Martin (TV series)

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Martin
The cast of Martin standing before a white screen
The main cast of Martin (L–R): Ford, Campbell, Lawrence, Arnold, Payne
GenreSitcom
Created byJohn Bowman
Martin Lawrence
Topper Carew
StarringMartin Lawrence
Tisha Campbell
Carl Anthony Payne II
Thomas Mikal Ford
Tichina Arnold
Jonathan Gries
(seasons 1–2)
Garrett Morris
(seasons 1–2)
Theme music composerSteve Keitt
Joey Kibble
Mark Kibble
Paul Wright III
Composer(s)Bill Maxwell
Greg Poree
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes132 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)John Bowman
Topper Carew
Martin Lawrence
Billy Van Zandt
Jane Milmore
Samm-Art Williams
Producer(s)Walter Barnett
Terry Crotzer
Mark J. Greenberg
Cheryl Holliday
Bennie R. Richburg, Jr.
Robert Lawrence
CinematographyWilliam Updegraff
Gary W. Scott
Alan Walker
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)You Go Boy! Productions (seasons 3-5)
HBO Independent Productions
Warner Bros. Television
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelFox
Original runAugust 27, 1992 (1992-08-27) – May 1, 1997 (1997-05-01)
 
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Martin
The cast of Martin standing before a white screen
The main cast of Martin (L–R): Ford, Campbell, Lawrence, Arnold, Payne
GenreSitcom
Created byJohn Bowman
Martin Lawrence
Topper Carew
StarringMartin Lawrence
Tisha Campbell
Carl Anthony Payne II
Thomas Mikal Ford
Tichina Arnold
Jonathan Gries
(seasons 1–2)
Garrett Morris
(seasons 1–2)
Theme music composerSteve Keitt
Joey Kibble
Mark Kibble
Paul Wright III
Composer(s)Bill Maxwell
Greg Poree
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes132 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)John Bowman
Topper Carew
Martin Lawrence
Billy Van Zandt
Jane Milmore
Samm-Art Williams
Producer(s)Walter Barnett
Terry Crotzer
Mark J. Greenberg
Cheryl Holliday
Bennie R. Richburg, Jr.
Robert Lawrence
CinematographyWilliam Updegraff
Gary W. Scott
Alan Walker
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)You Go Boy! Productions (seasons 3-5)
HBO Independent Productions
Warner Bros. Television
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelFox
Original runAugust 27, 1992 (1992-08-27) – May 1, 1997 (1997-05-01)

Martin is an American sitcom produced by HBO Independent Productions (a subsidiary of HBO) that aired for five seasons, from August 27, 1992 to May 1, 1997 on Fox. The show is both titled after and stars actor-comedian Martin Lawrence along with supporting characters Tichina Arnold, Thomas Mikal Ford, Carl Anthony Payne II, and Tisha Campbell.

Reflecting the rising popularity of the Fox network throughout the 1990s, Martin was one of the network's highest-rated shows during the sitcom's five-season run. In contrast to the popularity of NBC's "Must See TV" on Thursday nights in the 1990s, many African American and Latino viewers flocked to Fox's Thursday night line-up of Martin, Living Single, and New York Undercover. In fact, these were the three highest-rated series among black households for the 1996–1997 season. (In order of popularity, Living Single, New York Undercover, and Martin.)[1]

Summary[edit source | edit]

Set in Detroit, Michigan, the series stars Martin Lawrence in the role of Martin Payne, a disc jockey with a girlfriend named Gina Waters played by Tisha Campbell-Martin. Martin works for the fictional radio station WZUP and later for local Public-access television station Channel 51. A common theme of the series is Martin's ornery and wayward nature; episodes often center on Martin's inconsiderate, yet smart-mouthed attitude towards his friends, neighbors, and whoever else might find themselves in his presence. When all is said and done, though, Martin loves his family and friends—it just takes dire situations to bring it to light.

As the series progressed, plotlines saw Martin eventually move on to become the host of the talk show "Word on the Street," which aired on the small Detroit Public-access television station Channel 51. He retained this position until the series' final episode, in which he and Gina prepared to move to Los Angeles, from where his show would be syndicated nationally. The move coincided fortuitously with Gina's promotion by her boss Mr. Whitaker to head up his company's new Los Angeles headquarters, after having shut down the Detroit office. Pam, whom Whitaker let go two episodes earlier due to this consolidation and downsizing, went on to pursue a career in the music industry as an artists & repertoire (A&R) executive at Keep It Real Records. (This plotline is the subject of a backdoor pilot episode that was included in the Martin series for a planned sitcom on Fox starring Tichina Arnold to be called Goin' for Mine [Episode 129, "Goin' for Mine"]. This sitcom never materialized, though.) And at series' end, Cole proposed to his even more dimwitted, but attractive and devoted girlfriend Shanise (portrayed by Maura McDade), and they made plans to move into their own place.

In early episodes, Lawrence began with a monologue of him speaking to the camera and audience from the darkened radio studio.

In 1996, Tisha Campbell filed a lawsuit against her co-star Martin Lawrence and the show’s producers for sexual harassment and verbal and physical assaults. HBO Studios eventually settled the case with Campbell so that the show’s last season could be completed. Campbell did return to the Martin set to film the last two episodes of the show’s last season under the condition that she would not appear in any scenes with Lawrence.[citation needed]

Characters[edit source | edit]

Main character[edit source | edit]

Supporting characters[edit source | edit]

Cast history[edit source | edit]

Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5
Martin LawrenceGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickY
Tisha Campbell-MartinGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickY (briefly)
Thomas Mikal FordGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickY
Tichina ArnoldGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickY
Carl Anthony Payne IIGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickY
Garrett MorrisGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickY (1 guest appearance)Red XNRed XN
Jonathan GriesGreen tickYGreen tickYRed XNGreen tickYRed XN

Recurring characters[edit source | edit]

Other roles played by Lawrence[edit source | edit]

One of the trademark running gags of Martin, especially early in its run, was Lawrence playing multiple characters, utilizing various costumes and prosthetic appliances. Season Four was the last season to feature Lawrence as multiple characters on a regular basis. This technique was rarely used in Season 5, which was the final season of the series. The only characters that appeared in Season 5 were Sheneneh, Roscoe and Elroy. Most of the other characters were last seen in Season 4 and the episodes they last appeared in seemingly wrote them out of the series.

Ratings[edit source | edit]

SeasonU.S. ratingsNetworkRank
11992-9311.40 millionFox#41
21993-949.29 millionFox#64
31994-958.10 millionFox#92
41995-966.70 millionFox#104
51996-976.00 millionFox#110

Episodes[edit source | edit]

Awards and nominations[edit source | edit]

YearAwardResultCategoryRecipient
1993People's Choice AwardsWonFavorite TV New Comedy Series
1994NAACP Image AwardsWonOutstanding Comedy Series
1995Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy SeriesMartin Lawrence
Outstanding Comedy Series
1996NominatedOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesMarla Gibbs
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesCarl Anthony Payne II
Thomas Mikal Ford
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesTisha Campbell-Martin
Outstanding Comedy Series
WonOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesTichina Arnold
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy SeriesMartin Lawrence
1997NominatedOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesTisha Campbell-Martin
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy SeriesMartin Lawrence
Outstanding Comedy Series
1995Nickelodeon Kids' Choice AwardsNominatedFavorite Television Show
Favorite Television ActorMartin Lawrence
1996Favorite Television ActorMartin Lawrence

Syndication and DVD releases[edit source | edit]

Reruns air in syndication in most major U.S. cities, and also air daily nationwide on the TV One cable network. Reruns began airing on MTV2 on February 21, 2011.

HBO Home Video has released all five seasons of Martin on DVD in Region 1.

DVD NameEp #Release Date
The Complete First Season27January 4, 2007
The Complete Second Season27May 15, 2007
The Complete Third Season27November 6, 2007
The Complete Fourth Season27April 1, 2008
The Complete Fifth and Final Season24October 7,

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ "How Blacks Differ from Whites in TV Show Choices", Jet, Mar. 17, 1997, p. 54.

External links[edit source | edit]