Women of the House cast

Women of the House

Delta Burke as Suzanne Sugarbaker
Teri Garr as Sissy Emerson
Patricia Heaton as Natalie Hollingsworth
Valerie Mahaffey as Jennifer Malone (5 episodes)
Julie Hagerty as Jennifer Malone (2 episodes)
Lisa Rieffel as Veda Walkman (as of Veda)

Executive Producers: Harry Thomason
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason

Co-Executive Producer: Delta Burke
Producers: Douglas Jackson, Tommy Thompson

"Something to Talk About" by Shirley Eikhard




MISS SUGARBAKER GOES TO WASHINGTON -(60 Minute Pilot) January 4, 1995 CBS
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason
(Episode Feature available)

When Suzanne Sugarbaker's fifth husband dies suddenly, she agrees to fill his seat in the House of Representatives as a favor to the Governor of Georgia until an election can be held. Her rather eclectic staff includes an uptight administrative assistant who got her start serving "under" Congressman Ed Sharkey (who was sent to a Virginia minimum security prison for taking bribes), an alcoholic press secretary fired from The Washington Post after appearing on Sally Quinn's Loser List, and a neurotic housewife-turned-receptionist separated from her husband who left her with two troubled teenage boys. Congress, however, is not prepared for the outspoken, flamboyant ex-beauty queen -- her first televised appearance on Crossfire rocking Washington and involving them all in a scandal dubbed "Knickknack-Gate". Realizing that she will never fit the Washington mold, Suzanne prepares to resign and move her family back home to Georgia.

Special Guest Star: Jonathan Banks as Jim Sugarbaker
Guest cast: Michael Kinsley, John Sununu, James Tartan (Speaker), Brittany Parkyn (Desiree Sugarbaker), Jeff Doucette and M.C. Gainey (movers), Jimmy Stewart (uncredited archival footage)



GUESS WHO'S SLEEPING IN LINCOLN'S BED? -January 9, 1995 CBS
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason

After the President and First Lady must cancel a dinner engagement at Suzanne's home, they invite her to spend an evening with them at the White House. Suzanne is invited to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom and, in her excitement, jumps up and down on the Lincoln Bed -- and breaks it. Meanwhile, Malone has started a college course drawing male nudes, and Suzanne's staffers are forced to sneak a large piece of wood into the White House to replace the broken bed slats -- but how? Natty has Malone draw a nude man on the wood, claiming it is a gift for the President.

Special Guest Star: Jonathan Banks as Jim Sugarbaker
Guest cast: Jamie Farr, Scott Michael Campbell (Kevin), William Newman (Dave), Kate Randolph Burns (woman journalist), Michael Danek (Holmes), Bud Leslie (reporter), Glenn Taranto (Marshall)



THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR -January 11, 1995 CBS
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason

Suzanne tries to boost her Washington image by writing an article on race relations based on the "interracial bond" that she shares with her housekeeper Sapphire. Meanwhile, she invites an evicted Emerson to stay at her house -- which Natty sees as an opportunity for Sissy to help Suzanne with her article. It's Sissy though who learns the lesson, as she finds that living with Suzanne (along with the Congresswoman's adopted daughter Desiree, housekeeper Sapphire, and retarded brother Jim) is like living in a fairy tale.

Guest cast: Deborah May (Ann Gilroy), Barbara Montgomery (Sapphire Jones), Brittany Parkyn (Desiree Sugarbaker), Lou Rawls (uncredited archival footage)



MEN ARE GOOD -January 18, 1995 CBS
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason

Malone reluctantly steps back into the world of dating, but the advice of her more experienced colleagues turns out to be more stressful than helpful -- making her paranoid of her date's intentions. Wanting to take control of the situation, Malone decides that she must seduce Brad on their first date and spends a week's pay on assorted condoms.

Guest cast: D.David Morin (Brad Baines)



YOU TALK TOO MUCH -January 25, 1995 CBS
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason

Natalie and Sissy's political differences come to a head after the Republicans gain control of the Senate. Tired of Natty's arrogance since the elections, Emerson pulls a prank on her, telling her that she spit in her hero Senator Jesse Helm's soup during lunch. But when Senator Helms is later rushed to the hospital with stomach pains, Natty reports her to the FBI. Meanwhile, Suzanne and her staff must begin reviewing violence toward women on television, and Natty gets frustrated over Suzanne's continuing friendship with the Democratic President Clinton.

Guest cast: William Newman (Dave), Jennifer Williams (Newscaster), Darrel Harris (FBI agent), Maryann Sanders (Staffer)



BAD GIRL -February 1, 1995 CBS
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason

After a night with her ex-husband leads to a pregnancy scare, Malone decides to become a new woman and unleash her sexual energies. Meanwhile, Emerson sells lingerie for an ill neighbor, and Suzanne makes plans to show confidential government reports to executives from the Alaskan fish industry.

Guest cast: William Newman (Dave), Ellen Dubin (woman), David J. Partington and Daniel Bryan Cartmell (fish guys), David Allyn (man)



THE AFTERNOON WIFE -March 20, 1995 CBS
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason
(Episode Feature available)

Suzanne's ex-husband Dash rolls into town after writing a racy book about their marriage, and he soon charms all of Suzanne's staffers -- particularly Malone. Meanwhile, Suzanne starts feeling that Dash may no longer find her attractive since she's grown from an impressionable young girl into a United States Congresswoman.

Guest cast: Gerald McRaney (Dash Goff)



VEDA -August 18, 1995 CBS
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason

Baby boomers Suzanne, Natalie, and Sissy experience a Generation X gap when a mercurial young intern named Veda joins the staff. When Veda becomes more than they can handle, the ladies attempt to find a way to relieve themselves of her services. Meanwhile, the war of practical jokes between Natty and Emerson escalates when Sissy gives Natty a plant that was stolen from Newt Gingrich’s office as a belated birthday gift, and Natalie retaliates by tying a Democratic jackass to her desk.

Guest cast: William Newman (Dave), Adam Carl (Adam), Anne Bellamy (woman), Charles Walker (Guard)



WOMEN IN FILM -September 8, 1995 LIFETIME Television (Originally scheduled for CBS on August 25, 1995)
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason

Controversial episode where Representative Sugarbaker and her staff continue to review how women are portrayed in film and on television -- coupled with testimony of women in the film industry before committee. Plus Natty becomes distraught when, after visiting Suzanne's hairdresser, she is cursed with "big" hair just before a conjugal visit with her imprisoned lover. Footage edited out by CBS censors -- enactments of women being tortured, raped, and brutally murdered -- was reinserted for airing on LIFETIME Television.

Guest cast: Tony Carreiro (Lyle Fredericks), Douglas Sills (Eric Belmont), Jason Grant Smith (Jason Dupree), William Newman (Dave), John Petlock (Chairman), David Starwalt (studio executive), Charles C. Stevenson Jr. (Representative Crow), Michael Delon (Representative Hayes), Rick Hamilton (Representative Monahan), Jonathan Terry (Representative Hoffmeyer), Loni Anderson, Elizabeth Ashley, Carol Burnett, Brett Butler, Marilyn Chambers, Deidre Hall, Shirley Jones, Marilyn McCoo, Rita Moreno, Stefanie Powers, Roseanne, Joan Van Ark



THE CONJUGAL COTTAGE -September 8, 1995 LIFETIME Television
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason

When Natalie takes ill, Emerson takes her place for a platonic weekend at the prison so Ed doesn't lose his turn in the conjugal cottage. Unfortunately, unexpected sexual desire builds between Ed and Sissy, so Emerson must call in Suzanne to relieve her -- resulting in the conjugal cottage burning to the ground.

This episode aired without closing credits.

Guest cast: Charles Frank (Ed Sharkey), Telma Hopkins (Officer Rhoda), Adam Carl (Adam)



NORTH TO ALASKA -September 8, 1995 LIFETIME Television
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason

Suzanne and her staff are sent to Alaska to investigate the spawning habits of Alaskan salmon, but they all end up lovestruck after they find Alaska is full of handsome eligible men.

This episode aired without closing credits.

Guest cast: Peter Reckell (Steve Briston), Gerard Christopher (Rick), Myles O'Brien (Gil), Paul Kersey (Eric)



DEAR DIARY -September 8, 1995 LIFETIME Television
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Directed by: Harry Thomason
(Episode Feature available)

Feeling that Representative Sugarbaker is a disgrace and completely inappropriate for her position, Congresswoman Seizmore of the Ethics Committee launches an investigation into her activities. Suzanne inadvertently blurts out that she has a diary, which Seizmore has subpoenaed. Unwilling to turn over her diary because it has a record of her weight in it, Suzanne tries to enlist her visiting friend Anthony Bouvier to dispose of it. Hoping their relationship had evolved, but realizing that it hasn't, Anthony agrees to take a Carnival Cruise and toss the diary overboard (leaving no trace of it). In an odd twist of fate, the diary hits Regis Philbin on the head, and he reads Suzanne's weight on national television.

This episode aired without closing credits.

Guest cast: Meshach Taylor (Anthony Bouvier), Susan Powter (Representative Kirby Seizmore), Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford


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TV Guide

Delta Burke's Law: Never Say Never

TV Guide
December 31, 1994

After a dark period, Delta Burke is back from the brink - as her old self, with a new show.