The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd

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The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd
GenreComedy drama
Created byJay Tarses
StarringBlair Brown
Theme music composerPatrick Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes65
Executive producerBernie Brillstein
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time23:30 (NBC episodes)
22:50 (Lifetime episodes)
Production companies
Original network
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseMay 21, 1987 (1987-05-21) –
April 13, 1991 (1991-04-13)

The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd is an American comedy-drama television series that aired on NBC from May 21, 1987 to June 29, 1988 and on Lifetime from April 17, 1989 to April 13, 1991. It was created by Jay Tarses and stars Blair Brown in the title role.


The show depicts the life of Molly Bickford Dodd, a divorced woman in New York City with a lifestyle that could be described as both yuppie and bohemian. Molly seems to drift from job to job and relationship to relationship. Her ex-husband, a ne'er-do-well jazz musician, still cares for her. In fact, nearly every man (and the occasional woman) she meets adores her. Her warmth and emotional accessibility are the root cause of most of Molly's problems in life. The BBC's Radio Times characterised the show as "An American comedy-drama series starring Blair Brown intelligent, attractive and independent, Molly Dodd has the world at her feet—so why must it always trip her up?[1]


Additional cast included:


NOTE: Production Codes were taken from the Library of Congress.

Season 1 (1987)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1 (#01)1"Here's Why Cosmetics Should Come in Unbreakable Bottles"Jay TarsesJay TarsesMay 21, 1987 (1987-05-21)
Molly Dodd, a newly-divorced woman in her mid-30's, begins facing life's challenges.
2 (#02)2"Here's Why There Are Instances When Vegetables Aren't Necessarily Good for You"Jay TarsesJay TarsesMay 28, 1987 (1987-05-28)
Molly's boss’s jealousy over her boyfriend drives her to resign from her job.
3 (#07)3"Here's Why You Should Stay Out of Coffee Shops If You Don't Drink Coffee"Jay TarsesBob BrushJune 4, 1987 (1987-06-04)
Nick the Garbage Man invites Molly on a trip to the Bahamas.
4 (#10)4"Here's Why You Should Never Wear High Heels to the Bank"Jay TarsesBob BrushJune 11, 1987 (1987-06-11)
During a musical project, Molly can't get her ex-husband out of her mind.
5 (#11)5"Here's Why It's Not Good to Stare at People in Restaurants"Jay TarsesAllan BurnsJune 18, 1987 (1987-06-18)
Molly is shocked to find her father dining with a new woman.
6 (#05)6"Here's Why It's Tough to Sell Watermelons After Midnight"Jay TarsesJudith KahanJune 25, 1987 (1987-06-25)
Molly sees a psychologist after a break-up.
7 (#06)7"Here's Why a Torch Is Too Heavy to Carry in a Purse"Arlene SanfordJudith KahanJuly 2, 1987 (1987-07-02)
Molly receives mixed reactions from her friends after seeing a psychologist.
8 (#09)8"Here's Why They Call the Little One a Jingle and the Big One the Blues"Jay TarsesJeffrey LaneJuly 9, 1987 (1987-07-09)
Fred calls up Molly to sing on stage with him.
9 (#13)9"Here's Another Bedtime Story"Jay TarsesBob BrushJuly 16, 1987 (1987-07-16)
Molly receives a job offer from Birmanyi, and questions if any romance is involved.
10 (#03)10"Here's Why It's Good to Have a Cake Burning in the Refrigerator"Jay TarsesSheree GuitarJuly 23, 1987 (1987-07-23)
Molly celebrates her 35th Birthday, Nina has a baby, and Robin is separated from her husband. Molly has a poem published in an obscure newspaper.
11 (#04)11"Here's Why Henry David Thoreau Chose the Pond"Arlene SanfordLaurie GelmanJuly 30, 1987 (1987-07-30)
Molly's ex-boss withholds her backpay.
12 (#12)12"Here's Why You've Gotta Bake a Batch of Cookies Every Once in a While"Jay TarsesDaniel FinneranAugust 6, 1987 (1987-08-06)
Molly's Poetry teacher makes a pass at her, causing her to lose interest in the subject.
13 (#08)13"Here's Why Good Guys Sometimes Wear Black"Mark CullinghamWendy KoutAugust 13, 1987 (1987-08-13)
Molly gets a new piano student, who is Jewish.

Season 2 (1988)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
14 (#14)1"Here's Why You Shouldn't Get Too Attached to Your Cat"Jay TarsesJay TarsesMarch 24, 1988 (1988-03-24)
Molly meets a handsome police detective, and consoles a friend who was robbed.
15 (#16)2"Here Are a Few Variations on a Sexual Theme"Jay TarsesBob Brush & Jay TarsesMarch 31, 1988 (1988-03-31)
Molly is informed by her psychiatrist that she no longer wants her as a patient, and the reason for it.
16 (#17)3"Here Comes That Cold Wind Off the River"Jay TarsesBob BrushApril 7, 1988 (1988-04-07)
Molly is informed of some bad news after attending the theater with her family.
17 (#18)4"Here's a Bunch of Photos from an Old Album"Jay TarsesBob BrushApril 14, 1988 (1988-04-14)
The death of Molly's father reunites her with her brother.
18 (#19)5"Here's a Side Effect of Serious Moonlight"Steven DubinBob BrushApril 21, 1988 (1988-04-21)
A deadbeat, who claims to be a cousin of Molly, moves in with her.
19 (#20)6"Here's a Message from Your Local Bag Lady"Arlene SanfordJames StarkApril 28, 1988 (1988-04-28)
A bag lady shouts out obscenities at Molly.
20 (#21)7"Here's a Little Known Ingrid Bergman Incident"Don ScardinoNorma Safford VelaMay 25, 1988 (1988-05-25)
The Will of Molly's father is read.
21 (#22)8"Here's Who Ordered the Pizza"Steven DubinEric OvermyerJune 1, 1988 (1988-06-01)
Molly finally meets a mystery man in aparment 12-F.
22 (#23)9"Here's What Happened to That Earring You Lost"Jay TarsesBob BrushJune 8, 1988 (1988-06-08)
Molly's friend finds out who robbed her apartment.
23 (#24)10"Here's a Reason to Keep Your Goats in the Barn"Jay TarsesJay TarsesJune 15, 1988 (1988-06-15)
Fred catches Molly and Moss almost kissing each other, and Dennis calls up Molly from jail.
24 (#25)11"Here's Talkin' to Yourself"Jay TarsesBob BrushJune 22, 1988 (1988-06-22)
Fred urges Molly to come see him play at a jazz club.
25 (#15)12"Here's Another Cryptic Message from Upstate"Jay TarsesJay TarsesJune 29, 1988 (1988-06-29)
Molly's new boss forgets that he was the one who hired her.
26 (#26)13"Here's That Old Shadow on the Wall"Jay TarsesBob Brush & Jay TarsesApril 17, 1989 (1989-04-17)

Molly's bike is stolen, and she confronts Moss about their relationship.

Note: This episode was originally scheduled to be shown on NBC on July 6, 1988, but the network had cancelled the series by then; it was later shown on Lifetime on the night of the Season 3 premiere.

Season 3 (1989)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
27 (#27)1"Here's a Cute Way to Wrap up the Holiday Season"Jay TarsesJay TarsesApril 17, 1989 (1989-04-17)
Molly quits her sales clerk position at Goodman's Bookstore, and goes on a blind date for New Year's Eve.
28 (#28)2"Here's Why You Order from the Spanish Side of the Menu"Don ScardinoEric OvermyerApril 29, 1989 (1989-04-29)
Molly looks for a job in the city, and is introduced to Arthur Feldman by her mother.
29 (#29)3"Here's the Groovy Piano Bar Episode"Don ScardinoEric OvermyerMay 6, 1989 (1989-05-06)
Molly contemplates a job offer in the publishing business.
30 (#30)4"Here's a Little Night Music"Steven DubinDaniel SternMay 13, 1989 (1989-05-13)
Molly finds herself saddled with two uninvited houseguests.
31 (#31)5"Here's Why You Should Lock Your Bathroom Door"Steven DubinCraig VolkMay 20, 1989 (1989-05-20)
Molly accepts a position at the Publishing House.
32 (#32)6"Here's a Clever Yet Practical Gift Idea"Steven DubinElaine ArataMay 27, 1989 (1989-05-27)
Molly begins a relationship with black detective Nathaniel Hawthorne.
33 (#33)7"Here's Why You Should Always Make Your Bed in the Morning"Steven DubinRichard DresserJune 3, 1989 (1989-06-03)
Nathaniel takes Molly home for dinner.
34 (#34)8"Here's a Rough Way to Learn a Foreign Language"Jay TarsesAlbert InnauratoJune 10, 1989 (1989-06-10)
Molly gets a visit from Moss Goodman, her old boss from the bookstore.
35 (#35)9"Here's Some Ducks All in a Row"Steven DubinElaine ArataJune 17, 1989 (1989-06-17)
Molly and Davey try to help the police find Molly's assailant.
36 (#36)10"Here's a Major Organ Interlude"Don ScardinoJodi Rothe & Christine VertosickJune 24, 1989 (1989-06-24)
Jury Duty forces Molly to miss the first days at her new job.
37 (#37)11"Here's a Shot in the Dark"William Converse-RobertsChristine PittelJuly 1, 1989 (1989-07-01)
Molly's dead father visits her in a dream.
38 (#38)12"Here's an Unexpected Twist on the Old Biological Clock"Don ScardinoRichard DresserJuly 8, 1989 (1989-07-08)
Molly experiences a frequent case of nausea.
39 (#39)13"Here's a Leisurely Stroll Through the Park"Jay TarsesEric OvermyerJuly 15, 1989 (1989-07-15)
Molly finally gives her mother and Arthur Feldman her blessing.

Season 4 (1990)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
40 (#40)1"Here's Why Pink Isn't Necessarily a Girl's Favorite Color"Steve DubinElaine ArataApril 6, 1990 (1990-04-06)
Molly discovers she is pregnant.
41 (#41)2"Here Are Just a Few Things That Could Possibly Go Wrong"Don ScardinoRichard DresserApril 13, 1990 (1990-04-13)
Molly wonders who the identity of her baby's father could be.
42 (#42)3"Here's Why You Can Never Have Too Much Petty Cash"Steve DubinSarah PaleyApril 20, 1990 (1990-04-20)
Molly can't seem to find the down payment on her condo.
43 (#43)4"Here's a Perilous Research Project"Don ScardinoAlbert InnauratoApril 27, 1990 (1990-04-27)
While researching her new book, Molly spends a day at the Courthouse with Nathaniel.
44 (#44)5"Here's Something I Forgot to Mention"Steven DubinRichard DresserMay 4, 1990 (1990-05-04)
Moss displays pregnancy books at the store, and Molly tells Nathaniel about her pregnancy.
45 (#45)6"Here's Why Restaurants Have a Minimum"Steven DubinElaine ArataMay 18, 1990 (1990-05-18)
Nathaniel suggests that he and Molly live together.
46 (#46)7"Here's Another Lost Weekend"Steven DubinElaine Arata & Richard DresserMay 25, 1990 (1990-05-25)
Molly spends the weekend with Nina and her baby at Nina's country farm.
47 (#47)8"Here Are a Couple of Games You've Probably Played"Don ScardinoElaine ArataJune 1, 1990 (1990-06-01)
Molly gets to know her new neighbors over a game of "Twist of Fate".
48 (#48)9"Here's a Rare Photo Opportunity"Don ScardinoDavid SuehsdorfJune 8, 1990 (1990-06-08)
Molly sees her baby for the first time on a sonogram.
49 (#49)10"Here's an Expensive Item with No Returns, Refunds or Exchanges"Don ScardinoRichard Dresser & Elaine ArataJune 15, 1990 (1990-06-15)
Molly receives a surprising gift from Fred.
50 (#50)11"Here Are Some Things That Go Bump in the Night"Jeff LiebermanRichard DresserJune 22, 1990 (1990-06-22)
Molly settles on her apartment, and notices that something is bothering her boss.
51 (#51)12"Here's a Quick and Easy Recipe for Leftovers"Don ScardinoRichard DresserJune 29, 1990 (1990-06-29)
Molly holds a hectic Thanksgiving dinner in her apartment.
52 (#52)13"Here's a Good Reason to Check Your Answering Machine on a Regular Basis"Don ScardinoElaine ArataJuly 6, 1990 (1990-07-06)
On the day after Thanksgiving, Molly finally learns the identity of her baby's father.

Season 5 (1991)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
53 (#53)1"Here's a Neat Way to Tie Up the Loose Ends"Don ScardinoRichard DresserJanuary 19, 1991 (1991-01-19)
Molly confronts the father of her baby, and when he proposes marriage, she is caught off-guard and accepts.
54 (#54)2"Here's a New Way of Looking at Cappuccino"Steven DubinElaine ArataJanuary 26, 1991 (1991-01-26)
Molly and Ron, her neighbor and Lamaze coach, discuss childbearing with another couple in a Cappuccino Cafe.
55 (#55)3"Here's When the Fat Lady Sings"Steven DubinRichard Dresser & Elaine ArataFebruary 2, 1991 (1991-02-02)
Molly and Florence go to the beauty salon to get ready for the Opera, and Molly receives a wedding ring.
56 (#56)4"Here Are Some Overnight Lows"Steven DubinElaine Arata & Richard DresserFebruary 9, 1991 (1991-02-09)
Molly goes through an unexpected tragedy, and the idea of impending motherhood.
57 (#57)5"Here's a Pregnant Pause"Don ScardinoRichard Dresser & Elaine ArataFebruary 16, 1991 (1991-02-16)
Molly talks directly to the camera for the entire episode.
58 (#58)6"Here's a Good Excuse for Missing the Party"Blair BrownRichard Dresser & Elaine ArataFebruary 23, 1991 (1991-02-23)
At Molly's Baby Shower, she is nowhere to be found, because she has gone into labor.
59 (#59)7"Here's One Way to Fill Every Waking Moment"Don ScardinoJames RyanMarch 2, 1991 (1991-03-02)
As Molly deals with motherhood, her thoughts drift to a fantasy, including All My Children star Jean LeClerc as a mysterious Frenchman in a Parisian bistro.
60 (#60)8"Here's a High Dive Into a Shallow Pool"Kenneth FrankelRichard DresserMarch 9, 1991 (1991-03-09)
Molly learns she has been "promoted" to a human resources position, the first assignment of which is to fire her friend Bernie.
61 (#61)9"Here's How to Break the Other Leg"Don ScardinoRichard DresserMarch 16, 1991 (1991-03-16)
Molly and Arthur join Fred and Florence for the opening night of the play Arthur is producing.
62 (#62)10"Here's How to Put an Egg in Your Shoe and Beat It"Blair BrownCarl CapotortoMarch 23, 1991 (1991-03-23)
Molly is caught in the middle of her feuding neighbors, Ron and Ramona.
63 (#63)11"Here's Why You Shouldn't Talk to Strangers in the Park"Don ScardinoCindy Lou JohnsonMarch 30, 1991 (1991-03-30)
Florence and Arthur have some surprising news for Molly about their relationship.
64 (#64)12"Here's When Life Begins at"Don ScardinoCindy Lou JohnsonApril 6, 1991 (1991-04-06)
Molly celebrates her 40th Birthday with her best friend Nina.
65 (#65)13"Here's a Little Touch of Harry in the Night"Jay TarsesJay TarsesApril 13, 1991 (1991-04-13)
Molly reminisces about the early days when she was singing with a guitarist named Harry in "The Fred Dodd Quintet".


The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd had story lines that often did not resolve in a single episode.

The show was filmed using a single camera.

Production took place in Hollywood for the first two seasons before moving to Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York in season 3.[2]

Tarses wrote and directed many of its episodes (and made a number of cameo appearances).

Reception and network change[edit]

NBC first broadcast the show as a summer replacement in 1987 running 13 episodes. Molly Dodd was critically acclaimed and a moderate ratings success (it was featured in the network's then-powerhouse Thursday night lineup), but was not featured in the network's fall schedule. It was a mid-season replacement for NBC again in spring 1988, with 12 episodes (a season-ending 13th episode was produced but not aired). NBC canceled Molly Dodd after this second short season.

After it was canceled by NBC, Lifetime cable network picked the show up, first re-airing the 26 episodes originally produced, then commissioning three more 13-episode seasons for 1989, 1990, and 1991. When they were rerun on Lifetime, the original 26 episodes were time-sped (usually during both acts), and the opening titles were trimmed. After production ceased, Lifetime would continue to air Molly Dodd in reruns until 1993.

Awards and nominations[edit]

The show earned Brown five Emmy Award nominations as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, one for each year the show was on. Brown won a CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series in 1991, while the fifth and final Season was airing. Tarses was also the recipient of multiple nominations.

Music rights[edit]

Despite some demand for the show on DVD or streaming services, the original producers did not clear music rights for subsequent broadcast. Although Brown often sang as Molly, the cost to secure the rights to the music itself would be substantial. In an interview, Brown indicated "all the songs that I sang, they never got the rights. So [the show is] in a vault somewhere and will never see the light of day."[3]


  1. ^ Radio Times, 29/08/1990
  2. ^ Champlin, Charles (August 22, 1989). "A New Day and Night for Blair Brown". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (December 15, 2017). "Blair Brown On Uma Thurman, Queen Lear – And The Mystery Of 'Molly Dodd'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 18, 2020.

External links[edit]