Union Square (TV series)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||14 (1 unaired)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||September 25, 1997 –|
January 22, 1998
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.
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
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. 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.
- Gabriella Diaz (Constance Marie)
- Suzanne Barkley (Harriet Sansom Harris)
- Jack Papas (Jim Pirri)
- Albie (Jonathan Slavin)
- Carrie (Christine Burke)
- Vince (Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter)
- Michael (Michael Landes) Pilot only
- Mel Gorham (Mel) Pilot only
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Hasta La Muerta, Baby"||James Burrows||Marco Pennette & Fred Barron||September 25, 1997|
|2||"The Audition"||James Burrows||Gary Murphy & Neil Thompson||October 2, 1997|
|3||"Enjoy Your Haddock"||James Burrows||George McGrath||October 9, 1997|
|4||"A Stool with a View"||James Burrows||Eric Abrams & Matthew Berry||October 16, 1997|
|5||"Michael's First Stand"||Arlene Sanford||Michael B. Kaplan||October 30, 1997|
|6||"Harassed"||James Burrows||Gary Murphy & Neil Thompson||November 6, 1997|
|7||"Get Rusty"||Leonard R. Garner Jr.||Michael B. Kaplan||November 13, 1997|
|8||"Jack Gets a Hot Tip"||James Burrows||Donald Todd||December 4, 1997|
|9||"No Sex 'Til After Homework"||Lee Shallat Chemel||Donald Todd||December 11, 1997|
|10||"The First Christmas Show"||James Burrows||Teleplay: Nora Lynch & Phil Palisoul; Story: Eric Abrams & Matthew Berry||December 18, 1997|
|11||"What Are Friends For?"||Leonard R. Garner, Jr.||Colleen Taber||January 8, 1998|
|12||"Out and In"||James Burrows||Neil Thompson & Gary Murphy||January 15, 1998|
|13||"It Takes a Thief"||James Burrows||Michael B. Kaplan||January 22, 1998|
|14||"Smarty Pants"||Brent Carpenter||TBA||UNAIRED|
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.
- Studio Briefing News (1997-06-19). "Big Break Broken". News for Mel Gorham. Internet Movie Database.