Cybill

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This article is about the TV series. For the actress herself, see Cybill Shepherd.
Cybill
Cybill.JPG
Genre Sitcom
Created by Chuck Lorre
Starring Cybill Shepherd
Christine Baranski
Alicia Witt
Dedee Pfeiffer
Tom Wopat
Alan Rosenberg
Theme music composer George Gershwin
Ira Gershwin
Opening theme "Nice Work if You Can Get It" sung by Cybill Shepherd
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 87 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Marcy Carsey
Jay Daniel
Howard Gould
Chuck Lorre (1995)
Caryn Mandabach
Bob Myer
Cybill Shepherd
Tom Werner
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Jay Daniel Productions (1995–1996)
Chuck Lorre Productions (1995)
River Siren Productions
Carsey-Werner Productions
Paramount Network Television (1995)
Release
Original network CBS
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original release January 2, 1995 (1995-01-02) – July 13, 1998 (1998-07-13)[1]

Cybill is an American television sitcom created by Chuck Lorre, which aired on CBS from January 2, 1995, to July 13, 1998. Starring Cybill Shepherd, the show revolves around the life of Cybill Sheridan, a twice-divorced single mother of two and struggling actress in her 40s, who has never gotten her big show business break. Alicia Witt and Dedee Pfeiffer co-starred as Sheridan's daughters, with Alan Rosenberg and Tom Wopat playing their respective fathers, while Christine Baranski appeared as Cybill's hard-drinking friend Maryann.[2]

The sitcom was produced by Carsey-Werner Productions and YBYL Productions, with Shepherd, Lorre, Howard Gould, Jay Daniel, Marcy Carsey, and Tom Werner serving as the show's original executive producers. Broadcast to critical praise, Cybill was nominated for 12 Emmy Awards throughout its run and awarded the 1996 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Shepherd won a third Golden Globe Award for her performance, while Baranski received an Emmy, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an American Comedy Award.

Premise[edit]

Cybill takes place in Los Angeles, and focuses on the character of a somewhat faded actress, Cybill Sheridan (played by Cybill Shepherd), who, because of her age, had been relegated to playing character roles, bit parts, and TV commercials.[3] Also featured are her daughters, headstrong Zoey (Witt) and uptight Rachel ( Pfeiffer), her two ex-husbands, Ira (Rosenberg) and Jeff (Wopat), and her hard-drinking best friend Maryann (Baranski). Due to the show's premise, many episodes featured a show-within-a-show format, showing Cybill Sheridan playing a variety of other characters in her various film and TV acting roles.[4]

In her autobiography, Cybill Disobedience, Shepherd stated that the Cybill character was based on herself—or at least what her life as an actress could have been without the successes of The Last Picture Show and Moonlighting. Many of the show's details and situations were mined from her own family, marriages, and experiences.[5]

Main cast[edit]

  • Cybill Shepherd as Cybill Sheridan[6] – Cybill is an aging actress who has had a varied, though mediocre career (which, even in her salad days, seems to have consisted primarily of television commercials and B-movies). She now finds that, due to her age, roles are becoming harder to find and that the quality of roles she is offered is diminishing. Her fortunes seem to vary over the course of the series. Sometimes, she has consistent work and appears to be relatively wealthy, other times, she scrambles to find and keep jobs, and seems to be struggling financially; this inconsistency could be attributed to the nature of her career, as even the most successful actors tend to have their professional ups and downs, both financially and creatively. Cybill is a rather eccentric feminist who practices New Age philosophy, as well as a native Southerner from Memphis, Tennessee. Her loud, public, and honest rantings about female sexuality, her perkiness, bouts of outrage, and hysteria, and her exhibitions of “down-home” Southern behavior often embarrass her two daughters, Zoey and Rachel. Cybill has a civil relationship with her ex-husbands Jeff and Ira, even tolerating their tendency to cling to her. She does sometimes spar, however, with Jeff over his past infidelities, and is quick to remind Ira of how controlling he was when they were married. Cybill's best friend is the wealthy, alcoholic divorcee Maryann Thorpe, whom she supports emotionally and assists in her bitter war with her ex-husband. Cybill's own rival, Andrea (played by Morgan Fairchild), has also often been the target of Cybill's immature pranks and their enmity has resulted in personal humiliations, professional loss, and injury on both sides. Cybill has a caustic sense of humor and an acid tongue. Although eccentric and flawed, Cybill's strength and wisdom shines through in her support of her family and friends.[7]
  • Christine Baranski as Maryann Thorpe[6] – Cybill's best friend is a former receptionist who is now fabulously wealthy due to her divorce settlement with her unfaithful ex-husband, celebrity plastic surgeon Richard Thorpe (an infrequently and never fully seen character, to whom she always refers to with a sneer as Doctor "Dick"). Maryann is a bored, bitter alcoholic who often seems unstable and emotionally dependent on Cybill. When she is not stalking her ex-husband and playing elaborate and destructive pranks on him, she spends lavishly, drinks, and pursues younger men. She has a few healthy relationships with men of her own age over the course of the series, including Cybill's ex-husband Ira, but these do not last. She has a son, Justin (played by Danny Masterson), who infrequently visits. A passionate environmentalist with excessive liberal beliefs, he is at odds with her frivolous and extravagant lifestyle. Maryann's most consistent and healthy relationship is with Cybill. They seem to be endlessly sharing martinis in an upmarket Hollywood restaurant and are accomplices in each other's bad behaviour. Maryann seems to spend most of her time at Cybill's house and involving herself in Cybill's family life to alleviate her own boredom. Her caustic tongue vies with Cybill's, but her remarks are more inappropriate, bitter, and cynical. She is, however, a constant support for Cybill at crucial moments.
  • Alicia Witt as Zoey Woodbine[6] – Cybill's younger daughter, she is a high-school teenager, and is brilliant, rebellious, and more sarcastic than her mother. She is a piano virtuoso (as is Witt) and hopes to attend the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. A self-imposed outcast, she is a vocal advocate of celibacy. In the later seasons, she is seen in an on-again-off-again relationship with Maryann's estranged son.
  • Dedee Pfeiffer as Rachel Robbins Manning[6] – Cybill's elder daughter, she is uptight and pretentious, and is married to Kevin Manning (played by Peter Krause), an equally uptight, untenured assistant professor from Boston. She is prone to outbursts of hysteria similar to her mother's, especially during her pregnancies of the first and fourth season. Rachel and Kevin's first child is a boy named William; the second is a girl, Amanda.
  • Tom Wopat as Jeff Robbins[6] – Cybill's first husband, Jeff is a Hollywood stuntman with a roving eye. Though his many indiscretions were the cause of the divorce, Cybill and Jeff still have a good relationship, bound together by their daughter and grandson (and the fact that Jeff lived over Cybill's garage in the early seasons of the show). Jeff is somewhat dim, making him a prime target for Zoey's dry wit, but possesses a good heart.
  • Alan Rosenberg as Ira Woodbine[6] – Cybill's second husband, Ira is the polar opposite of Cybill's first husband, Jeff. Unassuming and rather neurotic, he is a brilliant writer, though prone to "writer's block". His marriage to Cybill ended because he was unable to stop trying to control her life; even in divorce, he cannot help meddling in her life. For several episodes of the second season, he became involved with Maryann.

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 January 2, 1995 (1995-01-02) May 15, 1995 (1995-05-15)
2 24 September 17, 1995 (1995-09-17) May 20, 1996 (1996-05-20)
3 26 September 16, 1996 (1996-09-16) May 19, 1997 (1997-05-19)
4 24 September 15, 1997 (1997-09-15) July 13, 1998 (1998-07-13)

Reception[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Cybill was nominated for twelve Emmy Awards throughout its entire run, winning three. Nominated for her performance in each season, Baranski was the only cast member to win an Emmy.[8] Baranski also received an American Comedy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Viewers for Quality Television Award for her portrayal, while Shepherd was awarded the 1996 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.[8] The same year, the sitcom also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, its only win for both the crew and the cast.[8]

Ratings[edit]

The series got respectable ratings throughout its run, but was abruptly canceled by CBS at the end of the 1997-98 season, amid allegations by Shepherd that the network was uncomfortable with Cybill's feminist leanings and frank depiction of female sexuality.[9]

Average seasonal ratings[edit]

Season Premiere Finale TV Season Season
rank
Viewers
(millions)
1 January 2, 1995 May 15, 1995 1994-1995 #22 12.8
2 September 17, 1995 May 20, 1996 1995-1996 #50 [10] 10.0
3 September 16, 1996 May 19, 1997 1996-1997 #32[11] 10.5
4 September 15, 1997 July 13, 1998 1997-1998 #50[12] 8.3

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year Category Recipients and nominees Result Ref
American Comedy Awards 1996 Funniest Supporting Female Performer in a TV Series Christine Baranski Won [13]
GLAAD Media Awards 1997 Outstanding TV - Individual Episode Nominated [14]
Golden Globe Awards 1996 Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Won [15]
Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Cybill Shepherd Won
Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Christine Baranski Nominated
1997 Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Cybill Shepherd Nominated [16]
Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Christine Baranski Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Awards 1997 Best Supporting Actress in a Series Christine Baranski Nominated [17]
Best Actress in a Comedy Series Cybill Shepherd Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Christine Baranski Nominated
1998 Best Actress in a Comedy Series Cybill Shepherd Nominated [18]
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Christine Baranski Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards 1995 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Cybill Shepherd Nominated [19]
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Christine Baranski Won [20]
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Art Direction for a Series Garvin Eddy and Rochelle Moser Won [21]
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costume Design for a Series Robert Turturice Nominated [22]
1996 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Cybill Shepherd Nominated [23]
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Christine Baranski Nominated [24]
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Art Direction for a Series Garvin Eddy and Rochelle Moser Nominated [25]
Outstanding Costume Design for a Series Marion Kirk, Daniel Grant North and Leslie Simmons Potts Won [26]
Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Series Or A Special Jerry Clemans, Edward L. Moskowitz and Craig Porter Nominated [27]
1997 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Cybill Shepherd Nominated [28]
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Christine Baranski Nominated [29]
1998 Nominated [30]
Satellite Awards 1997 Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Nominated [31]
Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Cybill Shepherd Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards 1996 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Christine Baranski Won [32]
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Christine Baranski, Dedee Pfeiffer, Alan Rosenberg, Cybill Shepherd, Alicia Witt and Tom Wopat Nominated
1997 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Serie Christine Baranski Nominated [33]
Viewers for Quality Television Awards 1996 Best Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Cybill Shepherd Nominated [34]
Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Christine Baranski Won
1997 Nominated [35]

Home release[edit]

Region 1[edit]

On September 16, 2008, First Look Studios released Cybill: The Collector's Edition, Vol. 1, a 2-disc best of DVD.[36]

Region 2[edit]

Anchor Bay Entertainment has released the entire series on DVD in the UK.

DVD Name Ep# Release Date
The Complete First Series 13 24 April 2006
The Complete Second Series 24 2 July 2007
The Complete Third Series 26 5 May 2008
The Complete Fourth Series 24 4 August 2008
The Complete Box Set 87 29 September 2008

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC - Comedy Guide - Cybill". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2004-12-09. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  2. ^ Howard Rosenberg (1995-01-02). "'Cybill' Is a Promising Addition to CBS Lineup - latimes". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  3. ^ "Cybill". EW. Retrieved 2016-02-25. 
  4. ^ Ray Loynd (1994-12-29). "Cybill". Variety. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  5. ^ Cybill Disobedience
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. 2004-05-18. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  7. ^ "Absolutely 'Cybill' : Shepherd'S New Series Is Built Around An Actress Who Could Be Her". Articles.latimes.com. 1995-01-08. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  8. ^ a b c "Awards for Cybill (1995)". IMDb. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  9. ^ Griffin, Nancy (July–August 2004). "Cybill Liberties". AARP Magazine. 
  10. ^ "Complete TV Ratings 1995-1996". Fbibler.chez.com. 2002-07-26. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  11. ^ "Complete TV Ratings 1996-1997". Fbibler.chez.com. 2002-07-26. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  12. ^ "Final Ratings for '97-'98 TV Season". SFGate.com. 1998-05-25. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  13. ^ "American Comedy Awards, USA (1996)". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "GLAAD Media Awards (1997)". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "The 53rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (1996) Winners & Nominees". GoldenGlobes.com. Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "The 53rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (1996) Winners & Nominees". GoldenGlobes.com. Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  17. ^ "1996-1997: The Season of The Shining". Online Film & Television Association. Wesley Lovell. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "1997-1998: The Season of Merlin". Online Film & Television Association. Wesley Lovell. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "47th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "47th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  21. ^ "47th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Individual Achievement in Art Direction for a Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "47th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costume Design for a Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  23. ^ "48th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  24. ^ "48th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  25. ^ "48th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Individual Achievement in Art Direction for a Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  26. ^ "48th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Costume Design for a Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  27. ^ "48th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Series Or A Special". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  28. ^ "49th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  29. ^ "49th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  30. ^ "50th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  31. ^ "1997 Satellite Awards". Satellite Awards. International Press Academy. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  32. ^ "2nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". SAGAwards.org. Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  33. ^ "3rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". SAGAwards.org. Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  34. ^ "Viewers for Quality Television Awards (1996)". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  35. ^ "Viewers for Quality Television Awards (1997)". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  36. ^ "Cybill: The Collector's Edition Volume 1: Cybill Shepherd, Christine Baranski: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 

External links[edit]