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August 30, 2015

Short-Lived Shows: Day By Day - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted May 8th 2008 12:04PM

Day By DayThis must be Short-Lived Sitcom week. Yesterday I told you about Married People, and today it's Day By Day.

This was a short-lived show on NBC (ran for 33 episodes in 1988-89). It was about Brian and Kate Harper, a professional couple (Doug Sheehan from Knot's Landing played stockbroker Brian, and Linda Kelsey from Lou Grant played lawyer Kate) who decided to open an in-home day care center. Their teen son Ross was played by C.B. Barnes, who played Greg in the Brady Bunch movies and starred in the Starman TV series and Malcolm and Eddie.

But I'd like to talk to you about the two other females in the cast. Two that went on to much bigger things later in their careers.

Courtney Thorne-Smith, who can currently be seen in According To Jim, played the Harpers' assistant Kristin. She always teased Ross, who was always trying to get into her pants woo her romantically. I developed an incredible crush on Ms. Thorne-Smith when this show debuted. A crush that has matched since only by the likes of Amy Sedaris and Tina Fey.

And who played Eileen Swift, the Harpers' driven, sarcastic, career-oriented friend who didn't do too well with kids? Julia Louis-Dreyfus! This was a couple of years before the Seinfeld pilot was shot. You can see bits of Elaine in the Eileen character (wow, just noticed how similar the names are).

This was truly a funny, pleasant show, well-written and well done all around. I didn't realize that the show was created by Gary David Goldberg (Family Ties, Brooklyn Bridge, many other shows) and Andy Borowitz, who used to write for The Facts of Life and now is a New Yorker writer and TV commentator. He was also in a humor group I used to belong to way back in the dark ages of the web. I had no idea he co-created this.

This is, unfortunately, one of those shows that will probably be lost to time. It will probably not be released on DVD (despite the later successes of Louis-Dreyfus and Thorne-Smith), and you can't even find it on AOL Video or Hulu.

Below is the opening for the show (thank God for YouTubers who put this stuff online). Notice how Elaine-esque Julia Louis-Dreyfus is. WARNING: IF YOU LISTEN TO THE THEME SONG YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF INEXPLICABLY SINGING IT LATER TODAY, PERHAPS WHEN YOU'RE MAKING DINNER OR DOING LAUNDRY. CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK.

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I remember an episode in which Kate and Ross spent the episode differentiating "implied" from "inferred". It was educational! At the end of the episode Kate used the word "implied" and Ross said, "Don't you mean 'inferred'?" Then the laugh track replied.

Here's a suggestion for a show retrospective: Herman's Head, starring Hank Azaria.

May 11 2008 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved this show, and everything with C.B. Barnes. He is bitchin' and awesome. I want to make out with him for seven hours. I wish he would come to my house and hang out with me.
When I was 12 years old he sent me a reply to one of my fan letters as well as an autographed picture.
C.B., Chris, whatever you want me to call you: if you come to my house I will make it worth your while.

May 09 2008 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As I was reading the article I wondered if this was the show that had the awesome Brady Bunch episode. Thanks for your comments confirming this. Great show!

May 09 2008 at 1:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked this show too. I used to watch it during the day when I stayed home from school as a kid. Never realized it ran so few eps. Surprised it was syndicated.

May 08 2008 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Interesting that both women who went on to greater stardom had hyphenated last names. Maybe the other cast members should have tried that, too.

May 08 2008 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Whalen

One of the memories I have of this show is they did a small Brady Bunch parody during an episode. The son in this show played Greg and you could see it was an amazing fit. Sure enough when the BB movie came out, he played Greg. :-)

May 08 2008 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

33 Episodes? When Cult fandoms are formed around a dozen-or-so episodes, and Fox gives quality shows three airings ("Wonderfalls"), 33 episodes is a more-than-fair-shot by Twenty-First Century standards.

I'm not sure it qualifies as "short lived," merely forgotten. And maybe that's for a reason.

May 08 2008 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was a big fan of the show back in the day - thought C.B. was hilarious and Courtney Thorne-Smith was um... well, they were...spectacular?

(insert a thanks for the mammaries joke here)

May 08 2008 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of my favorite opening credits for a sitcom. Great music, a little arty with all the shots of the kid's stuff, and very cheery and uplifting. It was a decent show, too--I actually knew Julia L-D's name from it, and recognized her in "Seinfeld" from this role. Too bad I really can't stand "Christine"...I gave it a try, but it just grated on me.

May 08 2008 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, a one-minute intro! Nowadays all we get is "My name is Earl". More time to sell commercials, I guess.

May 08 2008 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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