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Kate & Allie Premiered 37 Years Ago Today

  • On March 19, 1984, CBS premiered Kate & Allie, a sitcom starring original Saturday Night Live cast member Jane Curtin and McMillan and Wife star Susan Saint James as two divorced friends with children who decide to share a New York City brownstone and raise their families together. The show was notable for featuring women living indepenently without centering men in their lives at a time when that was still a rarity, and it ran for six seasons, winning Curtin back-to-back Emmy Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. 

    Kate McCardle (Saint James) worked as a travel agent, while Allie Lowell (Curtin) was going back to school after years of being a housewife. In the above episode from Season 4, Kate finds herself frustrated with her job and inspired by all the women she hears at her daughter's Career Day, while Allie lands a job at a museum, only to court disaster. By Season 5, the two had teamed up to start their own catering service. 

    Incidentally, Allison Smith, who plays Allie's teenage daughter Jennie, went on to The West Wing as Leo McGarry's (John Spencer) daughter and Sam Seaborn's (Rob Lowe)'s love interest Mallory O'Brien. Also, Frederick Koehler, Allie's son Chip, grew up to have a significant role in HBO's Oz, as Andrew Schillinger, eldest son of Aryan leader Vernon (J.K. Simmons) who eventually rebelled against his Nazi father.

    Back in January, NBC announced that a reboot is in development with Erica Oyama (Fresh Off the Boat, Young Rock) at the helm. 

    Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.

    TOPICS: Kate & Allie, CBS, Kate & Allie (2021), Jane Curtin, Sherry Coben, Susan Saint James