Princesses (TV series)
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|Created by||Barry Kemp|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8 (3 unaired) (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||John Bowman
|Running time||30 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Bungalow 78 Productions
|Original run||September 27, 1991 – October 25, 1991|
Princesses is a short-lived American situation comedy that aired on CBS in 1991. The series was produced by Universal Television and only lasted five episodes because of low ratings, likely due to direct competition from ABC's Top 30 hit Family Matters and NBC's Top 40 show Matlock. The series also aired in Germany on RTL in 2004. The series theme song, "Someday My Prince Will Come" (in turn inspired by "When You Wish upon a Star") was written by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey, and was sung by The Roches.
The series chronicles the lives of three female roommates in New York City, each with a different background and upbringing, thus the series' title: Tracy Dillon (Julie Hagerty), an English teacher who just dumped her fiance after learning that he been married twice and was still involved with one of the ex-wives (who also was his business partner); Princess Georgina "Georgy" De La Rue (Twiggy, credited as Twiggy Lawson, in her first American television series), a recently widowed English princess (and whose previous occupation was that of a showgirl) who arrived to the States to challenge her late husband's contested will; and Melissa Kirshner (Fran Drescher), Tracy's longtime best friend, an outspoken Jewish American who sold cosmetics at a department store. In addition to the three, there was also Melissa's sister Debra (Leila Kenzle).
The idea of the three being roommates in the same apartment was by accident, thanks to the apartment's owner Tony, who promised Tracy and Georgy the use of the rent-free building without telling either one who would use it or to whom he had loaned it.
Behind the scenes
In an effort to downplay the behind-the-scenes turmoil on Princesses, CBS execs initially touted the series as "promising" to advertisers. However, prior the show's premiere, entertainment media outlets such as Entertainment Tonight began publicizing the show's behind-the-scenes woes. Princesses was visibly destined for failure by the time it went to production. The first tell-tale sign came when Hagerty walked off the set after filming the first four episodes, which were followed by profoundly negative reviews, off-camera problems, and rumors that CBS affiliates might never air the episodes.
Upon its premiere, Princesses placed last place in the Nielsen ratings. At one point, CBS programming head Jeff Sagansky expressed interest in re-tooling the show and replacing all of the show's cast members. Drescher soon became aware of this and immediately arranged a meeting with Sagansky. During the meeting, Drescher tried to compromise with Sagansky by suggesting he only re-cast Hagerty's role. but CBS ultimately decided against Drescher's wishes and axed the entire show (only five episodes out of the eight produced were aired).
Shortly after the cancellation, an accidental meeting gave Drescher a change to pitch a new television series to Sagansky, and she came up with her hit show The Nanny. In fact, Drescher developed the idea while visiting with Princesses co-star Twiggy and her family in England, and modeled the character of Maxwell Sheffield on Twiggy's husband Leigh Lawson. Ironically, both Fran Fine from The Nanny and Melissa from Princesses sold cosmetics, albeit in different settings.
In 2010, TV Land aired the series as part of their TV Land Sunday Spotlight series.
- Epstein, Lawrence J. (2008). The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America. p. 268. ISBN 0786724927. Retrieved 2013-05-06.
- Cooper, Brenda (October 1994). "Diva: Dazzling Fran Drescher Runs the Show on Her CBS Hit, The Nanny". Orange Coast: 45–46. ISSN 0279-0483. Retrieved 2013-05-06.