Working (TV series)

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Working
GenreSitcom
Created by
  • Michael Davidoff
  • Bill Rosenthal
Directed by
Starring
Opening theme"Working in the Coal Mine" performed by Devo
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes39 (4 unaired)
Production
Executive producers
Michael Davidoff
  • Bill Rosenthal
Producers
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseOctober 8, 1997 (1997-10-08) –
January 25, 1999 (1999-01-25)

Working is an American sitcom television series that aired on NBC for two seasons from October 8, 1997 to January 25, 1999. The series was created and executive produced by Michael Davidoff and Bill Rosenthal. The series stars Fred Savage and an ensemble cast including Maurice Godin, Arden Myrin, Yvette Freeman, and Steve Hytner.

Synopsis[edit]

Working took a satirical (and sometimes over-the-top) look at office life within a big corporate company. The show starred Fred Savage as the naive Matt Peyser who had just graduated from college and was ready to climb the corporate ladder. His ideals are constantly challenged by his boss, Tim Deale, played by Maurice Godin. Other characters included dim-witted Jimmy (Dana Gould), under-appreciated secretary Hal (Sarah Knowlton), overly perky Abby Cosgrove (Arden Myrin), acerbic Delaney (Steve Hytner), and no-nonsense manager Evelyn (Yvette Freeman), that Matt makes friends and work with.

Due to faltering ratings, the network attempted to breathe new life into the show during the second season with some cast changes. This included writing out the characters of Jimmy and Hal. They were replaced by Debi Mazar as the ruthless Liz and Rebecca McFarland as Val (As an in-joke, when Matt first sees Liz and Val he mistakenly calls them Jimmy and Hal). During the series run, Danica McKellar, formerly Savage's costar in The Wonder Years, made two guest-appearances playing a woman Savage's character meets in a bar, and of whom he says "she reminds me of a girl I grew up with!"

Ratings for the series didn't improve, however, and NBC canceled Working in January 1999. 35 of the 39 episodes produced were aired.

Theme song[edit]

The show used a sound-alike version of Devo's cover of the song "Working in the Coal Mine", set over top of scenes of work, including marching workers from the film Metropolis, frantic work scenes from Terry Gilliam's Brazil and office scenes from Billy Wilder's The Apartment. The vocals of the theme song were removed for the USA Network broadcasts.

Cast and characters[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122October 8, 1997 (1997-10-08)May 18, 1998 (1998-05-18)
217September 22, 1998 (1998-09-22)January 25, 1999 (1999-01-25)

Season 1 (1997–98)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Pilot"Andrew TsaoMichael Davidoff & Bill RosenthalOctober 8, 1997 (1997-10-08)
22"Close Quarters"James WiddoesSy RosenOctober 15, 1997 (1997-10-15)
33"Rumoring"James WiddoesWill GluckOctober 29, 1997 (1997-10-29)
44"Quick Out of the Gate"Fred SavageBen WexlerNovember 5, 1997 (1997-11-05)
55"Sexual Harassment"James WiddoesPhill LewisNovember 12, 1997 (1997-11-12)
66"Lost Weekend"James WiddoesMike LangworthyNovember 19, 1997 (1997-11-19)
77"Creative Matt"James WiddoesSteve TompkinsDecember 3, 1997 (1997-12-03)
88"Top o' the World, Ma"Andrew TsaoVicki S. Horwitz & Sy RosenDecember 10, 1997 (1997-12-10)
99"Medieval Christmas"Andrew TsaoRob Cornick & Cory JachnukDecember 17, 1997 (1997-12-17)
1010"The Breakfast"Andrew TsaoMichael Davidoff & Bill RosenthalJanuary 7, 1998 (1998-01-07)
1111"Enemies: A Love Story"Andrew TsaoWill GluckJanuary 14, 1998 (1998-01-14)
1212"Sam I Am"James WiddoesMarsha MyersJanuary 21, 1998 (1998-01-21)
1313"Boys Club"Andrew TsaoMichael Davidoff & Bill RosenthalJanuary 28, 1998 (1998-01-28)
1414"Hatchet Man"James WiddoesVicki S. HorwitzFebruary 4, 1998 (1998-02-04)
1515"Mum's the Word"David Owen TrainorMichael Davidoff & Bill RosenthalFebruary 25, 1998 (1998-02-25)
1616"As Bad As It Gets"Andrew TsaoMatt Goldman & Will GluckMarch 18, 1998 (1998-03-18)
1717"Labor Pains"Andrew TsaoNoah TaftMarch 25, 1998 (1998-03-25)
1818"The Gold Digger"Andrew TsaoBen WexlerApril 1, 1998 (1998-04-01)
1919"Equality"Robert BerlingerMarsha MyersApril 15, 1998 (1998-04-15)
2020"The Lying Game"Linda DayRob Cornick & Cory JachnukApril 29, 1998 (1998-04-29)
2121"Due Process"Steve ZuckermanWill Gluck & Matt GoldmanMay 6, 1998 (1998-05-06)
2222"The Brown Noser"Andrew TsaoMark Wilding & Marsha MyersMay 13, 1998 (1998-05-13)

Season 2 (1998–99)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
231"Home-o-Apathy"Andrew TsaoWill GluckSeptember 22, 1998 (1998-09-22)
242"The Closer"Andrew TsaoRob Cornick & Cory JachnukSeptember 29, 1998 (1998-09-29)
253"Armageddon Outta Here"Andrew TsaoDavid FuryOctober 27, 1998 (1998-10-27)
264"Performance Review"Andrew TsaoSteve Baldikoski & Bryan BeharNovember 3, 1998 (1998-11-03)
275"Good Val Hunting"Andrew TsaoNoah TaftNovember 10, 1998 (1998-11-10)
286"Networking"Andrew TsaoBeth Fieger FalkensteinNovember 17, 1998 (1998-11-17)
297"A Boy, a Girl, and His Bird"Andrew TsaoSy Rosen & Vicki S. HorwitzDecember 1, 1998 (1998-12-01)
308"The Consultant"Andrew TsaoMark WildingDecember 8, 1998 (1998-12-08)
319"Greenery"Andrew TsaoWill GluckDecember 18, 1998 (1998-12-18)
3210"The Christmas Party"Andrew TsaoMark WildingDecember 22, 1998 (1998-12-22)
3311"Romeo and Julie"Andrew TsaoNoah TaftJanuary 11, 1999 (1999-01-11)
3412"The Retreat"Andrew TsaoMichael Davidoff & Bill RosenthalJanuary 18, 1999 (1999-01-18)
3513"The Prodigy"David Owen TrainorBryan Behar & Steve BaldikoskiJanuary 25, 1999 (1999-01-25)
3614"Manifesto Destiny"Andrew TsaoBen WexlerUnaired
3715"The Other Executive"Fred SavageMarty WeissUnaired
3816"She Loves Me, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah"Linda DayDavid RosenbergUnaired
3917"Sliding Doors"Andrew TsaoSy Rosen & Mark WildingUnaired

Broadcast and syndication[edit]

Working reaired on the USA Network from 1999 to 2001, including the four episodes that were unaired during its original run.

Awards[edit]

Year Award Result Category Recipient
2000 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series – Young Performer Age Ten or Under Sara Paxton Won

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Listed after Dana Gould and Steve Hytner in the opening credits from episode 2 on.

External links[edit]