High Society (1995 TV series)

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High Society
High Society (TV series) ad.jpg
Created byRobert Horn
Daniel Margosis
Written byLisa Albert
Pat Dougherty
Marc Flanagan
Robert Horn
Daniel Margosis
Directed byStan Daniels
Iris Dugow
Ellen Gittelsohn
Michael Lembeck
StarringJean Smart
Mary McDonnell
Theme music composerHoward McCrary
Mark Stevens
Opening theme"The Lady Is a Tramp" performed by Chaka Khan
ComposersFrank Fitzpatrick
David Tobocman
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producersGary Dontzig
Marc Flanagan
Robert Horn
Daniel Margosis
Steven Peterman
ProducersLisa Albert
Barbara Dorio
Running time22–24 minutes
Production companiesJVTV
Look Ma Productions
Warner Bros Television
Original networkCBS
Original releaseOctober 30, 1995 (1995-10-30) –
February 26, 1996 (1996-02-26)

High Society is an American sitcom television series starring Jean Smart and Mary McDonnell that aired Monday nights on CBS from October 30, 1995, to February 26, 1996; it was entered into the CBS schedule as a replacement for If Not for You, a sitcom that was quickly canceled by the network.[1] The theme song was "The Lady Is a Tramp" sung by Chaka Khan.

Its premise was similar to the campy British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous.


The series revolves around two New York City women who acted in an outrageous, campy, and decadent manner. Ellie Walker (Jean Smart) is a successful author of trashy romantic novels, and her best friend and publisher is Dorothy 'Dott' Emerson (Mary McDonnell). Emerson is a divorced mother with a preppie college-aged son, Brendan Emerson (Dan O'Donahue), a College Republican, who resists Ellie's relentless sexual advances. At the publishing house, the women worked with a flamboyant gay male secretary named Stephano (Luigi Amodeo) and a sleazy publisher partner named Peter Thomas (David Rasche)

In the pilot episode, the women's small-town former college friend, Val Brumberg (Faith Prince), arrives after she decides to leave her philandering husband, Mitchell, one of Ellie's many exes. Val moves in with Dott, much to Ellie's chagrin who stops speaking to Dott because of this. Val later reveals the other reason she came to Dott is because she's pregnant and needs someone to help her through her pregnancy. Aside from the situational comedy that arose from Ellie and Dott's campy antics, the storylines often centered on the notion of family. Val started to become something of a mother figure to Brendan. However, she was written out of the series without explanation after the sixth episode of the series. The series then centered more on the campy lifestyle and antics of Ellie and Dott.


Despite garnering decent ratings, the series was canceled after 13 episodes and replaced with Good Company.




Guest stars[edit]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Family Val's"Michael LembeckRobert Horn & Daniel MargosisOctober 30, 1995 (1995-10-30)
Dott invites Val to stay with her, much to Ellie's chagrin.
2"Whose Son Is It Anyway?"Iris DugowRobert Horn & Daniel MargosisNovember 6, 1995 (1995-11-06)
Dott fears Val has developed a maternal bond with Brendan. Meanwhile, Ellie and Stephano each throw themselves at Ellie's buff new bodyguard.
3"Sleeping with the Enemy"Stan DanielsRobert Horn & Daniel MargosisNovember 13, 1995 (1995-11-13)
In an attempt to get rid of Val, Ellie tries to reunite her with estranged husband Mitchell, but soon comes to realize that Val might be better off without him.
4"Dolce & G'bye Now"Iris DugowRobert Horn & Daniel MargosisNovember 20, 1995 (1995-11-20)
After being humiliated by Ellie, Stephano quits and Dott reluctantly hires Val as his replacement, which sends Ellie into a frenzied fit.
5"Tomb with a View"Iris DugowLisa AlbertNovember 27, 1995 (1995-11-27)
When Alice's neighbor dies, Ellie tries to impress the snooty building committee in order to secure a lush apartment.
6"The Naked and the Deadline"Iris DugowMarc FlanaganDecember 4, 1995 (1995-12-04)
When Ellie develops writer's block, Dott goes to great lengths to get her unstuck.
7"Finnigan's Rainbow"Iris DugowRobert Horn & Daniel MargosisDecember 11, 1995 (1995-12-11)
Dott falls in love with a motivational speaker (Barry Bostwick).
8"We Ought to be in Pictures"Iris DugowRobert Horn & Daniel MargosisDecember 18, 1995 (1995-12-18)
When production begins on a film based on one of her novels, Ellie is horrified to discover she's forfeited all creative control.
9"Nip and Tuck"Iris DugowLisa Albert & Marc FlanaganJanuary 15, 1996 (1996-01-15)
Alice convinces Dott and Ellie to see a plastic surgeon (Bronson Pinchot) before an upcoming photo shoot.
10"Alice Doesn't Pump Here Anymore"Iris DugowRobert Horn & Daniel MargosisJanuary 22, 1996 (1996-01-22)
After sustaining a heart attack, Alice finds herself being smothered by Dott.
11"Touching Up Your Roots"UnknownUnknownFebruary 5, 1996 (1996-02-05)
Ellie's parents (Doris Roberts, Paul Dooley) visit with a shocking confession.
12"I Found My Thrill on Nancy Garver Hill"UnknownUnknownFebruary 12, 1996 (1996-02-12)
Ellie discovers a rival romance novelist is actually the guy she's been sleeping with (Tom Arnold).
13"The Family Jewels"Iris DugowRobert Horn & Daniel MargosisFebruary 26, 1996 (1996-02-26)
Ellie decides she wants to have a baby.

Award nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
1996 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Jayne Meadows Nominated
1996 Casting Society of America Best Casting for TV, Comedy Pilot Leslie Litt Nominated


  1. ^ James, Caryn (1995-11-06). "Television Review; It's Monday, So It Must Be Women". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-23.

External links[edit]