Union Square (TV series)

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Union Square
GenreSitcom
Created by
Written by
  • Fred Barron
  • George McGrath
Directed by
Starring
Composer(s)Bruce Miller
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes14 (1 unaired)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Fred Barron
  • Marco Pennette
  • Michael B. Kaplan
  • Gary Murphy
  • Neil Thompson
Producer(s)Tim Berry
CinematographyRichard Brown
Editor(s)Brent Carpenter
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Barron/Pennette Productions
  • Three Sisters Entertainment
  • NBC Studios
Release
Original networkNBC
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Original releaseSeptember 25, 1997 (1997-09-25) –
January 22, 1998 (1998-01-22)

Union Square is an American sitcom television series created by Marco Pennette and Fred Barron, that was broadcast on NBC for one season from September 25, 1997 to January 22, 1998. The show was supposed to serve as a vehicle for actress Mel Gorham, using her life as its basis.

Pilot Synopsis[edit]

The pilot of Union Square follows Mel, a small time actress who decides to quit her job working at a Miami gift shop and become a Broadway star. Armed with her wits and her large dog named Bird, Mel heads for New York City to stay with her friend Lana. She is later shocked to find that Lana and her boyfriend, Micheal (Michael Landes) broke up, resulting in Lana moving out. Mel tries to reason with Michael to let her stay with him until she can get an apartment of her own. Despite consistently telling her no, she persists and follows him to the Union Square Diner. Michael used to be a lawyer but gave it up to focus on his passion of becoming a playwright, but writes instructional manuals to make money.

At the diner, she meets Carrie, a musician, who works at the diner as a waitress; Suzanne, a snarky real-estate agent; Albie, the other waiter at the diner who can be dim-witted, Jack Pappas, the hunky head chef of the diner who is known for his womanizing, and Vince, the owner of the diner. Mel goes on an audition for a Neil Simon play, but misplaces her lucky locket. She goes to the audition anyway with Michael finding it later on. However, Michael only dropped it off to her as a means of avoiding Lana, who was going to come by the diner to check on Mel. After not only failing to get the part but getting so nervous she throws up on Neil Simon, Mel reluctantly concedes she might have rushed her dreams a little. Michael cheers her up just as Lana comes to the diner. Lana reveals that Michael was not a passionate lover and didn't seem to care about their relationship. Mel helps Michael make Lana jealous and Michael agrees to let Mel stay with her, mostly out of fear for what she might have her dog do to him if he said anything to the contrary.

Changes from the Pilot[edit]

After poor test screenings for the pilot, the producers retooled the show and replaced Gorham with Constance Marie, who played a struggling actress named Gabriella Diaz.[1] Once Gorham was replaced, the show was retooled into an ensemble cast format. Landes was also dropped from the program since his plot line was no longer relevant to the show's new premise. The show instead centered on the goings on around the diner and some of the ways the group helped each other with their ambitions, goals or plans.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Hasta La Muerta, Baby"James BurrowsMarco Pennette & Fred BarronSeptember 25, 1997 (1997-09-25)
2"The Audition"James BurrowsGary Murphy & Neil ThompsonOctober 2, 1997 (1997-10-02)
3"Enjoy Your Haddock"James BurrowsGeorge McGrathOctober 9, 1997 (1997-10-09)
4"A Stool with a View"James BurrowsEric Abrams & Matthew BerryOctober 16, 1997 (1997-10-16)
5"Michael's First Stand"Arlene SanfordMichael B. KaplanOctober 30, 1997 (1997-10-30)
6"Harassed"James BurrowsGary Murphy & Neil ThompsonNovember 6, 1997 (1997-11-06)
7"Get Rusty"Leonard R. Garner Jr.Michael B. KaplanNovember 13, 1997 (1997-11-13)
8"Jack Gets a Hot Tip"James BurrowsDonald ToddDecember 4, 1997 (1997-12-04)
9"No Sex 'Til After Homework"Lee Shallat ChemelDonald ToddDecember 11, 1997 (1997-12-11)
10"The First Christmas Show"James BurrowsTeleplay: Nora Lynch & Phil Palisoul; Story: Eric Abrams & Matthew BerryDecember 18, 1997 (1997-12-18)
11"What Are Friends For?"Leonard R. Garner, Jr.Colleen TaberJanuary 8, 1998 (1998-01-08)
12"Out and In"James BurrowsNeil Thompson & Gary MurphyJanuary 15, 1998 (1998-01-15)
13"It Takes a Thief"James BurrowsMichael B. KaplanJanuary 22, 1998 (1998-01-22)
14"Smarty Pants"Brent CarpenterTBAUNAIRED

Reception[edit]

The program replaced Fired Up (which was halfway through the 1997–1998 season) on NBC's "Must See TV" night of programming; it was given an 8:30 p.m. timeslot on Thursday evenings, a highly coveted spot due to its location between popular sitcoms Friends (which aired at 8:00pm) and Seinfeld (which aired at 9:00pm). Like The Single Guy, Union Square attempted to capitalize on attractive singles in their 20s and 30s enjoying New York City life, which both Seinfeld and Friends (as well as other NBC programs) had turned into successes. The show also featured guest appearances from actor David Krumholtz, who appeared on two episodes, as did actress Rhea Perlman, and Mario Lopez, who guest starred as a child that Suzanne sponsored. Despite these advantages and the fact that it had the #7 spot in the ratings for the 1997–98 season with almost 20 million viewers, it lost a large portion of its lead-in audience from Friends, and was cancelled after 14 episodes had been made.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Studio Briefing News (1997-06-19). "Big Break Broken". News for Mel Gorham. Internet Movie Database.

External links[edit]