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The Nanny - Series of the 90s

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The Nanny - Series of the 90s

 

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This highly popular television sitcom of the 90s co-produced by Sternin & Fraser Ink, Inc. and Highschool Sweethearts in association with TriStar Television aired on CBS from November 3, 1993 to May 12, 1999 for 146 episodes of 22-24 minutes each divided into 6 seasons.

It featured Fran Fine (Fran Drescher), a Queens native who casually becomes the nanny of three children of the New York City upper class.

Fran was a sexy, sassy spitfire whose unconventional wisdom and blunt outlook on life touched the hearts and minds of all those around her—whether they wanted to be touched or not.

In the first episode of the series Fran lost her job at the bridal shop that her boyfriend owned in Queens,and as if that weren't enough, he also dumped her. So she temporarily took a job selling cosmetics door to door, until she happened upon the upscale residence of new widower Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy). Always a good (and uniquely-pitched) talker, Fran got the available nanny position for Sheffield's three children, Margaret "Maggie" (Nicholle Tom), Brighton (Benjamin Salisbury) and Grace (Madeline Zima), despite the fact her qualifications were quite less than the required.

Maxwell was a rather sophisticated man as well as handsome, but he spent too much time on the job as a Broadway theater producer, a fact that Fran knew all too well and noted him that he wasn't spending enough time with his children.

The family's butler was prim and proper, but he and the new nanny immediately became friends. He eventually would suggest and do all kind of things to make Fran and Maxwell realize that they loved each other.

Maxwell’s had also a work associate, C.C. Babcock (Lauren Lane), an arrogant and affected socialite who competed with Fran for his affections. And in addition to the Max-competition with Fran, C.C. was also Niles' nemesis, they used to get engaged in competitions, heavy jokes to each other, as well as quarrels that always remained within a funny context for the audience.

Maggie, the eldest child, looked to Fran for motherly guidance. Brighton, The quick-witted and mischievous middle child, had an offbeat knack for humor but eventually as he grew up would mature and replace his childish pranks with adolescents activities like looking for girls; Fran would help him quite a lot on that task, with adivises that sometimes worked and sometime not so much. The youngest of the family, Grace was the polar opposite of Fran, but because of that, the two had the most to teach each other and indeed that is what happened as their relationship evolved, to the point of finding a maternal figure on Fran becoming almost like a second-mother to her as well as to Maggie and Brighton.

The main structure of the show was made up of conflicting elements of each character's own comedy which were usually played off against one another, like Fran and Maxwell, Niles and C.C., Maggie and Brighton.

Eventually as the series continued the relationship of Maxwell and Fran grew to the point of falling in love, getting married and having birth to twins. So throughout the six seasons we see how a dumped and destitute cosmetics saleswoman became a nanny and then an uptown mother and wife.

The opening catchy theme song, The Nanny Named Fran, written and performed by Ann Hampton Callaway, also reminded and described shortly to the audience what was the story of the series about; going like this:

She was working in a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens,
'Til her boyfriend kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes,
What was she to do?
Where was she to go?
She was out on her fanny..."

"Now the father finds her beguiling (watch out C.C.)!
And the kids are actually smiling (such joie de vivre)!
She's the lady in red when everybody else is wearing tan...
The flashy girl from Flushing, the Nanny named Fran!"

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