Evening Shade

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This article is about the television series. For the city in Arkansas, see Evening Shade, Arkansas. For the community in Oklahoma, see Evening Shade, Oklahoma.
Evening Shade
Promotional cast photo
Format Sitcom
Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason[1]
Starring Burt Reynolds
Marilu Henner
Michael Jeter
Jay R. Ferguson
Hal Holbrook
Ossie Davis
Charles Durning
Elizabeth Ashley
Ann Wedgeworth
Charlie Dell
Candace Hutson
Jacob Parker
Narrated by Ossie Davis
Opening theme Instrumental theme
by Sonny Curtis (1990–1992)
Theme with lyrics
by Bobby Goldsboro (1992–1994)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 100
Executive producer(s) Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Running time 30 minutes
(with commercials)
Production company(s) Bloodworth-Thomason
Mozark Productions
CBS Productions
Burt Reynolds Productions
MTM Productions
Distributor 20th Television (domestically)
CBS Television Distribution (internationally)
Original channel CBS
Original run September 21, 1990 – May 23, 1994

Evening Shade is an American sitcom television series that aired on CBS from 1990 to 1994. The series stars Burt Reynolds as Wood Newton, an ex-professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who returns to rural Evening Shade, Arkansas to coach a high school football team with a long losing streak. Reynolds personally requested to use the Steelers as his former team because he is a fan.[2]

The general theme of the show is the appeal of small town life. Episodes ended with a closing narration by Ossie Davis summing up the events of the episode, always closing with "... in a place called Evening Shade." The show's final episode saw the guest appearances of Willie Nelson and Buzz Aldrin as escaped convicts on the run from authorities, the final scene being a spectacular shoot-out reminiscent of the final scene of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

The opening segment included clips from around Arkansas, including the famous McClard's Bar-be-que, which is situated on Albert Pike Blvd. and South Patterson St. in Hot Springs National Park.




Nielsen ratings/Broadcast history[edit]

Season Timeslot Rank Rating Households
1) 1990–1991 Friday night at 8:00 pm #32 N/A
2) 1991–1992 Monday night at 8:00 pm #15 15.6 14,367,600
3) 1992–1993 #19 14.5 13,499,500
4) 1993–1994 #27 13.2 12,434,400


The show's production company, Mozark Productions, was a joint venture by creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason of Missouri and her husband, Arkansas native, Harry Thomason, which concurrently produced another successful show set in the South, Designing Women. Hal Holbrook's Designing Women character was killed off to free the actor to star in the newer program.

The series was produced in association with CBS Productions (now CBS Television Distribution), Burt Reynolds Productions, and MTM Enterprises (now 20th Television). CBS retained full ownership of the series while MTM syndicated the series in the United States. CBS DVD/Paramount Home Entertainment has released the entire first season on DVD, albeit with music changes and rescoring[citation needed].

DVD release[edit]

On July 15, 2008, CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) released Season 1 of Evening Shade on DVD in Region 1.


External links[edit]