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Frannie's Turn aired from September until October 1992 on CBS.
Frannie Escober ( Miriam Margolyes),was spunky and engaging but tired of being taken for granted by the men in her life-her husband Joseph ( Tomas Milian), a chauvenistic Cuban-American, and Armando ( Taylor Negron), the insecure dress designer for whom she worked as a seamstress. The only person who seemed to understand her frustrations was her mother-in-law Rosa ( Alice Drummond), not much of an endorsement since Rosa was on the border between eccentric and crazy. Adding to Frannie's anxiety was the fact that her daughter, Olivia ( Phoebe Augustine), had fallen in love with a man who was as chauvenistic as her father. Eddie ( Stivi Paskoski), was Rosa's good-for-nothing High School son and Vivian ( LaTanya Richardson), a fellow seamstress and her best friend at work. Set on Staten Island, New York
Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner were the executive producers.
A Review From The New York Times
by John J. O'Connor
Published: September 25, 1992
Frannie (Miriam Margolyes) is a middle-aged seamstress who has suddenly realized that "if you're not young, beautiful and rich, you don't exist." Tired of being a servant to her macho Cuban husband, Joseph (Tomas Milian), she begins rebelling in a manner that the family attributes to either feminist anger or menopause. Frannie tries to stop her daughter from marrying a man just like her father. At work, she tells off her high-fashion boss, Armando, formerly Arthur of the garment center. At home, Joseph is informed he will have to go to the refigerator himself if he wants a beer.
Meanwhile, Joseph's mother, Rosa (Alice Drummond), is obviously a Sophia clone ( from The Golden Girls), and may be mostly confined to her bed, but she's usually good for a wisecrack or two to perk up the laugh track. But beneath the jokes in "Frannie's Turn," there is real pain and far too much bitterness to be crammed into a sitcom. The most perceptive character of the lot could be spaced-out Eddie (Stivi Paskoski), the teen-age son in a Megadeth T-shirt, who casually treats the rest of the family with the wry disdain they so readily invite.
Created and written by Chuck Lorre for Carsey-Werner Productions; directed by Sam Weisman; music by Michael Linn; production designer, Garvin Eddy; lighting, Daniel Flannery; costumes, Betsy Jones Zwick; editor, Joe Bella; choreography, Murphy Cross; executive producers, Chuck Lorre, Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner and Caryn Mandabach.
Frannie Escobar . . . Miriam Margolyes Joseph Escobar . . . Tomas Milian Rosa . . . Alice Drummond Olivia . . . Phoebe Augustine Eddie . . . Stivi Paskoski Vivian . . . LaTanya Richardson Armando . . . Taylor Negron
An Article from the Orlando Sentinel
Frannie's Turn' Latest Casualty In Battle To Save Saturday Night
Television - TV topics
October 23, 1992|By Rick Du Brow, Los Angeles Times
HOLLYWOOD — Producer Marcy Carsey is a major TV player with such hits as Roseanne and The Cosby Show. But she didn't complain when CBS canceled her newest sitcom, Frannie's Turn, last week.
Frannie's Turn, which starred Miriam Margolyes as a working mother seeking more respect, was yet another long-shot network attempt to fill TV's black hole: the void that has become Saturday night programming. Everyone in the industry is aware of the problem.
''We loved the show,'' says Carsey, ''but CBS never prevaricated that it had mixed feelings about it going in.''
''It's a graveyard,'' Margolyes said of the Saturday night slot, ''and we fell into it, and that's it. I don't think the show is off because we were lousy.''
Unhappy at the quick hook, she even phoned CBS Entertainment President
Jeff Sagansky and protested in vain.
The flurry was the latest evidence of trouble on network TV's fast-slipping night and the question that it poses:
Is Saturday night dead?
It's certainly beginning to look like it.
Once the home of such hits as The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat, Saturday night has become the loneliest night of the week for TV.
Only 49 percent of the nation's viewers have tuned in regular Saturday prime-time programming on the Big Three networks this season - a new low for television's least-watched night - says David Poltrack, CBS vice president for research and planning. That's a 10 percent drop from last season, he adds.
As TV struggles to avoid even a partly lost weekend amid the increasing number of VCRs, the consensus is that older viewers are the primary Saturday network audience.
Which is one reason CBS stuck with Saturday's highly praised Brooklyn Bridge series while canceling Frannie's Turn. Produced by Family Ties creator Gary David Goldberg, Brooklyn Bridge stars Marion Ross as the determined matriarch of a 1950s Jewish family.
''It's a program we all love,'' Poltrack says. The network continues to look for a proper companion series that could help it grow into a ratings hit.
''They (CBS) truly like the show, which is great,'' says Goldberg, adding that the warm comedy has tested well with focus groups who ''didn't see ethnic, urban, period - they just saw family. Minneapolis is our biggest city. But we can't get people to come to the set Saturday night.''
CBS clearly wants to establish long-term creative relationships with Goldberg and the Carsey-Werner company by taking a risk on their shows. And despite the outcome of their current series, the simple principle of trying to put on better programs is the only way to beat the Saturday dead-end, say key executives.
Fred Silverman, a former network boss who now produces such shows as Perry Mason, Matlock and In the Heat of the Night, says that Saturday gets ''the dregs'' of the new series because of its smaller audience.
''When (the networks) program their fall shows, Saturday is last,'' he says. ''But The Golden Girls proved that you can have (Saturday) shows in the Top 10 if you have the right shows. What it means is that Saturday has got to stop being the receptacle for all the marginal shows.''
Taking a slam at networks that program heavily for ''youth, youth, youth,'' Silverman says that ''they're dismissing a lot of older people.'' As for network program executives who claim that their advertisers want only the under-50 audience, he adds: ''That's a sales problem. Maybe they need better salesmen.''
CBS is vowing high priority for Saturdays, which is up for grabs in the ratings. In one quick strike this fall, CBS became a formidable force on Fridays by targeting the night with a lineup of The Golden Palace, Major Dad, Designing Women, Bob and Picket Fences.
The question, however, is whether it's worth it for all the networks to keep programming on Saturdays if it remains a dark hole in a time of revolutionary upheaval in TV. One of the ideas being floated is that at least one network at some point may think of turning several hours on Saturdays back to its affiliate stations to program as they see fit.
For more on Frannie's Turn go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frannie%27s_Turn
To watch a CBS Promo go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6uITgu8Das
To watch CBS fall 1992 promo go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGx_4Vg85o8
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Keywords: Frannie's Turn Cast (Links Updated 7/27/18)