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227
227 intro.jpg
Opening title sequence for 227
Genre Sitcom
Created by C.J. Banks
Bill Boulware
Starring Marla Gibbs
Alaina Reed Hall
Jackée Harry
(Seasons 1–4)
Helen Martin
Hal Williams
Regina King
Curtis Baldwin
Theme music composer Ray Colcord
Opening theme "There's No Place Like Home" performed by Marla Gibbs
Composer(s) Ray Colcord
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English.
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 116 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Marla Gibbs (1985–1986)
Ronald Rubin (1987–1988)
Bill Boulware (1987–1988)
Bob Myer (1985–1986)
Bob Young (1985–1986)
Richard Gurman (1985–1987)
George Burditt (1987–1988)
Ron Bloomberg (1985–1988)
Jack Elinson
Ray Campanella, Jr. (1985–1986)
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Embassy Television (1985–1986)
Embassy Communications (1986–1988)
ELP Communications (1988–1990)
Columbia Pictures Television (1988–1990)
Distributor Columbia Pictures Television
Columbia TriStar Domestic Television (2001)
Columbia TriStar Television
Sony Pictures Television
The Program Exchange
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run September 14, 1985 (1985-09-14) – May 6, 1990 (1990-05-06)
Status Ended
Chronology
Related shows Jackée

227 is an American situation comedy that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985 until May 6, 1990. The series starred Marla Gibbs and was produced by Embassy Television from 1985 to 1986, by Embassy Communications from 1986 until 1988, then ELP Communications through Columbia Pictures Television produced the series in its final two seasons (1988–1990).

Contents

Origins

The series was adapted from a play written in 1978 by Christine Houston about the lives of women in a predominantly black apartment building in 1950s Chicago. The setting of the series, however, was changed to present-day Washington, D.C.. The show was created as a starring vehicle for Marla Gibbs, who had become famous as the sassy maid, Florence Johnston, on The Jeffersons and had starred in Houston's play in Los Angeles. This role was similar in nature to that of tart-tongued Florence; Gibbs' character, housewife Mary Jenkins, loved a good gossip and often spoke what she thought, with sometimes not-so-favorable results.

According to Gibbs, when 227 was originally sold to NBC, the show was targeted to begin in 1986, as Gibbs was thought not to be immediately available, with The Jeffersons still on the air on CBS. When The Jeffersons was abruptly and unexpectedly canceled in 1985, however, Gibbs was free to begin, and 227 went into production a year earlier than had been previously planned.

Synopsis

227 followed the lives of people in a middle-class apartment building in Washington, D.C. At the center was Marla Gibbs, who portrayed Mary Jenkins, a nosy, tart-tongued housewife. Hal Williams played her husband, Lester, a construction worker, and Regina King played their studious 14-year-old daughter, Brenda; it was King's first significant acting role.

Also cast in 227 was Jackée Harry as the building's sexy vamp, Sandra Clark, who constantly bickered back and forth with Mary about their respective views on life. Helen Martin arrived to play Pearl Shay, a crotchety-but-kind busybody neighbor, who was always known for snooping. Pearl had a grandson named Calvin Dobbs, played by Curtis Baldwin, whom Brenda had a crush on and would finally date later in the series' run.

Alaina Reed Hall played kindhearted best friend to all, Rose Lee Holloway. She had a daughter named Tiffany, played by Kia Goodwin, who disappeared after the first season. Halfway through the first season, Rose became the unexpected landlord of the building after the building's stingy slumlord Mr. Calloway (who was constantly mentioned but never seen onscreen) died out of the blue. Rose stayed on as landlady until the fourth season.

In the first season, both Helen Martin and Curtis Baldwin, who had only been recurring stars, appeared in nearly every episode. In the second season's opening credits, Helen Martin and Curtis Baldwin share a title card, thus making them official full-time cast members. Martin has her own title for the third and fifth seasons, while Regina King and Curtis Baldwin share a title card together in those years.

By the time taping started on the third season in 1987, Jackée Harry, who had just won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress changed her stage name to simply Jackée, which she used until 1994. In the fourth season, Countess Vaughn joined the cast as Alexandria DeWitt, an 11-year-old child prodigy who becomes the Jenkins' houseguest. The following year, however, Alexandria disappeared from the show without an explanation.

By the time production on the fourth season commenced in 1988, tension between stars Gibbs and Jackée were mounting due to the show's increasing focus on the Sandra character. To keep the stars happy, Jackée was given the chance to spin off Sandra into her own show. Jackée's television pilot, entitled Jackée, found Sandra moving to New York City and finding work at a spa. NBC aired the episode in primetime on May 11, 1989. The pilot was rejected, and Jackée returned to 227 appearing only sporadically.

The show's final season saw Toukie Smith, Barry Sobel, Stoney Jackson, Kevin Peter Hall and Paul Winfield join the cast in an effort to rejuvenate the show's sagging ratings. In the end, the cast additions proved fruitless, and 227 ended its run in the spring of 1990.

Cast

Episodes

Ratings

227 had higher ratings than all other sitcoms (with the exception of The Cosby Show, as it was #1 from 1985–1990) airing at the time with a predominately Black cast during its original run on NBC, (1985–1990).[1]

  • 1985–1986: #20
  • 1986–1987: #14
  • 1987–1988: #27

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1987 BMI Film & TV Awards Won BMI TV Music Award Ray Colcord
1987 Emmy Awards Won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Jackée Harry
1988 Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Jackée Harry
1989 Golden Globe Award Nominated Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV Jackée Harry
1986 Young Artist Awards Nominated Best Young Actress Starring in a New Television Series Regina King
1987 Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress in a Long Running Series Comedy or Drama Regina King
Exceptional Performance by a Young Actor, Guest Starring in a Television, Comedy or Drama Series Curtis Baldwin
1989 Best Young Actress Featured, Co-starring, Supporting, Recurring Role in a Comedy or Drama Series or Special Countess Vaughn

Series syndication

The show went into syndication in the fall of 1990. It has previously aired on cable's BET, TV One and TV Land. The show is currently distributed by The Program Exchange. Selected Minisodes from the first season are available to view for free on Crackle.

DVD release

On September 28, 2004, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the complete first season of 227 on DVD in Region 1.

Season #Ep Release Date
Season 1 22 September 28, 2004

References

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

227 is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from September 14, 1985 to May 6, 1990. It revolved around the lives of the mainly African American occupants of a Washington, D.C. apartment building numbered 227.

Mary Jenkins: [to Sandra Clark] I was here when you came, baby, and I will be here when you're gone!

[Mary and Rose are sitting on milk crates, gossiping on the front stoop of 227.]
Rose Lee Holloway: I heard the O'Briens had another crack in their living room wall.
Mary: Girl... [motions for her to move her crate closer] ...I heard the O'Briens got a crack in their marriage.
Rose: No!
Mary: Oh, yes!
Rose: No! I can't believe it! They just celebrated their silver anniversary!
Mary: Well, I can tell you one thing; they ain't goin' for the gold.

Rose: Sandra, at that theatrical agency you work for, do you see many celebrities?
Sandra Clark: I'm the receptionist. I see them all.
Mary: And they see all of her.

Mary: [about Sandra] Oh, she makes me sick. She sure loves to flaunt it.
Pearl Shay: [sticks her head out her window] Don't you wish you had it?
Mary: Girl, you know what they call women like that.
Pearl: Yeah. Lucky.

Brenda Jenkins: [about Calvin] Well, he's hot.
Mary: That boy's 16 and you're barely 14.
Brenda: So? When I'm 20, he'll be 22.
Mary: Fine. Call him then.

[The doorman from across the street walks over to Mary and Rose]
Doorman: It was such a shock. Mr. Calloway, dying so suddenly.
Rose: Yes, it was.
Doorman: Did he die of anything serious?
Mary: He stopped breathin'.

Mary: [to Brenda and Tiffany, Rose's daughter] You girls finish your homework?
Brenda: Yep, and you know what? I thought I just might make dinner tonight. You deserve a break.
Mary: [holds Brenda back, who was planning on walking off] You bein' awfully nice, young lady. Now just what is it you're gonna ask me that I'm not gonna like that you're gonna die if I don't do?
Tiffany Holloway: Well, we just want to know if we could go to the movies tonight.
Mary: On a school night? Did Rose say you could go?
Tiffany: She said it was all right with her if it was all right with you, and please, Mrs. Jenkins. It's with Eddie Murphy!

Lawyer: [reading Mr. Calloway's will] I, therefore, with a clear conscience, leave 227, lock, stock, and barrel... [Sandra, who is expecting to inherit the building, stands up and smiles] ...to the woman who makes the best apple pie I've ever tasted.
Sandra: Apple pie?! We never used apple pie!

Mary: [on the phone with the telephone company] But I didn't make the call...I'd remember talking an hour to Hawaii...Do I sound like I have relatives in Hawaii?...Do I sound like I'm gonna pay for this call?...Well, you do that. You call those people and ask them if they know me. Because if they do, I know who we'll be droppin' in on this Christmas.

Sandra: You know your problem, Mary? You just don't have enough couth. That's why I'm thinkin' of maybe goin' condo. Get a better class of people in here.
Mary: I'm glad to hear it. When are you moving?

[Pearl returns from her high school reunion]
Mary: Oh, Pearl!
Pearl: Good mornin'.
Mary: So, how was the reunion?
Pearl: Well, fine, if you like break dancing.
Mary: Break dancing? At your reunion?
Pearl: Uh-huh. Every time we danced, somethin' broke.

[Sandra joins Rose and Mary on the stoop.]
Sandra: Sandra is here.
Mary: Should we kneel?

Sandra: I lost my job. I got fired yesterday. I'm out of work! They showed me the door and said go! Oooooooh! [sticks out lip, looks at Mary] Thank goodness I have friends like you... [switches to Rose] ...I mean you.

[Sandra is late to a dinner Mary fixed for her]
Sandra: I hope I'm not too early.
Mary: Believe me, you're not.
Sandra: Oh, good. It's so gauche to be early. I just hate gauche, don't you?
Mary: Gauche is fine when it's on time.

Sandra: Now, Mary, it would be a lovely world if everybody went around sticking notes on cars. "Excuse me, I believe I hit your car." "Pardonnez-moi, I may have smashed your window and stolen your radio." But they don't, and that's why God created insurance companies, Mary.

Sandra: Mary, I had plans for this building. I was going to give it class. Distinction. Jacuzzis.

Various Characters (Rose, Lester, etc.): My name's Bennett, and I ain't in it!

[Brenda is surprised that her father still isn't back from a basketball game]
Brenda: Honestly, Mom, I don't understand how men can spend a good part of the night watching a bunch of boring, self-centered showoffs.
Mary: I know.
[Brenda looks at her watch]
Brenda: Hey, mom, it's nine o'clock! Dynasty's on!

Brenda: Mom, can I go upstairs to Tiffany's and watch television?
Mary: On a school night?
Brenda: It's "oldies-but-goodies" night on MTV. They're showing Michael Jackson and Prince!

[On Family Feud, Sandra is picked to play in the Fast Money round.]
Ray Combs: Sandra, you have 15 seconds to answer these questions and win $10,000.
Sandra: Ooh, I'm so nervous! Can you imagine what I can do with $10,000?
Mary: [dryly] Yeah, pay for your funeral.
Ray Combs: You're not gonna share it with the rest of your teammates?
Sandra: Oh. Oh, yeah. Can you imagine what I can do with $9,000?
Mary: Have a cheaper funeral.
Ray Combs: All right, don't be nervous, say the first thing that comes to your mind. Name something--
Sandra: Eggs!
Ray Combs: Let me finish. Name something you must have in order to live.
Sandra: A man.
Ray Combs: One of the seven wonders of the world.
Sandra: A rich man.
Ray Combs: Something that improves with age.
Sandra: A young man.
Ray Combs: A Christmas present you'd exchange.
Sandra: A...old man.
Ray Combs: A condemned person's last request.
Sandra: Any man!
[buzzer dings, Sandra smiles and crosses her fingers]
Ray Combs: That's 15 seconds. Let's see how you did. Something you must have in order to live. You said a man. Our survey said...
[buzzer makes abrupt "wrong" sound effect, Sandra continues to be hopeful and crosses her fingers]
Ray Combs: Zero. Your second answer was a rich man. Our survey said...
[buzzer makes abrupt "wrong" sound effect, Sandra looks sad but still crosses her fingers]
Ray Combs: Zero. Third answer was a young man. Our survey said...
[buzzer makes abrupt "wrong" sound effect]
Ray Combs: Oh. A Christmas present you'd exchange. You said an old man. Our survey said...
[buzzer makes abrupt "wrong" sound effect]
Ray Combs: Ugh. A condemned person's last request. You said any man. Our survey said...
[buzzer makes abrupt "wrong" sound effect]
Ray Combs: Goose egg.
Mary: [claps] Hey! When you're hot, you're hot, and when you're not, you not!
Ray Combs: Okay, Sandra, looks like you got a perfect zero.
Sandra: [pouting] How can a perfect 10 get a perfect zero?
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