Designing Women

Designing Women TV Show

Designing Women was a popular comedy that ran from 1986 to 1993 on CBS.  The show focused on four Southern Women and one man as they worked in an Atlanta interior design firm.  Although ratings were decent at first, they began dropping off after CBS started messing with the show’s time slot.  The show was nearly canceled before a group of devoted fans petitioned CBS to put new energy into it, and the show’s rank began to steadily increase.  The main characters were Julia Surgarbaker (Dixie Carter), Mary Jo Shively (Annie Potts), Suzanne Surgarbaker (Delta Burke), Charlene Frazier Stillfield (Jean Smart), and Anthony Bouvier (Meshach Taylor).

In this series, sisters Julia (Carter) and Suzanne (Burke) Surgarbaker start an interior design firm.  The differing personalities of the two sisters cause frequent clashes, as Julia tries to manage the business and Suzanne plays the role of principal salesperson.  After tossing in the personalities of designer Mary Jo (Potts), ex-con Anthony (Taylor), and office manager Charlene (Smart), you had a pretty funny show.  Although many of the episodes were lighthearted, there were a number that tackles topics like AIDs, abuse, racism, and homosexuality.