Title screen with programming information
|Created by||Warren Bell|
|Developed by||Buena Vista Television|
|Starring||Lisa Ann Walter
|Opening theme||"Life's Work" (instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||18|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Weest, Inc.
|Original release||September 17, 1996 – June 10, 1997|
Life's Work is an American situation comedy series that aired from September 1996 to June 1997 on ABC; the show stars Lisa Ann Walter as Lisa Ann Minardi Hunter, an assistant district attorney in Baltimore.
Lisa Ann always wanted to practice law since she was young because she always argued with her parents. She also had a basketball coach husband named Kevin Hunter (Michael O'Keefe) who served as the patriarch of the family. Together, they raised a seven-year-old daughter Tess (Alexa Vega) and a toddler son named Griffin (Cameron and Luca Weibel). During the entire run of the series, a simple electric guitar instrumental solo was used as the show's opening theme. Laugh tracks were used in all episodes in the sitcom as it was filmed "live before a studio audience."
During the 1990s, it was common to give stand-up comedians their own TV sitcom, even if their first one had flopped. Lisa Ann Walter was a stand-up comedian who played a mouthy feminist who could stand up to her mother in addition to her superiors at work. While Lisa Ann's character had plenty of zingers to her, there was still a sense of "been-there-done-that" with her character.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Pilot"||Michael Lessac||Warren Bell||September 17, 1996|
|Lisa begins her new job as Assistant States Attorney for the City of Baltimore, and Kevin has trouble adjusting to Lisa's long hours outside of the home. On her first day at work, she's insulted by the entire staff and given less than a day to prepare for a case. Later that day, after a basketball player is injured and Kevin has to go to the ER, instead of watching Snow White, Tess and Griffin get to go on their first trip to a bar, where Lisa interviews a key witness in her case -- a loopy bartender.|
|2||"Daycareless"||Michael Lessac||Nora Lynch and Paul Palisoul||September 24, 1996|
|Lisa and Kevin realize how overwhelming their lives have become when they mistakenly leave baby Griffin at daycare, each thinking the other has picked him up. After several warnings and one more tardy pick-up, Griffin is expelled and the Hunters must find alternative daycare. Temporary relief arrives in the form of Connie, Lisa's larger-than-life mother, who comes to stay with the Hunters. Although she's happy to help her daughter and son-in-law, Connie quickly makes it clear that she loves her grandchildren but she's not about to become their full-time babysitter. Lisa and Kevin must return, apologetically to Griffin's original daycare center. In order to get their baby re-enrolled, they generously "donate" their brand new VCR to the center. To Lisa's dismay, her beloved copy of "Braveheart" was still in the VCR-- and the task falls to Kevin to provide a suitable replacement -- so he transforms into a Mel Gibson-esque warrior, complete with blue complexion and kilt.|
|3||"Contempt"||October 1, 1996|
|Lisa finds herself in contempt when she goes head to head with a sexist, egomaniacal judge. Meanwhile, Kevin fears he's going to lose his job after an article is printed in the newspaper about him.|
|4||"Concert"||Michael Lessac||Vick S. Horowitz||October 8, 1996|
|They go to a NIN concert and realize that the concert lifestyle is not for them.|
|5||"Burnout"||Michael Lessac||Elin Hampton and David Fury||October 15, 1996|
|Lisa hopes her star will rise when Mr. Nash offers her a shot at a high profile case, but the nonstop shuttle between home and work is causing her fuel to run dry. Meanwhile, Kevin looks for basketball recruits, but a trip to Philadelphia to check out a hot prospect yields only the information that the player is on probation.|
|6||"Playdates"||Michael Lessac||Tim Maile and Douglas Tuber||October 22, 1996|
|Lisa discovers that kids' "play dates" can be as troublesome as adult dating when the mother of Tess's new friend, Corrine, causes nothing but problems, almost ruining the little girls' friendship. Meanwhile, Kevin and Lisa clash when Kevin realizes the only way his assistant coach, Brick, will get a raise is if Kevin pays him out of his own pocket.|
|7||"Girlfriends"||October 29, 1996|
|Lisa and Dee Dee are assigned a case against a defense attorney who dated - and dumped - both of them. Meanwhile, Tess spends a day at work with Kevin and innocently wanders into the locker room where the basketball team is showering. When her teacher calls the next day and informs Lisa that Tess drew a picture entitled "12 Angry Men," Lisa and Kevin have a frank(ly uneasy) talk with their 8-year-old about the facts of life.|
|8||"Pregnancy"||Michael Lessac||Mitchell Newman||November 12, 1996|
|Lisa finds out that she may be pregnant right before her and Kevin's romantic weekend in The Poconos. Suddenly she is faced with having her life turned upside down -- again.|
|9||"Jobs"||November 19, 1996|
|After being assigned a ridiculous performance evaluation at work, Lisa and her coworkers scramble to try to match Mr. Nash's answers (though Matt goes over-the-top and sets his to music). Kevin is offered a job coaching at another college, but the catch is, he'll be on the road 20 weeks of the year.|
|10||"Gobbledegook"||Michael Lessac||Phil Palisoul and Nora Lynch||November 16, 1996|
|Lisa's is planning to have a hassle-free thanksgiving, but she gets more than she bargained for when she avoids a holiday with her relatives. For starters, Kevin has to miss out on the festivities for a basketball recruiting trip. But he can't complain -- since it's in Maui! Lisa invites DeeDee to throw thanksgiving for their coworkers at her house -- and Lisa winds up doing all the work. Then Connie arrives unannounced, hurling accusations that Lisa and Lyndon are having an affair, and that Kevin has left her. So Connie finally confides that she started a divorce fund for Lisa "for when it all blows up in" her face. Mr. Nash has his own worries when his teenage daughter comes to visit -- and ignore him. And Tess and Matt have problems when they try to perform a Thanksgiving play.|
|11||"Boss"||Michael Lessac||David and Elin Hampton||December 3, 1996|
|The Hunter family is in an uproar when Lisa's mother Connie moves in with them, and quickly seizes control of every aspect of their lives. Hiring Connie to take care of the kids seemed like such a simple solution to Lisa and Kevin. What they hadn't bargained for was Connie's insistence on doing things her way—regardless of Lisa and Kevin's wishes. Desperately wanting to regain control over their household matters, Lisa confronts Connie, but the discussion quickly disintegrates into a mother-daughter screaming match which has surprising results. Meanwhile, back at the office, Lisa finds herself in hot water when she defies Mr. Nash's order to plead a case and not take it to court. Not only does the case blow up in her face, with Mr. Nash there to see it, but he lays down the law: one more slip-up and she gets the pink slip.|
|12||"Fired"||Michael Lessac||Tim Maile and Douglas Tuber||December 17, 1996|
|After Visa raises their credit limit, Lisa decides that it's time for the Hunters to have tidings aplenty for Christmas (she and Tess decide to be Jewish, so they can have eight days worth of presents each!). However, things start looking dreary when Lisa is placed under a gag order on a case she's working on, and she accidentally blurts out classified information to an obnoxious radio talk show host who's personally attacked her character. When the judge declares a mistrial, Lisa is initially fired, but her job is reinstated because the DA feels the "voters frown on a working mother being fired during the holidays." So, in need of a fall guy, Mr. Nash takes the bullet, and it's up to Lisa to stand up to the pretentious D.A. and win Mr. Nash's job back.|
|13||"Harassment"||January 7, 1997|
|Lisa and her coworkers amuse themselves joking about a case Lyndon is assigned involving a man "getting splinters" with a tree on the lawn of the public library. Meanwhile, Matt builds a robot, the TC5-1000, to help out with tedious mailroom chores, and becomes paranoid that everyone likes the robot better than him. Tess finds herself in a heap of trouble when she kisses a little boy on the playground "against his wishes," and is suspended from school. Lisa pays a visit to the paranoid principal, "Blair the Square," and inadvertently ends up arguing with and mocking him. Finally, she pays a visit to the school board, and proceeds to annihilate their policy on sexual harassment.|
|14||"Fraud"||Howard Murray||Marsha Myers and Alana Burgi||January 28, 1997|
|When Connie gets conned out of her retirement funds, by a man who reminds her of Kenny Rogers, she takes him to court. But Lisa's irritated that Lyndon is assigned to the case too... Namely since Connie respects Lyndon's opinion more than her own daughter's.|
|15||"Neighbors"||Michael Lessac||Douglas Tuber and Tim Maille||January 28, 1997|
|When the Hunters get robbed, they get to be friends with their new neighbor, Marty, and his son. The next thing they know, Marty's gotten their possessions returned. They figure out how he pulled those stings when a picture of Lisa and Marty ends up on Mr. Nash's desk -- Marty's the head of the mob!|
|16||"Ride Along"||Megan Cavanaugh||Phil Palisoul and Nora Lynch||May 27, 1997|
|Lisa's psyched when she gets to go on a "ride-along" with a cop. But her enthusiasm soon fades when the crazy cop takes her and her coworkers hostage.|
|17||"Dates"||June 3, 1997|
|Lisa plays Cupid on Valentine's day when she sees an old flame of Mr. Nash's flirting with him. Reluctant Nash finally agrees on a date, only to leave halfway through it.|
|18||"Banquet"||Michael Lessac||Marsha Myers and Alana Burgi||June 10, 1997|
|Lisa thinks she can juggle attending an important legal banquet, and a dinner with Kevin and his boss, at the same time. But things go bust when a stood-up Kevin shows up at the banquet and finds her in the embrace of the new district attorney.|
The show was put on hiatus after the episode "Neighbors" aired on January 27, 1997. Months later, the show was officially cancelled even though it earned higher ratings than The Drew Carey Show and held on to 90% of the viewers who watched the final season of Roseanne.
- "Duration of show (Italian)". Antonio Genna. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
- "Series Summary". TV.com. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- "Lisa Ann Walter Summary". Sitcoms Online. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
- Margaria 2001p. 426 Damerini, Margaria 2001 Damerini, Margaria 2001 p. 426
- "Why Life's Work Didn't Last". Internet Archive. 2002-10-16. Archived from the original on 2002-10-16. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- Damerini, Leopoldo; Fabrizio Margaria (2001). Garzanti, ed. Dizionario dei telefilm (1ª edizione ed.). ISBN 88-11-74000-2.
- Life's Work Season 1 Episodes at TV.com