Created by Stacy A. Littlejohn
Original language(s) English
Final episode date 22 April 2015
Networks VH1, Centric
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
Theme song Single Ladies Theme Song
|Starring Stacey DashLisaRaye McCoyCharity SheaDenise Vasi|
Cast LisaRaye McCoy, Stacey Dash, Denise Vasi, Charity Shea, Travis Winfrey
Single Ladies is an American comedy-drama television series that debuted on May 30, 2011, as a two-hour television film on VH1 Created by Stacy A. Littlejohn and produced by Queen Latifah's Flavor Unit Entertainment, the series chronicles the lives of three friends — Val, Keisha and April (and later Raquel) — and their relationships. VH1 announced on February 28, 2014, that Single Ladies was canceled. It was announced on April 8, 2014, that BET Networks ordered a fourth season which would air on Centric. Single Ladies returned on March 18, 2015 with Melissa De Sousa joining the cast.
The show was tested as a movie before being turned into a 12-episode series. Executive director Olde reports that "TV, sometimes, under the best of circumstances, is a gut business," and went on to say that, after testing the script, the response was good enough for them to develop it into the series. Single Ladies is produced two episodes at a time to save money. Initially the program received reasonable ratings. The two-hour premiere gained a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 2.8 million total viewers. It also scored a slightly higher 2.0 rating in the 18-34 female demographic. Latifah says she is "particularly proud" of the series, stating that "We wanted the ladies to be able to talk about mature things. (Sex and the City) was an inspiration, but the real inspiration was real life...These are virile women who have emotions and desires, and they will be out there looking, but they'll do it on their own terms." Writer Littlejohn believes that Single Ladies could be a "jewel in the crown" for VH1." She also said that she feels like she is breaking new ground and setting a precedent, where VH1 and scripted shows are concerned, saying "I’m creating the formula". Stacey Dash decided to exit the series after its inaugural season. Dash commented, "I have to be back in L.A. with my children right now and the Single Ladies shooting location [in Atlanta] makes this impossible." She will be replaced by All My Children alumna Denise Vasi.
On August 22, 2012, VH1 renewed the series for a third season to premiere in late 2013. It was announced in September 2012, that Single Ladies' creator and executive producer Stacy A. Littlejohn had chosen to leave after the second season. Littlejohn stated, "After two incredible seasons of Single Ladies, I have decided to entrust the show to the safe hands of VH1. Having fostered it from its inception, I’ve found great satisfaction in seeing these characters come to life on the screen, and am proud of what the show has become. But after two all-consuming seasons immersed in its production in the great city of Atlanta, I’ve decided it’s time to shift my focus to my life in Los Angeles and the creation of new projects." On May 20, 2013, the arrival of three new cast members was revealed: Letoya Luckett, Damien Wayans, Lesley-Ann Brandt were signed on as recurring cast members. ADR recording for the series was done at recording studio Cherry Beach Sound.
To coincide with the third season, the series launched an e-book series. Written by New York Times author Ashley Antoinette, the e-book series helped to serve as an companion to the drama series picking up after the second season finale.
Critical reception of Single Ladies were not too favorable, Media Life Magazine reporter Tom Conroy reported that, "The female characters are either one-note (Keisha), inscrutable (April) or incoherent (Val). It’s unfair to blame the actresses. The writers are the ones who can’t decide if Val, for example, is the kind of girl who would make men wait 90 days or the kind of girl who would use a phrase like "tap this" referring to herself."
Ginia Bellafante of The New York Times reports that ""Single Ladies" has issues with black men, who are depicted as way too self-regarding, and blond women, who are simply taking up too much space on the planet. Not altogether predictably, the show reserves a certain kindness for that forgotten minority: the boyish white man. Apparently "Single Ladies" has yet to see "The Hangover Part II"." Hank Steuver of the Washington Post said that, "It's the TV equivalent of a beach read with no words. Even if "Single Ladies" can be enjoyed in some basic brainless way (and even though it's safely sequestered on VH1, where standards are aggressively low), there's something steadfastly embarrassing about it."
Britni Danielle of clutchmagonline.com said "VH1 released the trailer for its new show, Single Ladies over the weekend and it looks promising!" and went on to say that "With shows like Basketball Wives, What Chili Wants, and Lets Talk About Pep, VH1 has been trying hard to produce (reality) shows that appeal to Black women. Let’s hope this new one is worth our time."
David Hinckley of the NYDailyNews.com said "In any case, Single Ladies has stretches when it gets stuck in its own cliches and must fight its way through the soap suds." going on to add, "But it comes out the other side not looking half-bad. By the end of the first episode, it has created three distinct characters whose vulnerability and basic decency make us like them in spite of some obvious flaws." He went on to say, "There's a lot of soap, and the dialogue can make you wince. But the characters just might make you care."