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It Had To Be You ran from September until October 1993 on CBS.
Short-lived comedy about the sometimes awkward romance of an unlikely couple-Laura ( Faye Dunaway), a high-powered , socially prominent book publisher in Boston and Mitch( Robert Urich), the carpenter she had hired to build a bookshelf for her. Despite the obvious social gulf between the lady publisher and the surprisingly literate blue-collar carpenter, the chemistry between them was powerful stuff. Eve ( Robin Bartlett), was Laura's outspoken longtime assistant-who was all for the relationship-and David, Christopher, and Sebastian ( Justin Whalin, Will Estes, Justin Jon Ross)where widower Mitch's 3 sons.
Their was an attempt to retool the show after the initial ratings came in by deleting Faye Dunaway's character of Laura and turning it into a copy of all the other single dad shows that were on the air at the time but CBS canceled the series before these changes were implemented.
The teaser trailor that ran during the summer of 1993 showed star Robert Urich approaching Faye Dunaway in her hallway and telling her, in a vey carpenter like tone that she needed a stud to finish her penthouse. Dunaway raised her eyebrows, smiled, and asked salaciously " Do I really need a stud?"
Here are the theme song lyrics
It had to be you, it had to be you;
I wandered around, and finally found - the somebody who
Could make me be true, could make me be blue;
And even be glad, just to be sad, thinking of you.
Some others I've seen, might never be mean;
Might never be cross, or try to be boss,
But they wouldn't do.
For nobody else, gave me a thrill - with all your faults, I love you still
It had to be you, wonderful you;
It had to be you.
A Review from Variety
It Had to Be You
((Sun. (19), 8-8:30 p.m., CBS-TV))
By TONY SCOTT
Filmed at Warner Hollywood Studios by Highest Common Denominator and Warner Bros. TV. Exec producers, Anita Addison, Andrew Nicholls, Darrell Vickers, David Steinberg; co-exec producers, Brad Buckner, Eugenie Ross-Leming; producer, Todd Stevens; director, Steinberg; writers, John Steven Owen, Nicholls, Vickers.
Cast: Faye Dunaway, Robert Urich, Justin Whalin, Will Estes, Justin Jon Ross, Robin Bartlett, Melody Kay.
CBS unspools a glimpse of the new Faye Dunaway-Robert Urich comedy series in a prime slot following "60 Minutes" (series is slated for Fridays, 8-8:30 p.m.), enough to show it's a frigid-Tiffany-lady-and-the-working-stiff format backed by a hearty laugh track. A glimpse should be enough.
Dunaway plays successful, exacting Boston publisher Laura Scofield, burying herself in her work. Urich is Mitch Quinn, widowed carpenter who comes to her office to build shelves. Laura's lofty manner is counterbalanced by the smarmy remarks of her aggressively frustrated secretary, Eve (Robin Bartlett), about Mitch, an ample hunk who doesn't demonstrate why all of Laura's femme staff trails headily after him.
Mitch is amused by Laura's sophisticated manner. Obviously attracted to one another -- it's not a new formula -- they exchange lumpish badinage before he has her standing on her head to cure her hiccups. That ice-breaker, whipped on by David Steinberg's frantic direction and the thin John Steven Owen-Andrew Nicholls-Darrell Vickers script, leads to Laura meeting Mitch's three sons at his house.
After a primitive-but-funny sight gag, oldest son David (Justin Whalin) has a likable moment of truth with Laura, but Dunaway's Laura doesn't stick around; the writers have her ankle the scene, killing whatever potential there might have been.
If the intro between the two principals is this forced, the series is in trouble. Dunaway plays at Laura, a Lady Bountiful in need; Urich is the comfortable Mitch, playing along with good, if slightly embarrassed, grace.
Laura, Mitch and the whole gang need stronger writers, including one who doesn't think "there hasn't been a famous carpenter since Noah."
Camera, Robert Byrne; editor, Robert Souders; art director, David Sackeroff; sound, Larry Lasota.
A Review from USA TODAY
TV PREVIEW/BY MATT ROUSH
Watching the forced romantic high jinks of It Had to Be You , you might begin to wonder. Did it have to be them?
It's one thing to see an office of women drool over beefy carpenter Robert " new-show-every-fall" Urich when he walks into a room ( He can dream can't he?) But its another entirely to watch glam Faye Dunaway slum as a wound-type -A publisher: mugging through lame sex jokes, hiccuping and standing on her head and dumping flour on a teen-agers head.
Oops is right.
Still there are sparks between the smoldering mismatched star couple-he a widower with three boys, she a prickly and condescending Dewer's Profile candidate-and when they climatically kiss, the audience remarkably stays quiet. No annoying wolf whistles, mearly grown-up appreciation of a payoff.
An added plus: Robin Bartlett ( The Powers That Be) as Dunaway's man-crazy, sardonic assistant . While nothing special, It Had to Be You ( which moves to Friday next week) has a touch-the wispiest touch-of class.
A Review From Entertainment Weekly
It Had to Be You
Reviewed by Ken Tucker
The vehemently titled it had to be you (CBS, Fridays, 8-8:30 p.m.) is actually one of the season's vaguest, most ambivalent new sitcoms. The casting of TV perennial Robert Urich and movie star Faye Dunaway as odd-couple lovers is almost perversely capricious. Watching these two utterly different acting styles share scenes, you immediately realize that, great old song title to the contrary, it really didn't have to be them. The silliness of It Had's premise- Urich is a working-class carpenter in Boston who romances Dunaway's publishing-world sophisticate; he has three sons from a previous marriage, she gazes at children as if they were Martians-is merely an excuse for the stars to engage in watered-down Tracy-Hepburn banter.
All that said, both Urich and Dunaway do their jobs with considerable energy and resourcefulness. Urich seems relaxed and natural, while Dunaway is arch and stylized-I'll bet viewers who like her film work will be intrigued by the way she bends her volatile-grande-dame movie persona to fit into a sitcom structure, and those who don't will find her off-puttingly formal. Ultimately, the very unlikeliness of this pairing takes on a loopy credibility: Don't we all know real-life couples who don't seem to belong together, but who, against all odds and temperaments, get along just duckily? C+
An Article from the LA Times
Networking, Faye's Way : DUNAWAY STRIVES FOR THE FEEL OF CLASSIC ROMANTIC COMEDY IN CBS' 'IT HAD TO BE YOU'
September 26, 1993|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER
After appearing in such classic films as "Bonnie and Clyde," "Chinatown" and "Network," it may seem odd that Faye Dunaway would decide to do a sitcom. But says the Oscar-winner, she always wanted to be a clown.
Though movies never allowed her the opportunity to fulfill her dream, TV has. She's starring with Robert Urich in the new romantic comedy "It Had to Be You," which airs Fridays on CBS.
"I always wanted to get into that lighter, happier, looser self, who has always been there in my personal life," Dunaway explains over a quick lunch at the Warner Bros. commissary.
"I think after 'Bonnie & Clyde,' I got into the whole star machine," she acknowledges. "I was offered very elegant, sophisticated, urban roles which I had fun playing. But in my heart, I wasn't really like that. I wasn't so perfect and untouchable as that."
Dunaway began toying with the notion of a sitcom while living in England in the '80s with then-husband, photographer Terry O'Neill, and their son Liam, now 13.
"I felt like I could get into this," she says, diving into her Caesar salad. "I could do comedy. I could reinvent myself. I certainly didn't want to do an hour, which everyone thought (would be right) for me. This was an answer to everything I wanted and needed. I would like to develop a great female clown."
Actually, in "It Had to Be You," Dunaway plays a variation of her urban, sophisticated, strong modern woman. Dunaway's Laura Scofield is a successful book publisher who falls madly in love with hunky Mitch Quinn (Robert Urich), a widowed carpenter with three kids.
Co-executive producer and director David Steinberg wants the series to capture the sophisticated spirit of the Preston Sturges-Howard Hawks comedies of the '30s and '40s. "Katharine Hepburn wasn't a comedienne, but she is very funny in 'Bringing Up Baby," Steinberg says. "Barbara Stanwyck's the same way. In 'The Lady Eve,' she's gorgeous and funny."
And he believes Dunaway possesses the same qualities. "When you take a great actress like Faye and you give her the rhythms of those comedies, something unusual starts to happen," Steinberg says. "You get a situation comedy that doesn't quite look like the current things out there. It doesn't have the hipness of a 'Seinfeld,' but an evocative feeling of these old romantic comedies."
And Dunaway's been doing her homework by watching the old comedies. She's especially impressed with the late British comedian Kay Kendall ("Les Girls") and the legendary Carole Lombard. "Kay Kendall was just so frivolous, wonderful and juicy," Dunaway enthuses. "Carole Lombard was larky. Myrna Loy was fantastic!. I love Roz Russell!
"Also, coming into TV comedyland, one of the first places I went to look for research, to see and to learn was Lucille Ball. She was a genius. Her housewife clown is as important a clown as Chaplin's Tramp."
Laura Scofield, though, is very much a '90s career woman. "What does the executive woman do when (her career) is not enough?," Dunaway asks. "You want that man and you want that relationship and you want these kids. It's very much a '90s dilemma. We're now moving pretty smoothly in a man's world and being our own person. But what else do we want? The comedy comes in because she is now a fish out of water."
The willowy actress had been in discussions for a while with CBS President Jeff Sagansky about doing a comedy series. Lorimar, which has since merged with Warner Bros., offered her "It Had to Be You." Not only did Dunaway accept, she helped develop the series from the early script.
In its original form, Dunaway says, Urich's Mitch was a plumber. "I thought, 'That's not good,' " she recalls, smiling. "But I've always loved carpenters. People who build things."
Presto chango. Mitch was transformed into a carpenter.
Steinberg became involved after Dunaway was on board. "Faye came after me," says the former stand-up comic and executive producer-director of "Designing Women."
Though CBS and Steinberg were developing a series, the network and Lorimar thought Steinberg would be perfect for Dunaway and "It Had to Be You,"
Before Steinberg committed, he asked Dunaway to observe on the "Designing Women" set for three weeks, so she could learn what doing a sitcom really entailed.
"To my surprise and delight," Steinberg recalls, "she showed up an hour before I got there and left an hour after I did. She talked to the women, she talked to the cameraman and the makeup person. She became a scholar of the form."
Dunaway acknowledges it's been a a difficult adjustment going from the world of movies to doing a weekly series in front of an audience. "The show last night was our second show, and I feel like I am a thousand leagues more comfortable than in the first one," she says. "I am used to having nobody on the set. Doing a film, nobody is hanging around and watching what's going on."
"Every week she comes up 100% per cent," Steinberg says. "She's trying very hard. What she doesn't really have to learn is that she is a version of Rosalind Russell and Barbara Stanwyck and Katharine Hepburn."
"It Had to Be You" airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
An Article from Entertainment Weekly
Published on October 8, 1993
Pop Culture News
ENTER FAYE, LAUGHING
WITH HER NEW SITCOM 'IT HAD TO BE YOU,' FAYE DUNAWAY TAKES THE FIRST COMIC TURN IN HER LONG DRAMATIC CAREER. HOW WILL ONE OF AMERICA'S PREMIER ACTRESSES FARE IN THE FUNNY LANE-AND WHAT'S SHE DOING THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
By Lisa Schwarzbaum
The young production interns and junior publicity reps and apprentice techs and assistant caterers who populate the set of the new CBS sitcom It Had to Be You were all of-what, 2?-in 1967, when Faye Dunaway blazed her way to big- screen fame as girl outlaw Bonnie Parker, shooting great, bloody chunks out of life with Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde. They were 9, maybe, when she seared the screen and unhinged Jack Nicholson in Chinatown; 11 when she grabbed an Oscar for her fierce, precise work as ruthless TV programmer Diana Christenson in Network. And the walkie-talkie-wielding staffers on the Warner Bros. soundstage were probably teens in 1981 when they first paid attention to one of America's great capital-A Actresses in Mommie Dearest. Of course, at that point, Faye Dunaway was acting up a tornado as a raging, hanger-brandishing Joan Crawford, an all-stops-out performance resulting in a pretty daunting image of herself as a scary, demanding, imperious, melodramatic, difficult capital-A Actress. And now she is surrounded by these young colleagues who call out, ''Hey, Faye!'' ''Morning, Faye!'' ''How ya doin', Faye?'' as they bustle around the set of It Had to Be You, CBS' standard-issue romantic comedy (Fridays, 8 p.m.). The show is about a high-powered, stylishly dressed, highly stressed, workaholic book publisher in Boston who falls for the manly, down-to-earth carpenter who comes to hang her office bookshelves-and who, because he is played by Robert Urich, is also an educated, nurturing widower raising three sons on his own. Sample riposte: He: ''You've got no stud on this wall.'' She: Do I need a stud? (building tide of laughter) He: ''You tell me.'' (cresting wave of laughter) Dunaway, 52, is now costarring in a foursquare television sitcom (see review on page 42), and she's performing nuts-and-bolts situation-comedy transactions that include standing on her head, hiccuping, and tossing bowls of flour. She's used to having quiet on the set, used to shooting scenes until she gets them just right, used to darkness in the wings and nobody in her sight lines as she works, and now she is riposting on a tight schedule with squadrons of unimpressed light and sound technicians unceremoniously galumphing around her, with a studio audience peering at her while they chew gum, and with a new script to learn next week. ''I really love this thing of comedy,'' says Faye Dunaway. ''I would really like to be a comedienne.''
''I'll tell you what surprises me-she's not a snob,'' says executive producer Anita Addison, who has shepherded It Had to Be You for a year and a half. Back then it was called For Love or Money (not to be confused with Michael J. Fox's film of the same title), was about a widower plumber who falls in love with an heiress, and was intended for Twiggy Lawson (Princesses) and Terence Knox (St. Elsewhere). ''(Dunaway) is not a television snob at all. You'd think, coming from features to television, that she would bring the airs. She's still a perfectionist, but she understands that the small screen is different. And she thinks it's no less or more valuable than the larger screen. Only different.'' In fact, Dunaway appears to think that the small screen is more valuable. Or at least it is at this juncture in an acting career that has shown signs of stumbling almost willfully in the past dozen years as she entered middle-aged actresshood, that harsh Hollywood playing field (see story on page 24). Dunaway has done made-for-TV dramas-she was a small-screen Evita Peron on NBC in 1981, for instance, and evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson in The Disappearance of Aimee, and later this month she vamps glamorously through a Columbo TV movie. But one of the great American actresses of our time has never done comedy. And now, she says, she sees the sitcom form as something with the potential to reposition her persona for the next phase of her life- perhaps as a woman known for her cool beauty, her intensity, her romances, her fashion style, her idiosyncratic acting roles, her reputation for being difficult, as well as her ability to stand on her head and banter about studs. ''I think the yearning (for comedy) is really something linked to the desire to have that in my life as a lighter approach, something not so tortured,'' says Dunaway. She can say that now. The night before, when the series' first non-pilot episode was shot, she appeared taut, her concentration and her timing rattled by the lights and the audience and the chatter between scenes. Her green, almond-shaped eyes and high swells of cheekbones were cosmetically sculpted into static beauty, her hair stiffly sprayed into carefully plotted tendrils, her wardrobe severely elegant. Now, at the Warner Bros. commissary, with her pale face bare of makeup, her wavy blonded hair loose and free around her face, in jeans and a plain white shirt, she already looks softer, lighter, lovelier. Before sitting down, she asks the name of the maitre d' and the waiter and introduces herself to these young men (their eyes register Miss Dunaway! No wire hangers!) like a newcomer thrilled to be in the business. Show business! It is a gesture that combines great acting with unrehearsed charm. ''Let's say Bonnie and Clyde was the first big role that I connected with in a big way,'' she begins, tracing the remarkable trajectory that started with her childhood in the backwater town of Bascom, Fla.; her stage work in Boston and New York; her breakthrough starring role in William Alfred's play Hogan's Goat; her first notable film role, in Otto Preminger's Hurry Sundown; and her casting (reportedly over her costar's skepticism) as Bonnie Parker, for which she received her first Oscar nomination. ''(That role) is the closest thing to me, a frustrated Southern girl wanting to break out. I knew her backwards. ''But then, boom, star machine big-time! The city! Then you start to play, inch by inch, someone else's notion of who a woman is and who I am. And the conventional notions, I mean, you know, some of them are true. I became cooler and more urban and more sophisticated. And I'm strong and also defended. But I'm also very vulnerable! Very fearful, a little girl from the South. And that alone is enough to make you scared in the big city. And I would not show anyone that for the longest time because I'm a proud woman.'' Dunaway was a willing participant in the exaggeration of her persona, she admits. The films she chose were intriguing, intermittently odd things: The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) with Steve McQueen, a hooty Oklahoma Crude (1973), The Towering Inferno (1974), and Three Days of the Condor (1975). But the experience of becoming Mommie Dearest cracked open all her own notions of herself. ''That was an extreme moment where I said, How did I get here? This is alien to where I am as a woman. I've got to stop. So I did. I was out of control in terms of my choices. So I went to England and I just stopped the music. I became quieter.'' Moving to London in 1983, Dunaway settled on the turf of her second husband, photographer Terry O'Neill, with their son, Liam, now 13 and headed for an East Coast prep school. (Her first marriage, to rock musician Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band, ended in 1978.) By the time she left London in 1987, the marriage was over. Eccentric roles followed: The Wicked Lady (1983), Supergirl (1984), Barfly (1987), and Midnight Crossing (1988). ''But I wanted to do something that would drastically change the perception I was in,'' she continues. ''I wanted to play comedy! I've always yearned for that light, frivolous, wonderful thing that Kay Kendall had, and Carole Lombard, that larky nuttiness, you know, the eccentricity. The kind of freedom in that stuff. Myrna Loy! Rosalind Russell! And currently, I have to say, Lucille Ball. I love her!'' Dunaway studies Lucy as she studied Joan Crawford. Seriously. ''There's this whole thing of the dadada da da DAH. That's what they call comic timing,'' she reports. ''I tell her, 'Forget about Lucy!''' says David Steinberg, the stand-up comedian-turned-director and executive producer of It Had to Be You. ''I tell her, 'What made you Faye Dunaway is the most original version of yourself.''' Steinberg sees Urich and Dunaway as a '40s romantic couple-a Howard Hawks Bringing Up Baby kind of thing, maybe a Hepburn-Tracy relationship with a little Preston Sturges thrown in. Dunaway sees it as sophisticated fizz about ''the ultimate energized, intelligent, smart, witty woman, and a man who just brought her right back to sense.'' She shaped the series to be exactly what she wanted from the moment she signed on, and pressured Urich (who was also considering another project, with Empty Nest's Park Overall) to be her costar. She also retooled Urich's occupation from plumber to carpenter, and upgraded her own character's book list. ''At first, she published a Judith Krantz kind of thing,'' she says. ''I thought she should be on the phone with Henry Kissinger, talking about his memoirs. You know, I thought of Jackie Onassis (a Doubleday editor), I thought of (former Turtle Bay publisher) Joni Evans.''
Can a diva do a convincing hiccup as a comedienne? Candice Bergen successfully lightened her dramatic image with Murphy Brown, and Anjelica Huston's capacity for wicked wit, seen in the Addams Family movie and Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery, has clearly broadened her appeal and her options. But It Had to Be You opened to only modest reviews, and it's running in CBS' deadly Friday time slot at 8 p.m. Whether the show has staying power, and whether it loosens the Lucy within Dunaway to lasting advantage, remains to be seen. "I have never seen any person with this much energy!" says Anita Addison, sounding somewhat exhausted by Dunaway's intensity, her perfectionist's desire to get things exactly right, which can translate into a reputation for trouble. Urich is warmly diplomatic. "You hear diva this and diva that. I haven't been witness to any of it. Faye is particular about some things, but they don't really affect anybody else. That's what made her a big star. There's also a sweetness in her." "This whole thing about comedy, it's like I'm in college," says the big star, scaled back to sit at a commissary lunch table like any other sitcom employee with an arugula salad on the agenda, equally willing to talk about needlepoint or romance. "I'd like to find a partner in life, you know, but there's a time when you have to say, okay, everybody out! The connections I'm making aren't working!" she says, laughing. "I don't want another failed relationship. So I'm going to do what I can to get my life in a very comfortable place so that I'm happy, so that I don't go to somebody else for that. Besides, right now I'm a workaholic." She sounds like Laura Scofield, her character in It Had to Be You. She does not sound like Lucy. This is probably all for the best. The brilliantly talented actress who glittered as Bonnie Parker should not have to go WAAAHHHH! to get good work.
To watch clips of It Had To Be You go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=It+Had+To+Be+You%22+Faye+Dunaway+Robert+Urich
For more on It Had to Be You go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Had_to_Be_You_%28TV_series%29
For The Faye Dunaway Photo Gallery go to http://www.fanpix.net/gallery/faye-dunaway-pictures.htm
For a webpage dedicated to Will Estes go to http://www.willestes.com/
For a Website dedicated to Will Estes go to http://www.amazingwill.net/
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA59XMC864I
To hear Frank Sinatra sing the theme song go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ipJ2P8duaY and to hear Billie Holliday sing the theme song go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlYfaJYn5fU
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Keywords: It Had To Be You Cast (Links Updated 7/30/18)