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Old 11-13-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
OOliver
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Default Remember "City" from 1990? The show and the scandal...

Shortly after winning her lawsuit against Lorimar Productions in 1988 (over her dismissal from the NBC sitcom "Valerie"), Valerie Harper starred in another sitcom (exec-produced by her husband) called "City" for CBS, home to her hit sitcom "Rhoda" from 1974-78.

"City" starred Harper as single mother/city manager Liz Gianni in an 'un-named' big American city. The show dealt realistically with modern issues of what was plaguing the big American cities at the time - beauracratic, political, financial. Harper's character was not too far away from 'Rhoda Morgenstern - spewing witty one-liners to her coworkers who made up the motley crew in the office.

Unlike 'Rhoda', 'Liz' was a single mom who had to deal with a 19 year old daughter 'Penny' at home, in which they had their share of issues (usually resolved by the end of the episode).

CBS ordered 13 eps to finish off the 1989-90 season. It cracked the top 10 when it premiered at the end of January, 1990 as a mid-season replacement. It aired on Monday nights between "Major Dad" and "Murphy Brown", and stayed in the top 10 during February sweeps (it aired opposite the re-named "Hogan Family" on NBC). Ratings steadily declined after that, and the show was pulled in April, 1990 before May sweeps. It returned in June, 1990 to burn off the remaining few eps which were already taped. CBS decided not to give it a second season.

What is very strange about this show is that some 15 years later, it was part of a 'scandal' for product research. Test audiences invited by 'Research Systems Corp' would attend a screening of the pilot ep of this show, being told it was being 'considered' for 'an upcoming new comedy series' starring Valerie Harper during a 'New Television Programming' event.

However, some viewers and many press attendees remembered the show from CBS, while others realized Harper looked much younger than she did at the time of the airings (2005-06), and topics in the show often referred to the year 1990.

It was later found out that RSC was using this series as a ploy to test 'new commercials' - not a new series for Harper. They would gauge audience reactions and emotions to products on screen, as well as having them fill out surveys and questionairres, while the show was only used to occupy their time between watching commercials. The event was being held in major television markets across North America.
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:51 PM   #2
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Cool

I sure do remember this show. I had a crush on LuAnne Ponce who played Penny.
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