Living Single

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Living Single
Living single dvd cover.jpg
DVD cover
Created by Yvette Lee Bowser
Starring Queen Latifah
Kim Coles
Erika Alexander
Kim Fields
T.C. Carson (seasons 1–4)
John Henton
Mel Jackson (season 5)
Opening theme "We Are Living Single", written and performed by Queen Latifah
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 118 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Yvette Lee Bowser (entire run)
Roger S.H. Schulman (seasons 4-5)
Location(s) Warner Bros. Studios
Hollywood, California
Camera setup Videotape; Multi-camera
Running time approx. 22 minutes
Production company(s) SisterLee Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel FOX
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original run August 29, 1993 – January 1, 1998

Living Single is an American television sitcom that aired for five seasons on the FOX network from August 29, 1993, to January 1, 1998. The show centered on the lives of six friends who share personal and professional experiences while living in a Brooklyn brownstone.

Throughout its run, Living Single became one of the most popular African-American sitcoms of its era, ranking among the top five in African-American ratings in all five seasons. The series was produced by Yvette Lee Bowser's company, Sister Lee, in association with Warner Bros. Television. In contrast to the popularity of NBC's "Must See TV" on Thursday nights in the 1990s, many African American and Latino viewers flocked to FOX's Thursday night line-up of Martin, Living Single, and New York Undercover. In fact, these were the three highest-rated series among black households for the 1996–1997 season (in order of popularity; Living Single, New York Undercover, and Martin).

Synopsis[edit]

Living Single centered on six twenty somethings consisting of four women and two men living the single life in the heart of Brooklyn, New York.

The series focused on two different households in one brownstone, one shared by a trio of independent women and another shared by a pair of male friends who had known each other since they spent their youth in Cleveland, Ohio. In the first apartment, Khadijah James (Queen Latifah), a hard-working editor and publisher of the fictional urban independent monthly Flavor lived with her sweet but naïve cousin Synclaire James (Kim Coles), an aspiring actress who worked as Khadijah's receptionist and has an affinity for Troll dolls; and her childhood friend from East Orange, New Jersey, Regina "Régine" Hunter (Kim Fields), an image-conscious boutique buyer who was in a constant search for a well-to-do man to spend her life with (and spend his money). Later in the series, Régine became a costume assistant for the soap opera Palo Alto. When the show was canceled, she became a wedding planner and left the apartment to move in with her fiance, Dexter Knight (Don Franklin). Maxine "Max" Shaw (Erika Alexander), a sharp-tongued attorney and Khadijah's best friend from their college days at Howard University, frequently stopped by to share her unique insights; keep them entertained by sharing her day; to make sure that the girls' refrigerator isn't overstocked; and to start trouble with Kyle.

Kyle Barker (T.C. Carson) lived in the second apartment with Overton Wakefield Jones (John Henton). Kyle was a stockbroker whose constant verbal sparring with Max did little to mask their obvious sexual attraction. Overton was the friendly but not too bright maintenance man for the owner of their (and neighboring) building who held deep affection for Synclaire. Kyle and Max ended up pursuing a sexual relationship, but when he decided to take a job in London and invited Max to join him, she turned him down. Maxine subsequently became distraught over her decision and, after defending a man who claims to be the second coming of Jesus (Harold Perrineau), she began to seriously look for the purpose of her life. Through a series of events, Max decided that her purpose must be to become a mother and during the insemination process unknowingly picked Kyle's sperm specimen based on a list of qualities she would like for her child to have. Kyle returned in the series finale and the two reconciled. Overton and Synclaire also got together and their relationship culminated in marriage by the end of the fourth season. In season five, they moved in together, leaving Overton and Kyle's apartment open for new character Roni DeSantos (Idalis DeLeon), a New York-area D.J., to move in. It was eventually revealed that DeSantos had a fling with Ira Lee "Tripp" Williams III, (Mel Jackson), the new roommate of Khadijah and Régine who moved in when Synclaire's room became available. Tripp was a songwriter. Synclaire joined a comedy improv troupe where she gained the attention of Tony Jonas, a Warner Bros. television exec who cast her as a nun for a new comedy series he was developing.

Along with trying to make Flavor a success, Khadijah also spent time looking for Mr. Right. She eventually found him in childhood friend Scooter (Cress Williams) with whom she left the brownstone for the final time in the series finale.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • Queen LatifahKhadijah James , editor and publisher of Flavor, an independent magazine devoted to the interests of the urban community.
  • Kim ColesSynclaire James-Jones, Khadijah's good-natured cousin and roommate; receptionist at Flavor and aspiring actress.
  • Erika AlexanderMaxine "Max" Felice Shaw, strong-willed attorney and Khadijah's best friend; spends much of her time at girls' apartment.
  • T.C. CarsonKyle Barker (Seasons 1–4 ; 3 episodes in Season 5), stockbroker and girls' neighbor; Max's verbal sparring partner and on-again, off-again etc. love interest.
  • John HentonOverton "Obie" Wakefield Jones, Kyle's roommate and the brownstone's handyman; Synclaire's sweetheart.
  • Kim FieldsRegina "Régine" Hunter (Seasons 1–5 ; appears for a short time in the fifth season), Khadijah and Synclaire's gossip-loving roommate; childhood friend of Khadijah.
  • Mel JacksonIra Lee "Tripp" Williams (Season 5), Khadijah and Regine's new roommate; aspiring songwriter.

Minor characters[edit]

  • Cress WilliamsTerrence "Scooter" Williams, Khadijah's childhood friend and sometimes love interest
  • Richard LyonsMichael Janson (Season 1–2), Max's "old stand-by."
  • Shaun BakerRussell Montego, Jamaican-born music editor at Flavor
  • Bobby HoseaLawrence (Season 1–3), Kyle's rival at the brokerage
  • Chip FieldsLaverne Hunter, (Season 1-5), Regine's mother
  • Rita OwensRita James (Season 1–4), Khadijah's mother
  • Heavy DDarryl (Season 2–4), Regine's friend
  • Steven GilbornJeffrey Higgins (Season 2–4), Kyle's boss
  • Bumper RobinsonIvan Ennis (Season 3–4), college-age messenger turned Flavor copy aide; infatuated with Khadijah
  • J. Anthony BrownTibby (Season 3–4), Overton's favorite uncle
  • Khalil KainKeith (Season 3–4), Regine's artist boyfriend
  • Dorien WilsonRev. Leslie Taylor (Season 3–4), pastor at the group's church
  • Isaiah WashingtonDr. Charles Roberts (Season 4), Khadijah's boyfriend.
  • Idalis DeLeonRoni De Santos (Season 5), popular New York City deejay and love interest for Tripp

Notable guest appearances[edit]