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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 29, 1986
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8
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  • Starring: Jean Smart, Delta Burke, Meshach Taylor
  • Summary: Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter), Mary Jo Shively (Annie Potts), Charlene Frazier-Stillfield (Jean Smart) and Suzanne Sugarbaker (Delta Burke) are associates at their design firm, Sugarbaker and Associates. Julia Sugarbaker is the owner of Sugarbaker and Associates and is very outspoken and strong-willed. Mary Jo Shively is a divorced single-parent who is just as strong-willed as Julia, but isn't as self-confident. Charlene is the naive and trusting farm girl from Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Suzanne Sugarbaker is the self-centered ex-beauty queen who has a number of wealthy ex-husbands.

    At the end of Season 5 Delta Burke was fired from the series and Jean Smart left to pursue other goals. Two new characters were introduced: Allison Sugarbaker (Julia Duffy) and Carlene Frazier Dobber (Jan Hooks). Soon, Julia Duffy was taken out of the series and a final cast change brought in Bonnie Jean "B.J." Poteet (Judith Ivey).

    The series was very successful for CBS, lasting 7 seasons (163 episodes). Reruns from the series continue to air on Lifetime. In 1995, Delta Burke reconciled with the series creators and reprised her role of Suzanne Sugarbaker for the far less successful spin-off Women of the House, which co-starred Teri Garr and Patricia Heaton. Carter, Burke, and Bloodworth-Thomason had all previously worked together on the 1982-83 sitcom Filthy Rich, from which a lot of dialogue in Designing Women was recycled.
    Nielsen Ratings:
    (Top 30 or Better)

    #23 in the 1989- 1990 Season
    #11 in the 1990- 1991 Season
    #6 in the 1991- 1992 Season
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  • Genre(s): Comedy, Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 7, 2013
    83
    At its weakest, Designing Women tends to be preachy, with Dixie Carter given five minutes for a show-stopping lecture about some Big Issue. But most of the time, it's raucously funny.