Caroline in the City

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Caroline in the City
Created by
Theme music composerJonathan Wolff
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes97 (1 unaired) (list of episodes)
Executive producers
ProducerFaye Oshima Belyeu
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time20–22 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 21, 1995 (1995-09-21) –
April 26, 1999 (1999-04-26)

Caroline in the City is an American television sitcom that ran on the NBC television network from 1995 until 1999. It stars Lea Thompson as cartoonist Caroline Duffy, who lives in Manhattan. The rest of the cast includes Eric Lutes, Malcolm Gets, Amy Pietz, and Andy Lauer.[1] The series premiered on September 21, 1995, in the "Must See TV" Thursday night block between Seinfeld and ER and ran for 97 episodes over four seasons before it was cancelled; the final episode was broadcast on April 26, 1999. The series' rights are currently held by CBS Media Ventures.


Caroline Duffy (Lea Thompson), a cartoonist who lives in Manhattan, spends a lot of time with dates and lovers, and meddles in the lives of her friends and neighbors. In the pilot episode, she has broken up with Del Cassidy (Eric Lutes), who quickly finds another date. She hires Richard Karinsky (Malcolm Gets) to be her new colorist, and he pretends to be her new boyfriend during a dinner to prevent her from being embarrassed over Del's moving on. During the first season, Richard develops feelings for Caroline.

Caroline's success as a cartoonist is displayed throughout the first season; her cartoon character gets a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, she has a park dedicated to her in her native Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and she even has an offer for a cereal brand.[2] When she was a child, she drew violent pictures of her brother Chris, and after dropping out of college, she started doodling at a copywriting job. It took less than five years for her cartoon to become nationally syndicated, and she even appeared on The Today Show.

Towards the end of season one, Del proposes to Caroline. Richard is distressed by this, and searches for a new job. Although Richard has kept his feelings secret, their friends Annie (Amy Pietz) and Remo (Tom La Grua) figure out that he loves Caroline. The day before the wedding, Richard writes her a love letter where he asks Caroline to meet him at Remo's if she loves him. He leaves the letter in a pile of wedding thank-you cards. Caroline arrives at Remo's but does not mention the letter, and continues with the wedding plans. Richard decides to leave Manhattan. When Caroline and Del call off the wedding, Caroline visits Richard's apartment but he has left.

In the second season, Richard returns to Manhattan after having been in Paris where he had tried to sell paintings. Caroline gives the thank-you cards to a friend; Richard tries to find and destroy the love letter; he tosses it out of the window, only to have Annie find it. He resumes his old job as Caroline's colorist. Later, Caroline discovers that she has feelings for Richard; however, Richard has reunited with his former girlfriend Julia, whom he met in Manhattan. Caroline leaves a message on his answering machine telling him that she loves him, but Julia discovers it and erases it.

Richard and Julia get married which prompts a bitter love triangle among the three. Richard eventually splits with Julia.

Caroline and Richard eventually become a couple. However, they split after arguing over whether to have children; Richard learned that Julia had a child. In the final episode, which ends on an unresolved cliffhanger, Annie and Del are now in a new relationship, while Caroline is about to marry another man—her childhood friend Randy—when Richard shows up at the wedding.



  • Caroline Duffy (Lea Thompson) – Caroline is a cartoonist of the comic strip Caroline in the City. Originally from Peshtigo, Wisconsin, Caroline has a need for people to like her. She meddles in the lives of her friends and people around her, and often gets into trouble because of it. She initially breaks her engagement to Del Cassidy, but remains friends with him. She hires Richard Karinsky to be her colorist. Although Richard has feelings for Caroline, she does not realize or reciprocate until the end of the second season. She dates veterinarian Joe DeStefano in the second season, and former classmates Trevor and Randy in the third and fourth seasons. She becomes engaged to Randy, but her wedding ceremony is interrupted when Richard appears.
  • Del Cassidy (Eric Lutes) – Del works at a greeting card company owned by his father, and manages the Caroline in the City comic strip card products. He is Caroline's sometimes boyfriend; they get engaged during the first season, but break it off in the season finale.[3] After receiving one too many insults from his callous father, Del quits to build his own business, Eagle Greeting Cards. In the fourth season, he sells the business to a large entertainment conglomerate.
  • Richard Karinsky (Malcolm Gets) – Richard is the colorist for the Caroline in the City comic strip. He is a struggling artist who usually lives in the slummy parts of New York City, and is regularly embarrassed about the nature of his job. He has several chances for a big break, but they end up in failure. He is also an excellent pianist. He has a substantial student loan debt from attending an unnamed art school. He has a sarcastic personality, especially with Annie. He falls in love with Caroline during the first season, and does not think highly of Del Cassidy and his lack of intelligence. Eventually he and Caroline have a relationship.
  • Annie Spadaro (Amy Pietz) – Annie is Caroline's across the hall neighbor and her best friend. She is a dancer in the Broadway production of Cats.[4] She is somewhat promiscuous and this makes her a constant target for Richard's wisecracks. After Richard writes Caroline a love letter which he later regrets, Annie comes across the letter and uses it to blackmail him until her sister uses it for a song. After meeting Shadoe Stevens in Los Angeles, she quits her job and rushes to California to shoot a television pilot. Unfortunately, the pilot is not picked up, and she becomes unemployed.
  • Charlie (Andy Lauer) – He is a delivery boy in Del's father's company, and after Del is fired, they become partners in new company Eagle Greeting Cards. He constantly wears roller blades, even when he is not making deliveries. He has a poor grasp on reality. In the last season, he moves to Europe.


  • Remo (Tom La Grua) – Remo owns the Italian restaurant, Remo's Ristorante, where the main characters usually hang out.
  • Gianni (John Mariano) – A waiter at Remo's Ristorante.
  • Joe DeStefano (Mark Feuerstein) – A veterinarian who dated Caroline, and came close to moving into her apartment. However, after he tells Caroline that he slept with his ex-girlfriend, he and Caroline split.
  • Julia Mazzone Karinsky (Sofia Milos) – Richard's former girlfriend and love of Richard's life (as he calls it 'sincero amore' – the love that one does not have to question). She first met Richard in Italy, and during the third season, they get married. Her father, an Italian businessman, does not approve of their relationship and tries to destroy Richard, first physically, then economically.
  • Trevor (Robert Gant) – Trevor is Caroline's boyfriend during the third season. He owns a computer company and has a German shepherd dog. When Caroline rushes to Spain to meet Richard and Julia, Trevor realizes that he will never win a place in Caroline's heart.
  • Randy (Anthony Tyler Quinn) – Randy is a pediatrician and schoolmate of Caroline from Peshtigo, Wisconsin. He initially reunites with Caroline during the fourth season; he buys Caroline's parents' house, but agrees to sell it to Caroline and rent it from her. When he arrives in New York for the pediatricians seminar they meet again, and Caroline realizes that she harbors some feelings for him, even though she is in a relationship with Richard. After Richard goes to Italy to take care of his son, Annie brings Randy to cheer Caroline up, and he falls in love with Caroline. They have a wedding in the final episode.
  • Angie Spadaro (Candice Azzara) – Annie's mother who regularly visits Annie's flat and drives her crazy. She gets divorced in the third season.
  • Pete Spadaro (Adam Ferrara) – Annie's brother who worked at their father's undertaking company. He is influenced by Richard to try some other occupations including an electrician and a painter.
  • Shelly (Lauren Graham) – Richard's short-term girlfriend. Richard was desperate to break up with her, but she always had a reason not to.
  • Elevator Lady (Cathy Ladman) – Caroline's neighbor from one of the upper floors. She often appears in key dialogues when someone enters the elevator.
  • Peter Welmerling (Peter Krause) – Someone Caroline knew from her home town who goes to the opera with her on a date.

Notable guests[edit]

This is a list of the notable guest stars in the series. Some of them appear as their characters from related NBC series that aired around the same time.

Actor Character Episode Notes
Marvin Hamlisch Himself "Caroline and the Bitter Beast"
Matthew Perry Chandler Bing "Caroline and the Folks" Crossover appearance. Annie meets Chandler at the video store.[2] The same night, Thompson appeared as Caroline in the November 2, 1995, Friends episode "The One with the Baby on the Bus".
Jonathan Silverman Jonathan Eliot "Caroline and the Folks" Appears briefly as his character from his sitcom The Single Guy.
Jean Stapleton Mary Kosky "Caroline and the Opera" Stapleton plays Caroline's aunt in the episode.[2]
Jane Leeves Daphne Moon "Caroline and the Bad Back" Frasier cameo crossover appearance at the end of the episode,[5] as Daphne and Niles read a Caroline In The City comic in Frasier's Seattle apartment.
David Hyde Pierce Niles Crane "Caroline and the Bad Back" Frasier cameo crossover appearance at the end of the episode.[5]
Jimmy Callahan "Caroline and the Cat Dancer" Pierce plays an IRS agent who hopes to win a role alongside Annie in Broadway's Cats.[6] Appearances were also made by Frasier actors Dan Butler, Harriet Sansom Harris, and Edward Hibbert, but none of them appeared as their characters from the show.
Sharon Lawrence Maddie "Caroline and the Proposal"
John Landis Himself "Caroline and the Movie"
Florence Henderson[2] Herself "Caroline and the Balloon"
Elizabeth Ashley Natalie Karinsky "Caroline and Richard's Mom"
"Caroline and the Bad Trip"
Ashley plays Richard's mother in these episodes.
Morey Amsterdam Vic Stansky "Caroline and the Watch" Alumnus from The Dick Van Dyke Show appeared with Stella Dawson as an elderly married couple.[2] Amsterdam died later that year, making the episode his last television appearance.
Rose Marie Stella Dawson "Caroline and the Watch"
"Caroline and the Kept Man"
Alumna from The Dick Van Dyke Show appeared with Vic Stansky as an elderly married couple.[2]
Phil Hartman Host (uncredited) "Caroline and the Letter" In a parody of The Twilight Zone, the host describes the viewers entering the "Caroline Zone"
Thomas Gibson William Stevens "Caroline and the Nice Jewish Boy" Gibson plays Caroline's old boyfriend.
Julie Andrews Herself "Caroline and Victor/Victoria" Andrews has an audio cameo in this episode.[6]
Andrea Bendewald Leslie "Caroline and Victor/Victoria"
French Stewart Stu "Caroline and the Long Shot" Stewart plays a reporter who covers Richard in this episode.
Debra Jo Rupp Melody "Caroline and the Red Sauce" Rupp plays Richard's boss in this episode.
George Segal Bob Anderson "Caroline and the Buyer"
Brian George Mr. Tedescu "Caroline and the Ombudsman" George plays Caroline's super in the episode.
Shadoe Stevens Himself "Caroline and the Wayward Husband" Stevens inspires Annie to go to Los Angeles to try to become an actress.
Judd Hirsch Ben Karinsky "Caroline and the Comic" Hirsch plays Richard's father in the episode.[6]
Jay Leno Himself "Caroline and the Bad Trip"
J.C. Wendel Candy "Caroline and Richard & Julia"
Dan Butler Kenneth Arabian "Caroline and the Gay Art Show" "Caroline and the Dearly Departed". Owner of an art gallery that has dealings with Richard in two episodes.
Dan Futterman Seth "Caroline and the Cold Sesame Noodles" Seth is introduced as a new love interest for Annie. Futterman only appears in one episode but the character becomes recurring, being mentioned in a few other episodes and appearing in one more, "Caroline and the Quiz Show", now played by a new actor, David Kriegel.
Scott Atkinson Brett "Caroline and the Getaway"
Shia LaBeouf Ethan "Caroline and the Bar Mitzvah" First TV appearance; LaBeouf was then aged 12.[7][8]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankRating
First airedLast aired
124September 21, 1995 (1995-09-21)August 5, 1996 (1996-08-05)418.0
225September 17, 1996 (1996-09-17)May 13, 1997 (1997-05-13)2511.0
326September 22, 1997 (1997-09-22)May 18, 1998 (1998-05-18)TBATBA
422September 21, 1998 (1998-09-21)April 26, 1999 (1999-04-26)TBATBA


The show was filmed at the CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles, California.[9]

Illustrations and animations[edit]

Bonnie Timmons drew the illustrations and animations that are supposed to represent Caroline's eponymous in-show comic strip.[10][11]

Connections with other sitcoms[edit]

Connections with Frasier[edit]

Though not officially a companion show to Frasier, Caroline in the City exists in the same universe (so likely also connects to both Cheers and Wings as well) with several crossovers and connections. Not only does the end of one early Season 1 episode feature Frasier characters, Daphne and Niles, in Frasier's apartment (filmed on Frasier's set and guest-starring Jane Leeves and David Hyde Pierce as their characters) looking at a Caroline in the City cartoon,[12] but lead Eric Lutes played Frasier's boss Tom Duran in two episodes.[13][14] David Hyde Pierce also appears a second time as another character, this time playing an IRS man who dreams of being in Cats. [15] Dan Butler (Bulldog in Frasier) had a recurring role as a museum owner,[16] plus Frasier actors Harriet Sansom Harris (Bebe) and Edward Hibbert (Gil) appear in the same Season 3 episode as each other, playing different characters (and not sharing any scenes). Additionally, Scott Atkinson (who portrayed Daphne's ex-boyfriend, Clive, in a Frasier episode) also appears playing Caroline's love interest in one episode.[17]

Connection with Friends[edit]

Matthew Perry appears as his Friends character Chandler Bing (not named but implied to be him and advertised by the network as such in their crossover promotions) in the episode "Caroline and the Folks" in a crossover appearance in which Annie meets Chandler at the video store. The same night, Lea Thompson appeared as Caroline Duffy (also never named as such but implied to be - and advertised as - her character) in the November 2, 1995, Friends episode "The One with the Baby on the Bus".[12][18][19]

Connection with The Single Guy[edit]

In the same episode - "Caroline and the Folks" - which featured Chandler from Friends, Jonathan Silverman also appeared, playing his character Jonathan Eliot (again not named but advertised as such) from the sitcom The Single Guy.[18][20]


Season Time Slot Notes
1 (1995–96) Thursdays, 9:30 PM Part of the "Must See TV" lineup.
2 (1996–97) Tuesdays, 9:30 PM
3 (1997–98) Mondays, 9:00 PM Part of the "Must She TV" lineup which included Suddenly Susan, Fired Up, and The Naked Truth.[21]
4 (1998–99) Mondays, 8:30 PM



Season Season premiere Season finale TV season Season
(in millions)
1 September 21, 1995 (1995-09-21) May 16, 1996 (1996-05-16) 1995–96 4[22] 17.26[22]
2 September 17, 1996 (1996-09-17) May 13, 1997 (1997-05-13) 1996–97 25[23] 10.67[23]
3 September 22, 1997 (1997-09-22) May 18, 1998 (1998-05-18) 1997–98 47[24] 8.4[24]
4 September 21, 1998 (1998-09-21) April 26, 1999 (1999-04-26) 1998–99 91[25] 8.8 million viewers[25]

Home media[edit]

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) released the first two seasons on DVD in Region 1 in 2008/2009.[26][27] A decade later, the remaining two seasons were both released (though lacking episodes) in Region 1 on August 6, 2019.

In Region 2, Revelation Films released all four seasons on DVD between August 2005 and June 2006.

In Region 4, Visual Entertainment has released the first two seasons on DVD in Australia.[28][29]

Season Ep # Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 24 August 12, 2008[26] August 22, 2005 March 8, 2010[28]
2 25 March 10, 2009[27] November 7, 2005 October 15, 2010[29]
3 26 August 6, 2019[30] February 20, 2006 TBA
4 22 June 26, 2006 TBA


  1. ^ "BBC - Comedy Guide - Caroline In The City". December 26, 2004. Archived from the original on December 26, 2004.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Caroline in the City - Episode Synopses - Season 1". Caroline in the City. Eyemark Entertainment. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  3. ^ "Caroline in the City - cast bios - Eric Lutes as Del Cassidy". Caroline in the City. Eyemark Entertainment. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2013. Caroline's former fiancé and partner in the greeting card company that carries the "Caroline in the City" line of cards.
  4. ^ "Caroline in the City - cast bios - Amy Pietz as Annie Spadaro". Caroline in the City. Eyemark Entertainment. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2013. Caroline's savvy and street-smart neighbor and confidant in the hit comedy series Caroline in the City. Over the course of four years, Annie has been a professional dancer in the long-running Broadway production of "Cats," and a fledging actress in a Hollywood television pilot and various commercials.
  5. ^ a b "Caroline in the City - The First Season DVD Review". Sitcoms Online. August 12, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Caroline in the City - Episode Synopses - Season 2". Caroline in the City. Eyemark Entertainment. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  7. ^ Orr, Tamra (August 20, 2011). Shia LaBeouf. Mitchell Lane Publishers, Inc. ISBN 9781612282336 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "Film Review". Orpheus Pub. February 20, 2007 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Caroline in the City at IMDb Retrieved January 4, 2013
  10. ^ "Bonnie Timmons". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  11. ^ "bonnie timmons". Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  12. ^ a b Wolf, Mark J. P. (March 14, 2014). Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-22080-7.
  13. ^ "Paley Center". Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  14. ^ "Eric Lutes". Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  15. ^ Fretts, Bruce; November 01, Ken Tucker Updated; EST, 1996 at 05:00 AM. "Two sides of Caroline in the City". Retrieved July 24, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Tropiano, Stephen (May 1, 2002). The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4768-4799-3.
  17. ^ "Scott Atkinson | TVmaze". Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  18. ^ a b Brembilla, Paola; Pascalis, Ilaria A. De (May 25, 2018). Reading Contemporary Serial Television Universes: A Narrative Ecosystem Framework. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-62835-8.
  19. ^ "10 Strangest Sitcom Crossovers". ScreenRant. October 2, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  20. ^ "Episode 8: Happy Birthday Parking Lot". Caroline&the Podcast. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  21. ^ Tucker, Ken (October 17, 1997). "TV Show Reviews: 'Suddenly Susan'; 'Fired Up'; 'Caroline in the City'; 'The Naked Truth' Review | TV Reviews and News". Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  22. ^ a b "TV Ratings: 1995-1996". Archived from the original on November 9, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  23. ^ a b "TV Ratings: 1996-1997". Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  24. ^ a b "TV Ratings 1997-1998". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2013. - references 1999 Wall Street Journal almanac
  25. ^ a b "TV WINNERS & LOSERS: NUMBERS RACKET, A FINAL TALLY OF THE SEASON'S SHOWS". The Place (Geocities account). Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2014. - references Entertainment Weekly article dated June 4, 1999
  26. ^ a b "Caroline In The City: The Complete First Season DVD @ DVD Empire". December 8, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  27. ^ a b "Caroline In The City: The Complete Second Season DVD @ DVD Empire". October 3, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  28. ^ a b "Caroline in the City - The 1st Season (4 Disc Set) (810890)". Archived from the original on April 2, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  29. ^ a b "Caroline in the City - The 2nd Season (3 Disc Set) (815112)". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  30. ^ "Caroline In The City: The Complete Third Season @ Amazon". August 9, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.

External links[edit]