Thunder Alley

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This article is about the television show. For the film, see Thunder Alley (film). For the amusement park attraction, see Kings Island.
Thunder Alley
Genre Sitcom
Created by Carmen Finestra
David McFadzean
Matt Williams
Written by Bob Burris
Tim Doyle
Carmen Finestra
Bill Freiberger
Steve Gabriel
Barry Gold
Lissa Levin
David McFadzean
Joey Murphy
John Pardee
Michael Ware
Jake Weinberger
Michael Weinberger
Matt Williams
Robert Zappia
Directed by Robby Benson
Andy Cadiff
Pat Doak
Barnet Kellman
John Rago
Starring Edward Asner
Felicity Huffman
Diane Venora (replaced Huffman)
Robin Riker (replaced Venora)
Jim Beaver
Lindsay Felton
Haley Joel Osment
Andrew Keegan
Composer(s) Howard Pearl
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 27
Production
Executive producer(s) Carmen Finestra
Dan Guntzelman
David McFadzean
Matt Williams
Producer(s) Bob Burris
Tim Doyle
Barry Gold
Dan Guntzelman
Gayle S. Maffeo
Michael Ware
Running time 22–24 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run March 9, 1994 (1994-03-09) – July 4, 1995 (1995-07-04)

Thunder Alley is an American sitcom which aired from March 9, 1994 to July 4, 1995 on ABC.

Premise[edit]

The show stars Edward Asner as retired race-car driver Gil Jones. The unaired original pilot episode featured Felicity Huffman in the role of Bobbi Turner, Gil's daughter. When ABC picked up the series, Huffman was replaced[1] with actress Diane Venora. The pilot was reshot and Venora played the role for eight episodes before she was replaced by Robin Riker, who played the role for the remainder of the series.[2] The series also starred future Academy Award-nominee Haley Joel Osment.

The story involved Bobbi returning after a divorce to live with her father. In tow were her three children: Claudine (Kelly Vint); Jenny (Lindsay Felton); and Harry (Haley Joel Osment). The new family quintet lived in Gil's home above Thunder Alley, the specialty racing garage Gil operated. Rounding out the cast was Gil's dim-witted mechanic sidekick, Leland DuParte (Jim Beaver). In the show's second season, Andrew Keegan joined the cast as Jack Kelly, a local boy who helped around the garage.

Production notes[edit]

Thunder Alley was created and executive produced by Matt Williams, Carmen Finestra and David McFadzean for Wind Dancer Productions and Touchstone Television. The director of a majority of episodes was Robby Benson.

The show debuted to good ratings, finishing its first season the number 12th program with an average household share of 15.9,[3] helped in part by its being paired with the hit Home Improvement from the same producers.[4] However, it struggled in its second season when it was slotted as the lead off show on Wednesday nights. It was cancelled in the spring of 1995.

Episode list[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Episode # Episode title Original airdate
1-1 "The Prototype" March 9, 1994
1-2 "The Love Triangle" March 16, 1994
1-3 "Chore Patrol" March 23, 1994
1-4 "Girl's Night Out" March 30, 1994
1-5 "Bloodsuckers" April 6, 1994

Gil's impending IRS interview worries Bobbi. Meanwhile, Claudine and Jenny make plans to pull a practical joke on younger brother Harry by pretending to be vampires while using a hearse that is in the garage for servicing.

1-6 "Happy Endings" April 13, 1994
1-7 "A Fist Full of Phyllis" April 20, 1994
1-8 "As a Manner of Fact" May 4, 1994

Season 2[edit]

Episode # Episode title Original airdate
2-1 "Never Say Die" September 14, 1994
2-2 "Speak No Evil" September 21, 1994
2-3 "Easy Money" September 28, 1994
2-4 "Get a Job" October 5, 1994
2-5 "First Date" October 12, 1994
2-6 "Give 'Em Hell, Bobbi" October 15, 1994
2-7 "Sex, Lies & Popcorn" October 26, 1994
2-8 "The Garage Sale" November 2, 1994
2-9 "Accidentally at First Sight" March 7, 1995
2-10 "Are We There Yet?" March 14, 1995
2-11 "Breaking Away" March 21, 1995
2-12 "The Trouble with Harry" March 28, 1995

Claudine and Jenny convince their little brother Harry that he has ruined Gil's prized stock-car engine with a dropped marble, but the prank backfires when Harry confesses and an overheated Gil explodes, prompting Harry to run away from home.

2-13 "Workin' Man Blues" April 4, 1995
2-14 "A Little Me Time" April 11, 1995
2-15 "I Am Spartacus" April 18, 1995
2-16 "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" April 25, 1995
2-17 "Just a Vacation" May 2, 1995
2-18 "Buzz Off, Buzzard Boy May 9, 1995
2-19 "No Swing Set" July 4, 1995

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1995 Young Artist Awards Nominated Best Performance: Young Actor in a TV Comedy Series Andrew Keegan
Best Performance by an Actress Under Ten in a TV Series Lindsay Felton

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lowry, Brian (1993-12-07). "Huffman exits ABC's 'Thunder Alley'". variety.com. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  2. ^ Meisler, Andy (1994-10-16). "A Familiar Name, but I Can't Place the Face". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  3. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1469. ISBN 0-345-45542-8. 
  4. ^ Bierbaum, Tom (1994-04-13). "CBS elbows past ABC". variety.com. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 

External links[edit]