Promotional cast photo
|Created by||Linda Bloodworth-Thomason|
Jay R. Ferguson
|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|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||100|
|Executive producer(s)||Linda Bloodworth-Thomason|
|Running time||30 minutes
|Production company(s)||Mozark Productions
Burt Reynolds Productions
|Distributor||20th Television (domestically)
CBS Television Distribution (internationally)
|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.
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.
- Woodrow "Wood" Newton (Burt Reynolds)
- Ava Evans Newton (Marilu Henner)
- Evan Evans (Hal Holbrook)
- Ponder Blue (Ossie Davis)
- Dr. Harlan Eldridge (Charles Durning)
- Herman Stiles (Michael Jeter)
- Taylor Newton (Jay R. Ferguson)
- Molly Newton (Melissa Renée Martin) (1990–1991), (Candace Hutson) (1991–1994)
- Will Newton (Jacob Parker)
- Nub Oliver (Charlie Dell)
- Frieda Evans (Elizabeth Ashley)
- Merleen Eldridge (Ann Wedgeworth)
- Fontana Beausoleil (Linda Gehringer)
- Margaret Fouch (Ann Hearn)
- Dorothy (Jane Abbott)
- Virgil (Burton Gilliam)
- Andrew Phillpot (David A.R. White)
- Doug (Nick Toth)
- Aimee Thompson (Hilary Swank) (1991–1992), (Ari Meyers) (1992–1993)
- Emily Newton (Alexa Vega) (1993–1994)
Nielsen ratings/Broadcast history
|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|
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.
- Letofsky, Irv (October 29, 1990). "The Sitcom Behind the Sitcom : Television: The countdown to an 'Evening Shade' rehearsal can be comedic. Just ask writer and producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
- Wallace, David (February 17, 1991). "TELEVISION : The Dawning of 'Evening Shade' : How the producing team of Harry and Linda Thomason lured Burt Reynolds and other movie heavyweights to a sitcom". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 12, 2010.