Playing House (TV series)

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Playing House
Playing House intertitle.png
Genre Comedy
Created by
Opening theme "Back Before We Were Brittle" by Say Hi
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 18 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Lennon Parham
  • Jessica St. Clair
  • Scot Armstrong
  • Judah Miller
  • Ravi Nandan
  • Keith Raskin
  • Jake Aust
Camera setup Single-camera
Production company(s)
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network USA Network
Original release April 29, 2014 (2014-04-29) – present
External links
Official website

Playing House is an American comedy series that premiered on April 29, 2014, on the USA Network.[1][2] Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair created and star in the series, which is inspired by the real-life friendship between the two.

On December 8, 2014, Playing House was renewed for a second season,[3] which premiered on August 4, 2015, with each episode available a week earlier via VODis.[4] On January 14, 2016, the series was renewed for a third season.[5]


When mother-to-be Maggie ends her marriage upon discovering her husband's affair with a woman online, she turns to her best friend Emma for support. In order to help Maggie in her time of need, Emma gives up her successful business in China to return to their hometown of Pinebrook, and help her friend raise her newborn baby.



  • Lennon Parham as Maggie Caruso – Emma's best friend since childhood who was pregnant and newly single after a sudden separation from her husband in the first season. She is the mother to Charlotte Emma Caruso.
  • Jessica St. Clair as Emma Crawford – Maggie's best friend since childhood. She leaves her overseas job in China to come home and to help Maggie.
  • Keegan-Michael Key as Mark Rodriguez – A local cop and childhood friend of Maggie and Emma. Mark and Emma used to date in high school.
  • Zach Woods as Zach Harper – Maggie's younger brother.
  • Brad Morris as Bruce Caruso – Maggie's ex-husband. He is the father to Charlotte Caruso.


  • Jane Kaczmarek as Gwen Crawford – Emma's estranged mother.
  • Lindsay Sloane as Tina "Bird Bones" Rodriguez – Mark's ex-wife and former nemesis to Emma.
  • Gerry Bednob as Mr. Nanjiani – A local Pakistani townsperson.
  • Marissa Jaret Winokur as Candy – a bartender at Rosie's, the local restaurant.
  • Ian Roberts as Ian – Mark's partner on the police force.
  • Sandy Martin as Mary Pat – Bruce's mother.
  • Norma Michaels as Ms. Johannsen – a prickly old woman living in the town.
  • Kyle Bornheimer as Dan – a Rabbi that Emma dated in season two. However, Emma breaks up with Dan after realizing she still has strong feelings for Mark.


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 10 April 29, 2014 (2014-04-29) June 17, 2014 (2014-06-17)
2 8 August 4, 2015 (2015-08-04) September 8, 2015 (2015-09-08)

Production and development[edit]

Playing House first appeared on the USA Network development slate in February 2013, under the name Untitled Lennon Parham/Jessica St. Clair Project. The series was created by Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair who also star in the series as well executive produce alongside Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan, and the production companies Universal Cable Productions and American Work.[6]

Casting announcements began in February 2013, with Parham, St. Clair and Zach Woods announced as starring in the series when USA Network ordered the presentation. Parham and St. Clair signed on to play the lead roles of Maggie, an expectant mother who turns to her career-driven best friend Emma. Keegan Michael Key and Brad Morris then signed on to the series, with Key playing the role of Mark, a cop who holds resentment towards Emma because she turned down his proposal and left town, and Morris playing the role of Bruce, Maggie's husband, who cheats on her.[7]

On May 16, 2013, Playing House was ordered to series, making it the second original half-hour comedy series for the USA Network after Sirens.[2]

On December 8, 2014, USA Network renewed Playing House for an eight-episode second season. Through a new model, each of the episodes will be released on video-on-demand platforms before airing a week later on USA.[3] On January 14, 2016, Playing House was renewed for a third season.[5]


The first season of Playing House scored 65 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 13 "generally favorable" reviews.[8] On another review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 76% rating with an average rating of 7.1 out of 10, based on 17 reviews.[9]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients Outcome
2015 GLAAD Media Award[10] Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBT character) Let's Have a Baby Nominated
2016 Critics' Choice Award[11] Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Keegan-Michael Key Nominated


  1. ^ "USA Network to Premiere 'Playing House' on Tuesday April 29". TV by the Numbers. February 28, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "USA Network Greenlights Its First-Ever Original Half Hour Comedies". The Futon Critic. May 16, 2013. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (December 8, 2014). "‘Playing House’ Renewed For Season 2 By USA With VOD As Primary Window". Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (April 7, 2015). "USA Sets Dates for Suits, Graceland, Jason O'Mara Drama, Mr. Robot and Others, Orders Chrisley Spinoff Pilots". TVLine. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Iannucci, Rebecca (January 14, 2016). "Playing House Renewed for Season 3". TV Line. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 15, 2013). "USA Orders Jessica St. Clair/Lennon Parham Comedy Presentation". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 12, 2013). "'Key and Peele' Star to Topline USA Network Comedy (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Playing House Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Playing House: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  10. ^ "GLAAD Media Awards Nominees Unveiled". January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'Mad Max' Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & 'Fargo' Top TV". December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 

External links[edit]