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Women of the House

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6.1/10 TV

Composer(s)  Bruce Miller
Program creator  Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
7/10 IMDb

Directed by  Harry Thomason
Country of origin  United States
Networks  CBS, Lifetime
Women of the House wwwgstaticcomtvthumbtvbanners184514p184514
Created by  Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Written by  Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Starring  Delta Burke Teri Garr Patricia Heaton Valerie Mahaffey Lisa Rieffel William Newman
Original network  CBS (episodes 1-8) Lifetime (episodes 9-13)
Cast  Delta Burke, Patricia Heaton, Teri Garr, Valerie Mahaffey, Julie Hagerty

Women of the House is an American sitcom and a spin-off of Designing Women that aired on CBS from January 4, 1995 to August 18, 1995 and the last four episodes airing on Lifetime on September 8, 1995. The series starred Delta Burke, reprising her role of Suzanne Sugarbaker, who had reconciled with producers of Designing Women after a bitter, highly publicized, off-screen battle.



Suzanne Sugarbaker's latest husband has died, and as his widow, she assumes his political office for the remainder of his term. Washington, D.C. was ill-prepared for the outspoken, "big, dumb, hick beauty queen's" arrival to the United States House of Representatives, though she did form an unusual bond with then-current President Bill Clinton, who was frequently heard off-screen. Along with her, Suzanne dragged her mentally handicapped brother Jim (Jonathan Banks), her young, adopted daughter Desiree (Brittany Parkyn), and her oft-spoken of (but only once seen) maid, Sapphire Jones (Barbara Montgomery).

Teri Garr starred as Suzanne's press secretary Sissy Emerson, a washed up reporter who had turned to the bottle a few years earlier, but was starting to clean up her act. Patricia Heaton portrayed Natty Hollingsworth, Suzanne's snooty, conservative, anal-retentive, bun-wearing administrative assistant whose Congressman boyfriend was serving a prison sentence. Jennifer Malone (Valerie Mahaffey, Julie Hagerty), known to her co-workers as "Malone," was a vivacious, naive, frail housewife who was recently left by her husband, and whose children were tyrants. The years of sexual repression had taken its toll on Malone and she had begun to become obsessed with sex. Later seen in the cast was Lisa Rieffel as Veda Walkman, a ditsy Generation Xer who took an internship at the office. In more minor roles were William Newman as Dave, an older gentleman with bad arthritis who worked in the office and Adam Carl as Adam, another intern (which was not the same-named character Carl played in several episodes of Designing Women).

Main cast

  • Delta Burke as Suzanne Sugarbaker
  • Terri Garr as Sissy Emerson
  • Patricia Heaton as Natalie "Natty" Hollingsworth
  • Valerie Mahaffey as Jennifer Malone (6 episodes)
  • Lisa Rieffel as Veda Walkman (5 episodes)
  • Recurring cast

  • Jonathan Banks as Jim Sugarbaker
  • Brittany Parkyn as Desiree "Desi" Sugarbaker
  • William Newman as Dave
  • Adam Carl as Adam
  • Notable guest stars

  • Jamie Farr guest starred as himself in the episode "Guess Who's Sleeping in Lincoln's Bed?", and he gave a nod to the series M*A*S*H by appearing in drag. Amongst the writing staff of M*A*S*H was Women of the House writer/creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason.
  • Gerald McRaney made an appearance in "The Afternoon Wife", playing Suzanne's ex-husband, novelist Dash Goff, a character that originated on Designing Women. By this point, McRaney and series lead Delta Burke were married in real life.
  • Meshach Taylor reprised his Designing Women role of Anthony Bouvier in the episode "Dear Diary".
  • Susan Powter was initially announced as a cast member of the series. She finally showed up in Episode 12, "Dear Diary".
  • Charles Frank appeared as the oft-spoken of Congressman Ed Sharkey in the final episode, "The Conjugal Cottage." Frank starred opposite Delta Burke and Dixie Carter in Linda Bloodworth-Thomason's 1982 sitcom Filthy Rich.
  • Telma Hopkins starred as a wisecracking cop in the episode "The Conjugal Cottage".
  • The episode "Women in Film" featured cameos by Loni Anderson, Roseanne Barr, Carol Burnett, Brett Butler, Rita Moreno, Marilyn Chambers, Marilyn McCoo, Deidre Hall, Elizabeth Ashley, Joan Van Ark, and Stefanie Powers.
  • Season 1 (1995)

    13 episodes

    DVD release

    Mill Creek Entertainment had secured the rights to the complete series, which was slated to be released on DVD in early 2011. In April 2011, it was announced that the DVD release has been cancelled due to "issues surrounding the source material delivery." No further information regarding the status of the source material has been released, and according to Mill Creek, the DVD's removal from the release schedule is "permanent."


    Women of the House Wikipedia