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Love, Sidney Title card showing Sidney Shorr and Patti Morgan together Format Sitcom Starring Tony Randall Swoosie Kurtz Kaleena Kiff Alan North Chip Zien Barbara Bryne Lynne Thigpen Opening theme "Friends Forever" performed by Tony Randall, Swoosie Kurtz & Kaleena Kiff (1981–1982) then by Gladys Knight (1982–1983) Country of origin United States Language(s) English No. of seasons 2 No. of episodes 44 Production Executive producer(s) George Eckstein (1981–1982) Rod Parker & Hal Cooper (1982–1983) Running time 22–24 minutes Broadcast Original channel NBC Original run October 28, 1981 (1981-10-28) – June 6, 1983 (1983-06-06) Status Ended Love, Sidney was an American situation comedy television series about a gay man, Sidney Shorr, and his relationship with a single mother and her five year-old daughter whom he invites to live with him. The NBC series stars Tony Randall as Sidney, Swoosie Kurtz as Laurie Morgan and Kaleena Kiff as her daughter Patti. Love, Sidney originated with a two-hour pilot episode which aired as a television movie on October 5, 1981, followed by its regular run as a weekly series from October 28, 1981 until June 6, 1983. The series was the first on American television to feature a gay character as the central lead, although for the series Sidney's homosexuality was almost entirely downplayed from its subtle yet unmistakable presence in the pilot. Contents 1 Synopsis 2 Production 3 Episodes 4 External links Synopsis Love, Sidney was a continuation of the television movie entitled Sidney Shorr: A Girl's Best Friend. Randall played the title character, a well-to-do gay New Yorker in his 50s, who befriends a single woman, Laurie Morgan (Lorna Patterson) and the daughter she gives birth to. At the end of the movie, he is brokenhearted when the mother and daughter move to California. Laurie's daughter Patti is played in the later stages of the movie (once time lapses to her being 5 years old) by Kaleena Kiff, who retains the role in Love, Sidney. With the debut of the series, Laurie Morgan (now played by Swoosie Kurtz) and Patti returned to New York when Laurie's marriage in California didn't work out. Now Sidney, Laurie and Patti were all living under the same roof again, still in Sidney's Manhattan apartment. In the movie, viewers had seen Laurie work her way up in the ranks of show business; by the time frame of Love, Sidney, she had already become a known actress, primarily in television and commercials. She resumed her acting career in New York, appearing as vixen "Gloria Trenell" on the (fictional) daytime soap opera As Thus We Are. More attention was paid in the series to Sidney's career as a professional illustrator; his frequent business deals were made with young ad agency director Jason Stoller (Chip Zien), who worked for Graham & Ludwig, Sidney's biggest account. Also showing up was Sidney's friend and neighbor in his building, local Judge Mort Harris (Alan North), who was dropped after the first season. At the start of the second season, the role of prominent neighbor was given to busybody Mrs. Gaffney (Barbara Bryne). She was the wife of the building's superintendent and was out on a neverending quest to gain Sidney's affections. Sidney also hired a personal secretary, Nancy (Lynne Thigpen), during the second season. Production Sidney Shorr: A Girl's Best Friend went into production during 1980. Network executives planned to turn the film into a weekly series if the film was a success in the ratings. However, after the film was complete, NBC continued to put off its premiere, to the extent that it did not even make it on the air during the 1980-81 season. By that time, the network decided to go ahead and begin development on the series, with the intention of airing the movie as an introductory to the new sitcom that would be on the 1981 fall schedule. By the time Love, Sidney series was being cast, Lorna Patterson was no longer available, as she had already begun starring on CBS' Private Benjamin; Swoosie Kurtz took over the role of Laurie Morgan. Tony Randall only agreed to do the series because it would provide him extra income that would go toward the financing of the community theatre he wanted to open and run in New York City. The salary he made over the show's two seasons eventually paid off when his National Actors Theatre opened at NYC's Pace University in 1991. When the series was announced, NBC received complaints from special-interest groups upset about a positive portrayal of homosexuality, and so originally, nothing in the series referred to its lead character's sexuality except oblique, coded hints. Despite the rather ambiguous nature of Sidney's personal life aside from Laurie and Patti (some critics defined the character as a "confirmed bachelor" in the wake of the show's early downplay of homosexuality), Love, Sidney ended up being a notably big hit in New York City, since the show's premise mirrored real life in that area, especially among their gay population. Elsewhere however, the show's performance per market ran the gamut from at most moderately successful to poorly rated all through the run. As the network's concern over special interest groups waned, indications of Sidney Shorr's orientation remained hush until an overhaul in the show's creative team in 1982 changed all that. George Eckstein was the original executive producer from the time of Love, Sidney's premiere. While the series performed well enough for NBC to warrant it a second season, they pushed for changes in order to improve the show's chances for lasting success. At the start of the 1982-83 season, the network hired the veteran producing team of Rod Parker and Hal Cooper to take over the show. With the arrival of Parker and Cooper, Ken Hecht and Sandy Veith were added as associate producers. The new team made many alterations, including two new regular cast members, a remix of the theme music performed by Gladys Knight and a switch to more meaningful, moralized stories which bordered on the "very special episode" format. However, there was one new aspect the producing team veered toward a little more gradually, mostly since it was still a new, uncharted topic on television at the time: the exploration of Sidney's sexuality. It was clear that they wanted to go for it, first with the addition of Mrs. Gaffney, who had designs on Sidney. More hints made their way into the stories until May 1983. In a special hour-long episode aired on May 16, Sidney decides to go out on some dates with new co-worker Allison. Their courtship ends up fizzling out because of Sidney's insisting that since his heart had been broken by his past long-time love so much, he could never love another again. When Allison breaks down into tears following their conversation, she cries "If only she [Sidney's past love] knew what she was missing." The camera then pans over to Sidney's fireplace, showing a man's photo. It was this same photo that, in the pilot movie, was that of Sidney's former lover Martin when it was more openly revealed. (It is never made clear whether Martin died or left Sidney. Sidney says he went away, but Sidney tends to use euphemisms.) The following episode, the next to last in the series, had an acknowledged gay character as a guest star, a psychiatrist who befriends Sidney after the latter talks him out of suicide. Episodes Number Title U.S. air date 1 "Welcome Home" October 28, 1981 2 "A Piece of the Rock" November 4, 1981 3 "The Party" November 11, 1981 4 "The Cat Burglar" November 18, 1981 5 "Just Folks" December 2, 1981 6 "Run With It" December 9, 1981 7 "Fiddler Under the Roof" December 16, 1981 8 "Hello, Yetta" December 30, 1981 9 "Grade Expectations" January 6, 1982 10 "Charlotte's Web" January 13, 1982 11 "The Price of Security" January 20, 1982 12 "Sail Away" February 3, 1982 13 "Laurie's First Date, A.D." February 10, 1982 14 "Is There Life After Show Business?" February 17, 1982 15 "Puppy Love" February 24, 1982 16 "Laurie's Commercial" March 3, 1982 17 "The Torch" March 17, 1982 18 "Patti's Roots" March 31, 1982 19 "Visitors From Smoot" April 7, 1982 20 "Sidney and the Actress" June 6, 1982 21 "The Activist" September 8, 1982 22 "Father's Day" September 15, 1982 23 "Pros and Cons" October 2, 1982 24 "The Accident" October 9, 1982 25 "Sidney's Spree" October 10, 1982 26 "Sidney's Cousin" October 23, 1982 27 "The Anniversary" October 30, 1982 28 "Rhonda Rabbit" November 6, 1982 29 "Sitcom" November 13, 1982 30 "Jan" (Part 1) November 27, 1982 31 "Jan" (Part 2) December 4, 1982 32 "Sidney's Hero" December 18, 1982 33 "Ballet" December 18, 1982 34 "One is Enough" March 28, 1983 35 "Show Biz Mamas" April 4, 1983 36 "Blinded" April 11, 1983 37 "Sidney's Bar Mitzvah" April 18, 1983 38 "The Movie" April 25, 1983 39 "Sidney's Art Show" May 2, 1983 40 "The Revolutionary" May 9, 1983 41 "Alison" (Part 1) May 16, 1983 42 "Alison" (Part 2) May 16, 1983 43 "The Shrink" May 30, 1983 44 "Surprise Party" June 6, 1983 External links Love, Sidney at the Internet Movie Database ‹See Tfd›Love, Sidney at TV.com Love, Sidney at epguides.com Sidney Shorr: A Girl's Best Friend at the Internet Movie Database