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Poster: Mr. Television
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Me and the Boys aired from September 1994 until August 1995 on ABC.
Steve Harvey starred in this Gentile family comedy about a single black dad
raising his 3 boys-Artis ( Chaz Lamar Shepherd) the slacker, William (
Wayne Collins) the schemer and Andrew ( Benjamin D. LeVert) the cute
10 year old who yearned to be older. Steve a widower , ran a video
store in their hometown of Dallas, but most of the action took place
around the kitchen table, where they all laughed at each other's weak
jokes and learned little lessons in life. then father and son would
bump fists and say "we cool."
Mary ( Madge Sinclair) was Steve's sensible live-in mother-in-law and
Amelia ( Wendy Raquel Robinson) his equally sensible girlfriend.
The series was scheduled on Tuesdays following Full House (which
co-creators Dames and Ripps had previously wrote and produced on) and
preceding Home Improvement. Despite ranking #20 in the ratings, ABC
canceled the series after one season.
Madge Sinclair died of leukemia in December 1995. Wendy Raquel
Robinson would play Steve Harvey's girlfriend again in his next
series, The Steve Harvey Show.
An Article from the LA Times
The Reasons 'Boys' Didn't Make the Cut : Television: Good ratings and positive portrayals of African Americans didn't mean a fall renewal because too much of the sitcom is 'kid-driven,' says ABC's entertainment chief.
May 18, 1995|RICK DU BROW | TIMES TELEVISION WRITER
On paper, the ABC sitcom "Me and the Boys" looked like a sure renewal--if you went by network TV's old rules.
The ratings were good in its first season--it finished 21st among 142 shows, averaging 20% of the audience. It did well not only in total TV homes, but also with kids--and even with the 18-to-49-year-old viewers favored by advertisers, ranking 27th with this desired group, according to a network source.
On top of that, it was a breath of fresh air in offering a positive view of a minority family, with Steve Harvey outstanding as an African American widower who has a strong relationship with his three sons and tries to instill good values in them.
But on Tuesday, ABC canceled the show.
When the news came down as the network announced its 1995-96 prime-time schedule, Harvey asked the natural question: "What does a guy have to do to stay on the air?"
The answer, if you go by the new priorities of ABC--a longtime proponent of family shows--is that competitors NBC and Fox now are setting the agenda, offering more adult-oriented series in TV's early prime-time hours to appease 18-to-49-year-olds.
And ABC perceived "Me and the Boys" as essentially too "kid-driven" at a time when the network is playing catch-up in offering "adult-driven" early prime-time series.
The success of more adult-themed early shows such as NBC's "Mad About You" and Fox's "Melrose Place" and "Martin" has changed the rules. And with NBC challenging hard to sweep past top-ranked ABC in key ratings categories, ABC is trying to counterpunch.
This season, ABC's 8-9 p.m. shows on Tuesday were "Full House" and "Me and the Boys," both canceled.
"NBC won with adults in that hour," ABC Entertainment President Ted Harbert said in an interview Wednesday. NBC's primary show in the hour was "Wings." Next season, NBC's 8-9 sitcoms will be "Wings" and "NewsRadio," two shows with heavy young-adult appeal.
Harbert noted that instead of "Full House" and "Me and the Boys," ABC's 8-9 p.m. Tuesday shows next season will be "Roseanne" and a new comedy series, "Hudson Street," in which Tony Danza plays a cop who gets involved romantically with a reporter.
There are youngsters in both ABC shows, but Harbert said he thinks the two series "will return us the adult audience."
"Nothing was wrong with 'Me and the Boys,' " Harbert said. "It got inched out in the schedule." He added that he didn't overly consider the ratings, including its showing with 18-to-49-year-olds: "I look at how we're doing against NBC. With Danza's show, we now have a more adult audience [in that slot].
"Too much of 'Me and the Boys' was kid-driven."
Harbert noted that the series is owned by ABC--it was made in association with ABC Productions--and not only did it offer the potential for company profit, but he didn't want "to blow off the show."
If ABC had not renewed all of its Friday family lineup--"Family Matters," "Boy Meets World," "Step by Step" and "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper"--there might have been a place for "Me and the Boys" there, Harbert added.
What about the significant matter of ABC canceling four ethnic prime-time shows, including "Me and the Boys" with its admirable values?
"I don't like canceling those ethnic shows any more than you," he said. But he maintained, despite criticism that followed the release of the lineup, "We've got a good record and these things go in cycles."
Responding to ABC's "kid-driven" fix on "Me and the Boys," Harvey said: "I was the main character." But he said, "What I'm most upset about is what the show stood for. It killed a lot of stereotypes. It helped show African Americans in a positive light. It showed fathers in a positive light, black or white."
ABC probably could have done a better, more creative job in promoting the show too, helping build a real buzz.
Could the series resurface on another network or cable, as Harvey hopes?
At CBS, desperate for comedy hits and yet to release its fall lineup, entertainment president Peter Tortorici said: "We're being shopped a number of properties and we'll decide [on the schedule] next week."
At Fox, which will also disclose its fall lineup next week, John Matoian, president of the Entertainment Group, said that no one has called him from "Me and the Boys" and that he is reserving comment.
At NBC, West Coast President Don Ohlmeyer said, "It's a pretty good show," but that it was unlikely for his network, although "that's not to say it might not be something we'd consider" in surveying available series
Here is Madge Sinclaire's Obituary
Madge Sinclair, 57, TV and Film Actress
December 23, 1995
Madge Sinclair, an actress who appeared on television and in film, died on Wednesday at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. She was 57.
She had had leukemia for 13 years, said an ABC spokeswoman, Julian Myers.
Ms. Sinclair, who played Bell in the 1977 ABC mini-series "Roots," was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She was a schoolteacher until she moved to New York City at the age of 30.
Her early credits included the role of Clytemnestra in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of "The Wedding of Iphigenia" in 1971. She made her film debut in 1974, opposite Jon Voight in "Conrack."
She received five nominations for Emmy Awards, and won for her work in the critically acclaimed "Gabriel's Fire," which ran on ABC from 1990-92. She played the owner of a cafe frequented by the title character, a former convict played by James Earl Jones.
She also appeared on the television shows "Grandpa Goes to Washington," "Trapper John, M.D.," "Me and the Boys" and "Look Away."
Her most recent movie work was as the voice of the Lion Queen in "The Lion King" (1994), and she played Eddie Murphy's mother in "Coming to America" (1988).
She was the recipient of several awards, including the Order of Distinction bestowed by the Prime Minister of Jamaica and two Image Awards from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Ms. Sinclair also appearing in seven plays at the Los Angeles Theater Center and in "Division Street" at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
She is survived by her husband, Dean Compton, her sons, her mother and a sister.
To watch clips from Me and the Boys go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=me+and+the+boys+full+episodes
For more on Me and the Boys go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_and_the_Boys_(TV_series)
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Keywords: Me Boys Cast (Links Updated 7/31/18)