Baby, I'm Back

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Baby, I'm Back!
Baby I'm Back.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by Lila Garrett
Mort Lachman
Written by Chet Dowling
David Garber
Lila Garrett
George Geiger
Kevin Hartigan
April Kelly
Sandy Krinski
Mort Lachman
Martin Rips
Joseph Staretski
Directed by Dick Harwood
Nick Havinga
Mark Warren
Starring Demond Wilson
Denise Nicholas
Helen Martin
Kim Fields
Tony Holmes
Ed Hall
Narrated by Demond Wilson
Theme music composer Jeff Barry
Composer(s) Jeff Barry
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Executive producer(s) Charles Fries
Producer(s) Chet Dowling
Editor(s) Jim McElroy
Cinematography Jim Kilgore
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Charles Fries Productions
Distributor Charles Fries Productions
MGM Television (current)
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run January 30, 1978 (1978-01-30)  – April 24, 1978 (1978-04-24)

Baby, I'm Back is an American sitcom that aired on CBS from January to April 1978. The series stars former Sanford and Son star Demond Wilson (in his first role after that series' cancellation), Room 222 alumna Denise Nicholas, Helen Martin, and future Facts of Life co-star Kim Fields.

Synopsis[edit]

When Raymond Ellis (Wilson) and Olivia Ellis (Nichols) separate after seven years of marriage, Ray abandons the family (his wife, 7-year-old son Jordan, and 5-year-old daughter Angie) and heads to California. While in California, Ray finds out that his wife plans to remarry to Colonel Wallace Dickey, and that he has been declared legally dead. This prompts him to move back to Washington, D.C., where he tries to win back Olivia by proving he is a better husband, and a better father to his kids, and to prove that he is still legally alive. However, he now has to contend with his troublesome mother-in-law Luzelle (Helen Martin) and Olivia's soon to be husband Colonel Dickey.

Production[edit]

The pilot was video taped in September of 1977. CBS picked the pilot up as a mid season replacement, going into production at the CBS Studio Center lot in November 1977, for airing in January 1978.

The initial 13 episodes were aired, then rerun during the summer of 1978. Surprisingly, the ratings over the rerun summer schedule improved with increased ratings numbers. However, on the first day rehearsal script read of the eleventh episode, Wilson demanded a stronger input into the show's projected development. Over a casting decision, Wilson walked off the stage, and production shut down for one and a half weeks. Wilson refused to work with an actress who was cast as for a minor one-episode appearance;[who?] he demanded casting approval since he would not work with her. After negotiations between CBS, Charles Fries, Lila Garrett, and Wilson, the series resumed production to complete the episode, but with a new actress.[who?]

On April 17, 1978 at the final taping of the last episode of the season, the cast and crew were officially informed that Baby, I'm Back was cancelled, and would not be coming back. The decision was made by CBS after the network refused to give in with Wilson's demands. CBS executives had complimented the production's "look" after the initial show's airing because the series writing, cast, and visual production values set the show apart from the current networks' comedy series in their schedule, including programs produced by Norman Lear.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Series # Title Notes Original air date
1 "Living Proof" This first episode begins with Olivia and Luzelle at her lawyers officially declaring Raymond Ellis legally dead after no contact or calls have been made for the last seven years. Ray runs into an old friend in California who informs him that Olivia has declared him dead legally and is getting remarried. Ray flies back to reconcile with Olivia and the children. 14 year old son Jordan is not at all thrilled when he learns his father is back while Angie is ecstatic, Luzelle attacks him with dishrags as Olivia walks in with disappointment once she realizes he is back. Although Ray is back, Olivia continues with her plans to marry Wallace Dickey but the wedding gets a surprise guest. Ray moves into Olivia's building to be closer to her and the kids. January 30, 1978
2 "Beat By a Drum" After his mother refuses to give Jorden $300.00 for drums, Ray offers to give the Jordan the cash also hoping this will bring him closer to his son. Olivia is furious and tells Ray off then makes Jordan return the drums and give Ray's money back. Jordan then accuses his father of giving him the money to get closer to his mother. February 6, 1978
3 "The Loneliest Night of the Week" With Luzelle and the kids leaving for the weekend, Olivia plans a romantic dinner for her and Wallace, who calls to tell Olivia that he is unable to make it due to army maneuvers but it is Ray who takes the call and manages to use Wallace's absence to his advantage to spend a romantic evening with Olivia; Luzelle and the kids gets stranded on the road after the car breaks down. February 13, 1978
4 "The Confessions of Col. Wallace Dickey" Olivia is all dressed up to go to a banquet at the pentagon with Wallace, but Wallace and Ray go for drinks at the local hangout and Wallace ends up getting drunk and shares moments of his past life with Ray. See "Quotes" section for some funny lines from this episode. February 20, 1978
5 "A Day at the Races" Olivia is furious when she discovers that, after spending the day with Ray, Jordan made bets at the racetrack winning $200.00. Ray convinces Olivia to let him bet the money on a longshot horse that Jordan predicts to win for $18,000. Olivia soon changes her tunes once she realizes that the horse is winning the race on television. Luzelle gets smashed (drunk) while attempting to cook a French dinner for Angie and Jordan "after a day with that low-life father". February 27, 1978
6 "Survival of the Fittest" Olivia, Wallace and the kids go out of town for the weekend while Luzelle stays behind. Ray drops in to find out Olivia has left with her fiancée and the kids, then manages to find out where they are staying from Luzelle without her knowing right away. As Ray is driving his friend's motor home on Interstate 95, someone comes out of hiding in a wooden chest inside of the motor home. Much to Ray's surprise, it is Luzelle. Olivia and the rest of the clan return due to bad weather, while Ray and Luzelle have to spend the evening together stuck on the highway due to a bad snowstorm. March 6, 1978
7 "Like Father, Unlike Son (a.k.a.) The Odd Couple" Due to Luzelle's insomnia, Angie is sent to room with Jordan, who protests against his mother's wishes by going upstairs to room with Ray, who tries to make him go back to his mother so Ray can have peace and watch a game on TV. Eventually everyone meets in Ray's apartment and eventually comes to an agreement as to who will sleep where, which brings an unexpected result for Ray. March 13, 1978
8 "You Bet Your Wife" Ray gets a temporary job in Hialeah, FL and makes a bet with Olivia that Wallace could fall under temptation of another woman. Ray tells her that if Wallace fights temptation, he will take the job in Hialeah and leave for the time, and if Wallace gives in to the woman, Olivia must spend a romantic night at Ray's place. Olivia puts herself in disguise and proceeds to seduce Wallace with Ray watching at the local hangout. Will the uptight Colonel give in? You have to watch and find out. March 20, 1978
9 "Baby, I'm Back" In this pilot episode of this series, Ray briefs the viewing audience in a voiceover about how Olivia and Wallace tried to get married and had him declared legally dead. He of course foiled the attempt, but Olivia and Wallace attempt again to get married causing Ray to try to get himself declared legally alive so she will not be able to marry another person. Olivia surprises him by moving up the time of the wedding so that Ray will not have enough time to spoil the ceremony. March 27, 1978
10 "Pay or Die" Ray is all of a sudden been tracked down by two men who claim that they are loan shark collectors for someone who lent Ray $200.00 seven years ago. Ray must pay back the $200.00 plus the interest per week over the seven years that has accumulated, bringing the amount to $7,280.00. He is threatened and is afraid for his life. He goes to Olivia for help but she accuses him of lying. April 3, 1978
11 "Farewell to Boyish Charm" It is Ray and Olivia's 15th wedding anniversary. Ray has romantic plans for the evening but Olivia would rather spend a nice quiet evening with her fiancee' Wallace. Unlucky with his plans, Ray goes to the local bar and runs into Racine Parks, a woman he and Olivia went to high school with. Since Ray could not have Olivia, he decides to take Racine to his place for a rendezvous but not without stopping by Olivia's first to see Olivia and then up to his place causing Olivia to be jealous. Ray and Racine's fun comes to an end when Ray gets a phone call from someone that knows what he and Racine have been up to. April 10, 1978
12 "The Gospel According to Angie" Angie puts on a church play about the story of Ruth from the Bible with a little twist. Ruth is about to marry another man (who is bald at the top of the head) until the "prodigal son" (played by Jordan) returns after 7 years and claims that Ruth is still his wife and remarries her. Ruth's mother responds by dropping dead. It was told that Ruth remarried her first husband for the sake of the children. And of course, it is revealed by Angie in front of the whole congregation that Ray helped her write this church play. (It was so obvious, right?) Olivia angrily decides to leave on a trip with Wallace despite Ray's objections. April 17, 1978
13 "Olivia's Job Offer" In this final episode for the season, Olivia runs into her friend Anita at the Pentagon who tells her about how great Guam is and how it was life changing for her. With some mistaken encouragement from her mother, Olivia does some re-examining of her life and decides not to choose between Ray and Wallace, leave her life and job behind, pick up her family and move to the dry gulch location of Guam. April 24, 1978

Syndication[edit]

Due to its episode amount, the series was never syndicated to local stations, though it aired on Black Entertainment Television in the late 1980s and early-1990s.

External links[edit]