Frank's Place

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Frank's Place
GenreComedy-drama
Created byHugh Wilson
Written byRichard Dubin
David Chambers
Samm-Art Williams
Hugh Wilson
Directed byNeema Barnette
Richard Dubin
Stan Lathan
Max Tash
Hugh Wilson
StarringTim Reid
Daphne Maxwell Reid
Tony Burton
Virginia Capers
Robert Harper
Theme music composerLouis Alter
Eddie DeLange
Opening theme"Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" performed by Louis Armstrong
Composer(s)Richard Kosinski
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes22
Production
Executive producer(s)Tim Reid
Hugh Wilson
Producer(s)David Chambers
Richard Dubin
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Original runSeptember 14, 1987 (1987-09-14) – March 22, 1988 (1988-03-22)
 
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Frank's Place
GenreComedy-drama
Created byHugh Wilson
Written byRichard Dubin
David Chambers
Samm-Art Williams
Hugh Wilson
Directed byNeema Barnette
Richard Dubin
Stan Lathan
Max Tash
Hugh Wilson
StarringTim Reid
Daphne Maxwell Reid
Tony Burton
Virginia Capers
Robert Harper
Theme music composerLouis Alter
Eddie DeLange
Opening theme"Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" performed by Louis Armstrong
Composer(s)Richard Kosinski
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes22
Production
Executive producer(s)Tim Reid
Hugh Wilson
Producer(s)David Chambers
Richard Dubin
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Original runSeptember 14, 1987 (1987-09-14) – March 22, 1988 (1988-03-22)

Frank's Place is an American comedy-drama series which aired on CBS for 22 episodes during the 1987-1988 television season. The series was created by Hugh Wilson and executive produced by Wilson and series star (and fellow WKRP in Cincinnati alumnus) Tim Reid.

Frank's Place is the most recent show that ran for only one season which was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.[citation needed]

TV Guide ranked it #3 on their 2013 list of 60 shows that were "Cancelled Too Soon".[1]

Plot[edit]

Set in New Orleans, Frank's Place chronicles the life of Frank Parrish (Tim Reid), a well-to-do African-American professor at Brown University, an Ivy League university in Providence, Rhode Island, who inherits a restaurant, Chez Louisiane. In the premiere, Frank travels to New Orleans intending to sell the restaurant. But when Frank returns to New England, the life he's known there suddenly goes inexplicably haywire. Waitress Emerita (she waits only on customers of twenty years or more of patronage) of Chez Louisiane, Miss Marie (Frances E. Williams) has a voodoo spin (curse) put on Frank ensuring that he will come back to carry on his family's business. Feeling he has no choice, Frank returns to New Orleans and makes many discoveries about Black culture in New Orleans, the differences between northern and southern lifestyles, and himself.

On its surface, Frank's Place was a fish-out-of-water story, like The Beverly Hillbillies or Green Acres. However, the series' storylines featured weightier topics such as race and class issues.

Supporting cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Unlike most sitcom productions of the era, Frank's Place was filmed with a single camera and used no laugh track.

Theme song[edit]

The series theme song was Louis Armstrong's classic "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?". The look of the restaurant was inspired by Austin Leslie's Chez Helene restaurant in New Orleans.

Episodes[edit]

Series No.TitleWritten byDirected byOriginal air date
1"Pilot"Hugh WilsonHugh WilsonSeptember 14, 1987
Boston university professor Frank Parrish inherits his estranged father's New Orleans restaurant, Chez Louisiane. 
2"Frank Returns"Hugh WilsonHugh WilsonSeptember 21, 1987
A voodoo "spin" compels Frank to return to New Orleans and run the Chez. 
3"Frank Takes Charge"David ChambersStan LathanSeptember 28, 1987
Frank tries to get the hang of running a restaurant. 
4"The Bridge"Hugh WilsonHugh WilsonOctober 5, 1987
A man drives his truck off a bridge and dies after drinking at the Chez. A high-powered lawyer (Conchata Ferrell) with connections to the dead man's wife (Beah Richards) announces her intention to sue Frank for everything he's got. 
5"Frank Joins the Club"Samm-Art WilliamsNeema BarnetteOctober 12, 1987
Frank is recruited to be the token dark-skinned member of a club for light-skinned black people. 
6"Eligible Bachelor"Pamela DouglasStan LathanOctober 19, 1987
Frank finds himself newly popular with women. 
7"Disengaged"David ChambersMax TashOctober 26, 1987
Hanna breaks off her engagement. 
8"Cool and the Gang (part 1)"Richard DubinHugh WilsonNovember 9, 1987
Cool Charles is offered a part-time job by a 16 year-old boss. 
9"Cool and the Gang (part 2)"Richard DubinHugh WilsonNovember 16, 1987
Cool Charles's friends get concerned about his involvement with gang life. 
10"The Reverend Gets a Flock"David ChambersNeema BarnetteNovember 23, 1987
The Reverend Deal gets a new job opportunity of his own. 
11"I.O.U."Samm-Art WilliamsRoy Campanella IINovember 30, 1987
Frank is told that he's going to have to pay off his father's old gambling debts – or else. 
12"Food Fight"Richard DubinHugh WilsonDecember 7, 1987
A dispute over recipes is settled by a boxing match between the chefs of the Chez and a rival restaurant. 
13"Season's Greetings"Hugh Wilson (teleplay)
Don Yesso (story)
Helaine HeadDecember 14, 1987
Frank goes to Bubba's family's place for a Hanukkah party, where Bubba pretends that he and Frank are lovers. 
14"The Bum Out Front"Hugh WilsonFrank BonnerJanuary 4, 1988
Frank develops an unusual relationship with a vagrant who lives outside the Chez and refuses to leave. 
15"Dueling Voodoo"David ChambersRichard DubinJanuary 11, 1988
To get rid of a tenant who appears to have voodoo powers, Frank enlists the help of the voodoo expert who cursed him. 
16"Where's Ed?"Hugh WilsonHugh WilsonJanuary 18, 1988
Tiger's buddies steal the corpse of an old friend and bring it to the Chez, and the body winds up in the restaurant's freezer just as the health inspector is visiting. 
17"Night Business"Hugh WilsonMax TashFebruary 3, 1988
Frank hires a consultant to help the Chez improve its business and get a broader range of customers. 
18"Shorty's Belle"Craig NelsonMax TashFebruary 15, 1988
Shorty tries to help a Southern damsel in distress. 
19"Frank's Place – The Movie"Hugh Wilson (teleplay)
Hugh Wilson & Tim Reid (story)
Hugh WilsonFebruary 22, 1988
A film director (Daniel Davis) uses the Chez as a set for a movie, and Frank has a shot with the movie's leading lady (Pam Grier). 
20"Cultural Exchange"Samm-Art WilliamsKevin Rodney SullivanMarch 7, 1988
A group of African musicians visits New Orleans, and one of them is so impressed by Dizzy Gillespie that he wants to stay in America and play jazz. 
21"The Recruiting Game"David ChambersRichard DubinMarch 15, 1988
Frank helps a high school basketball star field offers from various colleges. 
22"The King of Wall Street"Samm-Art WilliamsAsaad KeladaMarch 22, 1988
While eating dinner at the Chez, a Wall Street tycoon learns that he's been the victim of a hostile takeover. 

Awards[edit]

YearAwardCategoryRecipient
1988Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Writing in a Comedy SeriesHugh Wilson
For episode: "The Bridge"
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a SpecialMichael Ballin, Marty Church, Lenora Peterson, and M. Curtis Price
For episode "Food Fight"
Outstanding Guest Performer in a Comedy SeriesBeah Richards
For the role of Mrs. Varden in "The Bridge"
1988Humanitas Prize30 Minute CategoryHugh Wilson
1990NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy SeriesTim Reid
1988Television Critics Association AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Comedy
1988Viewers for Quality Television AwardsBest Actor in a Quality Comedy SeriesTim Reid

DVD release[edit]

In October 2008, CNN.com reported that because of music clearance issues, a DVD release would be unlikely.[2] However, on November 11, 2008, TV Shows on DVD reported that plans are underway for an eventual DVD release, although Tim Reid has said that, due to the prohibitive costs of the music rights, a new musical score will be recorded that will "recreate the mood of the music." He adds, "it has to be the mood of the show or I'd rather not do it." [3] No date has been yet given for a release.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roush, Matt (June 3, 2013). "Cancelled Too Soon". TV Guide. pp. 20 and 21
  2. ^ CNN.Com "The Marquee Blog, October 3, 2008
  3. ^ Frank's Place - The Short Lived Sitcom Starring Tim Reid Could Come to DVD...But with Music Changes, tvshowsondvd.com November 11, 2008

External links[edit]