On this day in comedy on March 22, 1988 Frank’s Place aired its last episode on CBS
TV Guide ranked this comedy-drama as #3 on the list of shows that were “Cancelled Too Soon” and the public agreed. Premiering September 14, 1987, this brainchild of CBS executive, Gregg Maday based loosely on his childhood experiences, Frank’s Place starred Tim Reid as Frank Parrish, a well-off Brown University professor who inherits his family’s New Orleans restaurant. It’s his intent to sell it, but when Frank goes back to Louisiana to make the deal the resident chef puts a spell put on him. Next thing Frank knows, his life in Rhode Island has gone down the tubes and with few options, he returns to New Orleans, rolls up his sleeves and gets to work learning how to run a restaurant. He also picks up some life lessons from the locals on black heritage, culture and class system.
Created by Hugh Wilson and executive produced by Wilson and Reid, Frank’s Place co-starred Daphne Maxwell Reid, Tony Burton, Virginia Capers, Charles Lampkin, Robert Harper and Lincoln Kilpatrick. The show was filmed on single camera format and used no laugh track (a rarity for televised comedies).
Frank’s Place was cancelled and aired its last episode on March 22, 1988. It got the last laugh, though. The short-lived series was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and a Golden Globe for Best Television Series. It won an Emmys for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (Hugh Wilson), Outstanding Sound Mixing and Outstanding Guest Performer (Beah Richards). It was also awarded the Humanitas Prize, The NAACP Image Award and the Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actor (Tim Reid) as well as the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. Ha!
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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