Duet (TV series)

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Duet
GenreSitcom
Created byRuth Bennett
Susan Seeger
Written byRuth Bennett
Bruce Ferber
Lisa Medway
John Peaslee
Judd Pillot
Susan Seeger
Michael Zinberg
Directed byPeter Baldwin
Gabrielle Beaumont
Lee Shallat-Chemel
Arlene Sanford
David Steinberg
Michael Zinberg
Stephen Zuckerman
StarringMatthew Laurance
Mary Page Keller
Chris Lemmon
Alison LaPlaca
Theme music composerBuddy Budson
Composer(s)John Beasley
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes54
Production
Producer(s)Linda Nieber
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)UBU Productions
Paramount Television
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkFox
Original releaseApril 19, 1987 (1987-04-19) – May 7, 1989 (1989-05-07)
Chronology
Related showsOpen House

Duet is an American sitcom that aired on Fox from April 19, 1987 to August 20, 1989. The series stars Matthew Laurance as Ben Coleman, Mary Page Keller as Laura Kelly, Chris Lemmon as Richard Phillips, and Alison LaPlaca as Linda Phillips. The series was created by Ruth Bennett and Susan Seeger, and was produced by Paramount Television.

Synopsis[edit]

Ben is a struggling mystery novelist, while his girlfriend Laura is a caterer with her younger sister Jane (Jodi Thelen). Richard and Linda were a high-powered yuppie couple. He was in the family patio-furniture business and she was a studio executive. Linda's boss at World Wide Studios was Cooper Hayden (Larry Poindexter), who eventually became infatuated with Jane. Richard later quit his job to become a professional pianist. Geneva (Arleen Sorkin) was the Phillips' wisecracking, sexy maid who sometimes fraternized with the sisters.

In the 1987-88 season finale, Linda gave birth to a daughter, Amanda, who grew into a three-year-old (Ginger Orsi) capable of speech by the start of the series' third and final season. When the 1988-89 season began, Ben and Laura had married, and Linda had lost her job at World Wide Studios. Linda then sought a partnership in Laura's catering business. Just prior to the end of that season, Linda met real estate mogul Ted Nichols, played by guest star and LaPlaca's then-boyfriend, Philip Charles MacKenzie. Ted schmoozed her into joining his realty firm, selling upscale properties to snobs just like herself. Shortly after, Fox announced its cancellation of Duet, and with LaPlaca as its breakout star, both she and MacKenzie shared the lead in its spin-off, Open House.

Opening titles[edit]

The show's first season opening title sequence, showing cast member names written on dresser drawers, dog food dishes and other props, was produced by creator Susan Seeger's brother, David Seeger, and father, noted animator Hal Seeger.

The theme music over the opening titles was composed by Buddy Budson, and in the first two seasons performed by Ursula Walker and Tony Franklin.

Beginning in season two, the opening titles changed to begin featuring clips of the characters in scenes from the show. These were book-ended by the show's title appearing in gold on a maroon leather-textured photo album cover, which opened to reveal the series of episode clips, and the photo album closing, with creators Ruth Bennett and Susan Seeger being credited in gold on the album cover. (In season one, the show title was displayed over the beginning of the opening scene.) In season three, the same sequence style remained, but the theme music was rearranged into a complete synthesizer/electric guitar instrumental, with the guitar taking the place of the notes sung by vocalists Walker and Franklin.

Cast[edit]

Actor Role
Matthew Laurance Ben Coleman
Mary Page Keller Laura Kelly
Jodi Thelen Jane Kelly
Chris Lemmon Richard Phillips
Alison LaPlaca Linda Phillips
Larry Poindexter Cooper Hayden
Arleen Sorkin Geneva
Ginger Orsi Amanda Phillips
Bo * Reuben *

Note: * Ben's dog (live animal actor)

Broadcast history[edit]

Season Time
1986–87 Sunday at 9:00 pm (Episode 1)
Sunday at 9:30 pm (Episodes 2–4, 8)
Sunday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 5–7, 9–13)
1987–88 Saturday at 9:30 pm (Episodes 1–4)
Sunday at 9:30 pm (Episodes 5–21)
Sunday at 10:00 pm (Episode 22)
1988–89 Sunday at 10:00 pm

Episode guide[edit]

Season 1 (1987)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Prelude"TBATBAApril 19, 1987 (1987-04-19)
22"Overture"TBATBAApril 19, 1987 (1987-04-19)
33"Adagio"David SteinbergJohn Peaslee & Judd PillotApril 26, 1987 (1987-04-26)
44"Variations on a Theme"TBATBAMay 3, 1987 (1987-05-03)
55"Dissonace"TBATBAMay 10, 1987 (1987-05-10)
66"Lullabye"TBATBAMay 17, 1987 (1987-05-17)
77"Fugue"TBATBAMay 24, 1987 (1987-05-24)
88"Interlude"TBATBAMay 24, 1987 (1987-05-24)
99"Liebestraum"TBATBAMay 31, 1987 (1987-05-31)
1010"Work in Progress"TBATBAJune 7, 1987 (1987-06-07)
1111"The Long Goodbye"TBATBAJune 14, 1987 (1987-06-14)
1212"Trio"TBATBAJune 21, 1987 (1987-06-21)
1313"Passage"TBATBAJune 28, 1987 (1987-06-28)

Season 2 (1987–1988)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
141"Apart"TBATBASeptember 26, 1987 (1987-09-26)
152"You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Leaves You"Michael ZinbergJohn Peaslee & Judd PillotOctober 3, 1987 (1987-10-03)
163"The Cower of Love"TBATBAOctober 10, 1987 (1987-10-10)
174"Lots of Things Happen"TBATBAOctober 17, 1987 (1987-10-17)
185"Strange Bedfellows"TBATBAOctober 25, 1987 (1987-10-25)
196"Satin Doll"TBATBANovember 1, 1987 (1987-11-01)
207"Jane's Getting Serious"TBATBANovember 8, 1987 (1987-11-08)
218"I Never Played for My Father: Part 1"Arlene SanfordJ. David ShapiroNovember 22, 1987 (1987-11-22)
229"I Never Played for My Father: Part 2"TBATBANovember 29, 1987 (1987-11-29)
2310"Born, Bred and Buttered in Brooklyn"TBATBADecember 6, 1987 (1987-12-06)
2411"Fatal Distraction"Arlene SanfordSusan SeegerDecember 13, 1987 (1987-12-13)
2512"A Hero is Just a Sandwich"Arlene SanfordCharlene SeegerJanuary 17, 1988 (1988-01-17)
2613"The Package"TBATBAJanuary 24, 1988 (1988-01-24)
2714"Baby Talk"TBATBAFebruary 7, 1988 (1988-02-07)
2815"Funny Valentine"TBATBAFebruary 14, 1988 (1988-02-14)
2916"The Candidate"TBATBAFebruary 21, 1988 (1988-02-21)
3017"Special Delivery"TBATBAFebruary 28, 1988 (1988-02-28)
3118"Oh My God, I Left the Baby on the Bus"TBATBAMarch 6, 1988 (1988-03-06)
3219"Mommy and Me"TBATBAMarch 13, 1988 (1988-03-13)
3320"Lady on a Grate"TBATBAMarch 20, 1988 (1988-03-20)
3421"Good Intentions"TBATBAMay 1, 1988 (1988-05-01)
3522"No Reservations"TBATBAJuly 10, 1988 (1988-07-10)

Season 3 (1988–1989)[edit]

Prod. code Episode title Original airdate
36 40263-036 "Partners" October 30, 1988
37 40263-037 "Deja Two" November 6, 1988
38 40263-038 "It's My Party" November 13, 1988
39 40263-039 "For Richard, For Poorer" November 20, 1988
40 40263-040 "Oh, Boy!" November 27, 1988
41 40263-041 "One Man Out" December 11, 1988
42 40263-042 "His Mother, Myself" December 18, 1988
43 40263-043 "Brother from Another Zip Code" January 15, 1989
44 40263-044 "Sister of the Year" January 29, 1989
45 40263-045 "The New and Improved Linda" February 5, 1989
46 40263-046 "Too Many Cooks" February 12, 1989
47 40263-047 "Read Between the Lines" February 19, 1989
48 40263-048 "Don't Quit Your Day Job" February 26, 1989
49 40263-049 "True Stories" March 12, 1989
50 40263-050 "Role Call" March 26, 1989
51 40263-051 "Kiss and Break Up" April 9, 1989
52 40263-052 "On the Nose" April 23, 1989
53 40263-053 "Richie and the Vamp" April 30, 1989
54 40263-054 "Open House" May 7, 1989

External links[edit]