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Old 03-12-2016, 09:16 PM   #1
Penny Lane
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Default Final episode aired today in 1990

Were you tuned in on this day in 1990 when the final episode of Mama's Family TV aired?
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:20 PM   #2
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Baby Tiffany Thelma would be 25 or 26 years old now!!! Oh wow, wouldn't it be really cool if they would have her be getting married and have a made for TV Mama's family reunion movie??
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:29 AM   #3
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I was 8 in 1990. I didn't really know a lot about the show then. I discovered it more years later on TBS.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:36 AM   #4
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I watched the show when it originally aired so I probably did see the final episode then.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:19 AM   #5
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I saw it but didn't realize at the time it was the finale. Remember, MAMA was only in first-run syndication so it didn't get the write-ups in TV Guide or the Entertainment section of the newspaper or the network promos. I think I read somewhere awhile later in a blurb (maybe in the Enquirer or Star, etc.) that accompanied a candid of Vicki that it was over.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonniegirl
Baby Tiffany Thelma would be 25 or 26 years old now!!!
26

We didn't have cable where I grew up so I didn't get to see this regularly when growing up; I saw it in syndication in the early '90s after its initial syndicated run was over, so I could only realize that was the series finale after I'd seen all of the shows, lol.
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Old 02-20-2020, 05:46 AM   #7
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This coming Monday (February 24), will officially mark 30 years since Mama's Family went off the air. What was the definitive reason for why it ended when it did? I mean, Mama's Family was hugely successful when it transferred from NBC to syndication. It therefore, could've in theory, run at least two more years.

According to Ken Berry, the show ended after four years in syndication (and six years in total) because Vicki Lawrence was simply getting tired of playing Thelma Harper and was ready to move on. According to Vicki Lawrence herself, the show by 1990, had reached the standard threshold of 100 episodes and no longer needed to produce any more.

An alternative and much more depressing reasoning that I've heard (and I've addressed this here before), Vicki Lawrence didn't want to continue while Joe Hamilton, the executive producer was dying from cancer.
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Old 02-27-2020, 05:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny Lane View Post
Were you tuned in on this day in 1990 when the final episode of Mama's Family TV aired?
I sure was! It ran in First Run Syndication in my city (Memphis) every Saturday afternoon on the ABC affiliate, I think.

Pretty sure I saw all of the First Run Syndicated episodes from 1987 forward on the original air date.

Was pretty bummed when it ended... always felt like there was another season or two, but that's just the fan in me.

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What was the definitive reason for why it ended when it did?

According to Vicki Lawrence herself, the show by 1990, had reached the standard threshold of 100 episodes and no longer needed to produce any more.
That's the reason I always heard and it seemed plausible. They had enough to go into a syndicated run ad nauseam, which it did in almost every market.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:30 PM   #9
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By 1990, the show had 130 episodes in the can, including both the NBC and syndication shows. As Vicky said on one of the DVDs that Warner felt they didn't need to produce any more episodes for a successful syndication package. Creatively, they certainly could have run another season or two, but Warner decided to end the series and cash in.
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:58 PM   #10
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Realistically, that was a good place to end everything.
Plot-wise, I'm sure many viewers wouldn't have minded another season or two centering on the family raising Tiffany Thelma. I was always fine with that being the last episode, though. Had the show continued, I think there would have been the potential to center too much on the baby and less on Thelma, the actual star of the show, and the writing would have had to be careful not to make that happen.
Still, it's always fun to speculate about the fictional Harpers' lives after the show finished.
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Old 03-08-2020, 04:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Realistically, that was a good place to end everything.
Plot-wise, I'm sure many viewers wouldn't have minded another season or two centering on the family raising Tiffany Thelma. I was always fine with that being the last episode, though. Had the show continued, I think there would have been the potential to center too much on the baby and less on Thelma, the actual star of the show, and the writing would have had to be careful not to make that happen.
Still, it's always fun to speculate about the fictional Harpers' lives after the show finished.

I think if they show had went on for another season, it possibly would have focused more on Mama and Iola. Vint, Naomi and Tiffany were "living in the driveway" now, and possibly they wouldn't have been as big of a part of the show as they were in days past, possibly only popping in occasionally now and then. I honestly think we would have seen Thelma and Iola going on more adventures and getting into messes. It was around this time that Vickie and Carol got back on speaking terms I think, so possibly we would have seen a Eunice appearance. Since Mama's Family was WAYYY more light-hearted at this point, it would have been nice to see Mama and Eunice FINALLY get to the bottom of their hostility toward each other and make amends.
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