9 to 5 is an American sitcom based on the 1980 film of the same name that aired on ABC from March 25, 1982 to October 27, 1983, and in first-run syndication from September 13, 1986 to September 10, 1988.
9 to 5 features Rachel Dennison, Dolly Parton's younger sister, in Parton's role of Doralee Rhodes; Rita Moreno portrayed the Lily Tomlin role of Violet Newstead, and Valerie Curtin took the Jane Fonda role of Judy Bernly. In the truncated third season, Curtin's Judy Bernly was replaced with Leah Ayres as secretary Linda Bowman. In the second version of the show, Sally Struthers replaced Moreno, and Curtin returned as Judy. A total of 82 episodes were filmed. The first season was on film in front of a studio audience but switched to videotape for the next season.
The first two seasons' opening credits featured clips from the 1980 movie trailer, of various office duties being performed.
Cast changes were constant early on, as the show tried to find the right ensemble combination. Jeffrey Tambor was the original Franklin Hart (Dabney Coleman's character from the film) during the spring 1982 run, but that fall Peter Bonerz replaced him in that role. He would remain throughout the rest of 9 to 5's ABC run. In another key element straight from the movie, resident flunky to Mr. Hart, office snoop Roz Keith, was played by British actress Jean Marsh (of Upstairs, Downstairs fame). Roz was responsible for digging up the personal dirt on the secretaries and to help Hart scheme his way to the very top.
Season 2 also saw the addition of Herb Edelman as fatherly salesman Harry Nussbaum, who became an ally to Violet, Judy and Doralee in their schemes against Mr. Hart. Another co-worker, Clair (Ann Weldon), became a regular. The sitcom proved to be very popular, ranking at #15 for its first season.
Jane Fonda, who also developed the film version, acted as executive producer during the show's first two seasons. However, she disassociated herself after a dispute over the direction of the show. Her co-producer Bruce Gilbert went with her. Prior to the start of Season 3, veteran TV actor and producer James Komack stepped in to helm the show in their stead. His vision for the show included many changes, which tried to add a new angle without taking the premise away from the original movie and TV format.
The Fonda character of Judy Bernly, portrayed by Valerie Curtin, was written out for the purposes of replacing her with a younger, 20-something secretary, Linda Bowman (Leah Ayres). She instantly became friends with Violet and Doralee, so much that she subsequently became a roommate of theirs in Violet's apartment. Also inhabiting this living arrangement was Violet's 12-year-old son Tommy (played by Tony La Torre, in between his stints on CBS' oft-cancelled Cagney & Lacey). Salesman Nussbaum was also replaced, by Michael Henderson (George Deloy), and Komack also dropped office snoop Roz. Additionally, the company setting changed from Consolidated Companies to American House.
The revamp caused an instant decline in the ratings, falling to 75th out of 76 shows, and the series was cancelled five episodes into the new season. As ABC decided to pull the plug on 9 to 5 just a month into the season, only five episodes were broadcast in the 1983–84 season, with two episodes remaining unaired.
New episodes of 9 to 5 resurfaced in first-run syndication in Fall 1986. Valerie Curtin was back as Judy Bernly as was Rachel Dennison. Assuming the starring role, in place of the unavailable Rita Moreno, was Sally Struthers as slightly naive single mother Marsha McMurray Shrimpton, who added fresh perspective to the group. For the second time in the TV series, the company that the lead characters worked for changed again, this time to Barkley Foods International.
In the syndicated version, Franklin Hart was history; the girls' superiors were ladies' man Russ Merman (Peter Evans), Bud Coleman (Edward Winter), and Marsha's boss in the 1986-87 season, Charmin Cunningham (Dorian Lopinto). The following season, Vice President of Sales E. Nelson Felb (Fred Applegate) became Marsha's boss. Also featured were James (James Martinez), the maintenance man of the Barkley Foods building, and Morgan (Art Evans), the Jamaican-accented mailroom clerk whom added to the office camaraderie.Rita Moreno ... Violet Newstead
Rachel Dennison ... Doralee Rhodes Brooks
Valerie Curtin ... Judy Bernly (March 1982–May 1983)
Peter Bonerz ... Franklin Hart (September 1982–October 1983)
Herb Edelman ... Harry Nussbaum (September 1982–May 1983)
Jean Marsh ... Roz Keith (March 1982–May 1983)
Ann Weldon ... Clair (September 1982–October 1983)
Jeffrey Tambor ... Franklin Hart (March–April 1982)
Leah Ayres ... Linda Bowman (September–October 1983)
George Deloy ... Michael Henderson (September–October 1983)
Tony La Torre ... Tommy (September–October 1983)
Sally Struthers ... Marsha McMurray Shrimpton
Rachel Dennison ... Doralee Rhodes Brooks
Valerie Curtin ... Judy Bernly
Edward Winter ... William 'Bud' Coleman
Dorian Lopinto ... Charmin Cunningham (1986–1987)
Fred Applegate ... E. Nelson Felb (1987–1988)
Art Evans ... Morgan
Peter Evans ... Russ Merman
James Martinez ... James
The hit title song from the movie, "9 to 5", written and performed by Dolly Parton, was used as the theme song for the TV series. However, during the first season run in spring 1982, Phoebe Snow performed the vocals. Starting with Season 2 and through the end of the show's syndication run in 1988, Parton's vocals were featured in the theme.
Several other plot changes were present in the TV series that were not featured in the film. For instance, the film shows aspects of Violet's life as a widow supporting four children, the most visible of whom is Tommy. While this carried over to the television series, only her son Josh was featured. Also, due to the casting of Rita Moreno, Violet's maiden name was changed to Fernandez in the television series, and her characterization was changed to a fiery Latina woman. While the film portrayed Franklin Hart as a womanizing, despotic tyrant, he is instead portrayed as bumbling and incompetent in the television series. In the film, Doralee's husband's name was Duane, while in the television version, the character was initially single, and, in later seasons, married a man named Curtis.