARY JO'S DAD DATES CHARLENE -April 6, 1987
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Jack Shea

Mary Jo's protective nature emerges when her visiting father starts spending quality time with Charlene, who sees him as a man and not just a father. Meanwhile, Anthony uses the delivery truck behind Julia's back to taxi dogs for a grooming parlor, and Charlene becomes enamored with the man in a portrait she bought on clearance --- dubbing him "the best looking man left on Earth."

Guest cast: Geoffrey Lewis (Dr. Davis Jackson), Richard Gilliland (J.D. Shackleford), Dan Dillon (Tom Clarkson)



SEAMS FROM A MARRIAGE -April 13, 1987
Written by: E. Jack Kaplan
Directed by: Jack Shea

Despite their best efforts, the ladies and Anthony become seduced by the wealth of their generous new clients. Even Julia's attempts to remain professional and set a good example fall flat when she ends up on an overnight trip to New Orleans for lobster, and a gift horse appears at her front door. The ladies of Sugarbakers decide to preserve their integrity and reputation by giving up the job, but their attempts to quit incite a domestic dispute with them caught in the middle.

Guest cast: Guy Boyd (Shelby Tate), Janet Carroll (Sissy Tate), Tracey Walker (Malcolm Box), Maxine Elliott (customer)



GRAND SLAM THANK YOU MA'AM -May 4, 1987
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Barnet Kellman

Suzanne is afraid her reputation will be destroyed when her ex-husband, Atlanta Braves pitcher Jack Dent, writes a book detailing his considerable extra-curricular sexual escapades while on the road during their marriage.

Guest cast: Gregg Henry (Jack Dent), James Alt (player #1), Ian Patrick Williams (player #2), Craig Marks (player #3), Troy Evans (man)



BACHELOR SUITE -May 11, 1987
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Jack Shea

Much to the ladies' chagrin, Sugarbakers' latest client wants his bachelor pad complete with a waterfall and mirrors over the bed, and he seems to have more on his mind than just decorating. Mary Jo finally meets her boyfriend J.D.'s kids when he is forced to bring them along on a date, but tension builds between the two when Mary Jo refuses to quit her decorating job when the client starts sexually harassing her.

Guest cast: Richard Gilliland (J.D. Shackleford), Ted Leplat (Hence Winchester), Victor DiMattia (Bert Shackleford), Jandi Swanson (Hannah Shackleford), Jason Gourson (Rex Shackleford)


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TV Guide

My How They Kiss and Talk

TV Guide
July 2-8, 1988

A Southern gentleman finds the ladies of Designing Women a credit to their region.