Living Single

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Living Single
Living single dvd cover.jpg
First season DVD cover
Created byYvette Lee Bowser
StarringQueen Latifah
Kim Coles
Erika Alexander
T.C. Carson
John Henton
Mel Jackson
Kim Fields
Opening theme"We Are Living Single", written and performed by Queen Latifah
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes118 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Yvette Lee Bowser (entire run)
Roger S.H. Schulman
Production location(s)Warner Bros. Studios,
Hollywood, California
Camera setupVideotape; Multi-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)SisterLee Productions
(1994-1998)
(seasons 2-5)
Warner Bros. Television
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkFox
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Original releaseAugust 22, 1993 (1993-08-22) – January 1, 1998 (1998-01-01)

Living Single is an American television sitcom that aired for five seasons on the Fox network from August 22, 1993 to January 1, 1998. The show centered on the lives of six friends who share personal and professional experiences while living in a Brooklyn brownstone.

Throughout its run, Living Single became one of the most popular African-American sitcoms of its era, ranking among the top five in African-American ratings in all five seasons. The series was produced by Yvette Lee Bowser's company, Sister Lee, in association with Warner Bros. Television. In contrast to the popularity of NBC's "Must See TV"—first on Sunday nights and then later on Thursday nights in the 1990s—many African-American and Latino viewers flocked to Fox. For the 1993–94 season, Living Single aired on Sunday nights between Martin and Married... with Children, and then on Thursday nights from 1994 to 1998.

Synopsis[edit]

Living Single centered on six people consisting of four women and two men living the single life in the heart of Brooklyn, New York.

The series focused on two different households in one brownstone, one shared by a trio of independent women and another shared by a pair of male friends who have known each other since they spent their youth in Cleveland, Ohio. In the first apartment, Khadijah James (Queen Latifah), a hard-working editor and publisher of the fictional urban independent monthly Flavor, lived with her sweet, but naive cousin, Synclaire James (Kim Coles), an aspiring actress who worked as Khadijah's receptionist and has an affinity for Troll dolls; and her childhood friend from East Orange, New Jersey, Regina "Régine" Hunter (Kim Fields), an image-conscious, boutique buyer who was in a constant search for a well-to-do man to spend her life with (and spend his money). Later in the series, Régine became a costume assistant for the soap opera Palo Alto. When the show was canceled, she became a wedding planner and left the apartment to move in with her fiancé, Dexter Knight (Blair Underwood). Maxine "Max" Shaw (Erika Alexander), a sharp-tongued attorney and Khadijah's best friend from their college days at Howard University, frequently stopped by to share her unique insights, keep them entertained by sharing her day, to make sure that the girls' refrigerator isn't overstocked, and to start trouble with Kyle.

Kyle Barker (T.C. Carson) lived in the second apartment with Overton Wakefield Jones (John Henton). Kyle was a stockbroker whose constant verbal sparring with Max did little to mask their obvious sexual attraction. Overton was the friendly, but country, maintenance man for the owner of their (and neighboring) building who held deep affection for Synclaire and plenty of hilarious homespun wisdom for everyone else. Kyle and Max ended up pursuing a sexual relationship, but when he decided to take a job in London and invited Max to join him, she turned him down. Maxine subsequently became distraught over her decision and, after defending a man who claims to be the second coming of Jesus (Harold Perrineau), she began to seriously look for the purpose of her life. Through a series of events, Max decided that her purpose must be to become a mother and during the insemination process unknowingly picked Kyle's sperm specimen based on a list of qualities she would like for her child to have. Kyle returned in the series finale and the two reconciled. Overton and Synclaire also got together and their relationship culminated in marriage by the end of the fourth season. In season five, they moved in together, leaving Overton and Kyle's apartment open for new character Roni DeSantos (Idalis DeLeon), a New York-area D.J., to move in. It was eventually revealed that DeSantos had a fling with Ira Lee "Tripp" Williams III, (Mel Jackson), the new roommate of Khadijah and Régine who moved in when Synclaire's room became available. Tripp was a songwriter. Synclaire joined a comedy improv troupe where she gained the attention of Tony Jonas, a Warner Bros. television exec who cast her as a nun for a new comedy series he was developing.

Along with trying to make Flavor a success, Khadijah also spent time looking for Mr. Right. She eventually found him in childhood friend Scooter (Cress Williams) with whom she left the brownstone for the final time in the series finale.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • Queen LatifahKhadijah James, editor and publisher of Flavor Magazine, an independent magazine devoted to the interests of the urban community.
  • Kim ColesSynclaire James-Jones, Khadijah's good-natured cousin and roommate; receptionist at Flavor and aspiring actress.
  • Erika AlexanderMaxine "Max" Felice Shaw, strong-willed attorney and Khadijah's best friend from college; spends much of her time at girls' apartment.
  • John HentonOverton "Obie" Wakefield Jones, Kyle's roommate and the brownstone's handyman; Synclaire's sweetheart.
  • Kim FieldsRegina "Regine" Hunter (Episodes 1–115), Khadijah and Synclaire's gossip-loving roommate; Khadijah's childhood friend.
  • T.C. Carson Kyle Barker (Episodes 1–107; guest appearance in episode 118), Overton's roommate and stockbroker; Max's verbal sparring partner and on-again, off-again love interest.
  • Mel JacksonIra Lee "Tripp" Williams (Season 5), Khadijah and Regine's new roommate; aspiring songwriter.

Minor characters[edit]

  • Cress WilliamsTerrence "Scooter" Williams, Khadijah's childhood friend and love interest
  • Richard Lyons — Michael Janson (Season 1–2), Max's "old stand-by."
  • Shaun BakerRussell Montego, Jamaican-born music editor at Flavor
  • Bobby HoseaLawrence (Season 1–3), Kyle's rival at the brokerage
  • Chip FieldsLaverne Hunter, Regine's mother
  • Rita OwensRita James (Season 1–4), Khadijah's mother
  • Heavy DDarryl (Season 2–4), Regine's friend
  • Steven GilbornJeffrey Higgins (Season 2–4), Kyle's boss
  • Bumper RobinsonIvan Ennis (Season 3–4), college-age messenger turned Flavor copy aide; infatuated with Khadijah; a journalism major at New York University.
  • J. Anthony BrownTibby Jones (Season 3–4), Overton's favorite uncle
  • Khalil KainKeith (Season 3–4), Regine's boyfriend and artist
  • Dorien WilsonRev. Leslie Taylor (Season 3–4), pastor at the group's church
  • Isaiah WashingtonDr. Charles Roberts (Season 4), Khadijah's anesthesiologist and boyfriend
  • Denise NicholasLilah James (Season 4), Synclaire's mother
  • Ron O'NealClinton James (Season 4), Synclaire's father
  • Antonio FargasOtis Jones (Season 4), Overton's father
  • Gladys KnightOdelle Jones (Season 4), Overton's mother
  • Michael WarrenEd James (Season 4), Khadijah's estranged father
  • Idalis DeLeonRoni De Santos (Season 5), popular New York City deejay and Tripp's love interest

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
127August 22, 1993 (1993-08-22)May 15, 1994 (1994-05-15)
227September 1, 1994 (1994-09-01)May 18, 1995 (1995-05-18)
327August 31, 1995 (1995-08-31)May 9, 1996 (1996-05-09)
424August 29, 1996 (1996-08-29)May 8, 1997 (1997-05-08)
513September 11, 1997 (1997-09-11)January 1, 1998 (1998-01-01)

Ratings[edit]

Season Season premiere Season finale TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 August 22, 1993 May 15, 1994 1993-1994 #56 9.3
2 September 1, 1994 May 18, 1995 1994-1995 #84[1] 8.7
3 August 31, 1995 May 9, 1996 1995-1996 #111[2] 6.5
4 August 29, 1996 May 8, 1997 1996-1997 #104[2] 6.2
5 September 11, 1997 January 1, 1998 1997-1998 #117[3] 7.0

Home media[edit]

Warner Home Video released the complete first season of Living Single on DVD in Region 1 on February 14, 2006. The entire series is also available for digital download on Amazon.com and the iTunes Store.

Warner Archive subsequently released season 2-5 on DVD in Region 1. These are Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases, available from Warner's online store and Amazon.com.[4][5][6][7]

DVD name Episodes Region 1
The Complete First Season 27 February 14, 2006
The Complete Second Season 27 September 19, 2017
The Complete Third Season 27 November 21, 2017
The Complete Fourth Season 24 March 20, 2018
The Complete Fifth Season 13 June 05, 2018

Crossovers[edit]

Half & Half: Erika Alexander and T.C. Carson reprised their roles of Maxine Shaw and Kyle Barker on the UPN sitcom, Half & Half (a series produced by Living Single creator Yvette Lee Bowser). In the episode ("The Big Performance Anxiety Episode", third season), ambitious law student Dee Dee learns that her mother's co-star in a play is engaged to Maxine, Dee Dee's idol. However, her mother gets Maxine's beau, Kyle, fired because she fears he will take attention away from her. The episode also revealed that Maxine and Kyle remained a couple and were the proud parents of their seven-year-old daughter named Kyla.

The Crew: In one episode "The Mating Season" of the short-lived Fox sitcom The Crew, Regine becomes a passenger on a flight and argues with a sassy stewardess in hopes of upgrading to first class. On another episode, "The Worst Noel", Synclaire also becomes a passenger. The episode served as a bridge for The Crew and its lead-in show, Living Single.

Syndication[edit]

Living Single started reruns in syndication on September 22, 1997. Reruns of the series currently run daily on TV One, Logo TV, Oxygen and Bounce TV. As of January 11, 2018, all episodes began streaming on Hulu.

Reunion specials[edit]

An hour-long retrospective special, Living Single: The Reunion Show, aired on TV One on September 22, 2008. Coles, Henton, Fields, Carson and Alexander reunited to share fond memories with the fans. Queen Latifah and Mel Jackson were unavailable to participate. The special featured clips and revealing secrets of the cast from the show's five-year run.

From August 24-26, 2018, TV One aired a weekend marathon of "Living Single" to highlight the 25th anniversary of the show. Coles, Henton, Fields, and Carson reunited once again to share memories with the fans, to share their thoughts on the characters they portrayed, and provided a tribute to Rita Owens (Queen Latifah's real-life and TV mother), who had passed in early 2018. Queen Latifah, Erika Alexander and Mel Jackson were unavailable to participate.

Revival[edit]

In January 2017, Queen Latifah reported that a revival of "Living Single" is in the works with the original cast and that she plans to serve as producer.[8]

In July 2018, Erika Alexander posted a video online of her hinting at a reboot.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations for Living Single
Year Awards Performer Result
1998 Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series:

Erika Alexander

Won
Outstanding Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series:

Queen Latifah

Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series:

Kim Coles

Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:

T.C. Carson

Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:

John Henton

Nominated

In 1995 and 1996, Living Single was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Comedy Series (Bryan Hays).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Complete TV Ratings 1994-1995". fbibler.chez.com.
  2. ^ a b "Complete TV Ratings 1995-1996". fbibler.chez.com.
  3. ^ "Final Ratings for '97-'98 TV Season".
  4. ^ Living Single - HOORAY! Warner Archive Announces 'The Complete 2nd Season' 3-disc MOD set will finally be available in mid-Septembers Archived 2017-08-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Living Single - Warner Archive Announces DVDs for 'The Complete 3rd Season' MOD release is available online during the second half of November Archived 2017-10-21 at the Wayback Machine..
  6. ^ Living Single - The Next-to-Last Season, 'The Complete 4th Season,' is Now Scheduled! MOD title will be available online in March from Amazon/CreateSpace and the WBshop!.
  7. ^ "Living Single: The Complete Fifth Season". 6 June 2018 – via Amazon.
  8. ^ "Queen Latifah Reveals She's Working on a Living Single Revival". 13 January 2017.

External links[edit]