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Baby Talk (TV series): Wikis


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Baby Talk
Format Comedy
Starring Julia Duffy (Season 1)
Mary Page Keller (Season 2)
Tony Danza
Paul Jessup
Ryan Jessup
George Clooney (Season 1)
William Hickey (Season 1)
Lenny Wolpe (Season 1)
Tom Alan Robbins (Season 1)
Michelle Ashlee (Season 1)
Polly Bergen (Season 2)
Scott Baio (Season 2)
Francesca P. Roberts (Season 2)
Wayne Collins (Season 2)
Alicia Johnson (Season 2)
Cecelia Johnson (Season 2)
Vernee Watson-Johnson (Season 2)
Jessica Lundy (Season 2)
Opening theme "Bread and Butter"
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 2
Running time 30 min.
Original channel ABC
Original run March 8, 1991 – May 17, 1992

Baby Talk is the name of an ABC sitcom that aired from 1991 until 1992 as part of ABC's TGIF lineup. The show was loosely based on the popular Look Who's Talking movie series and was adapated for television by Ed. Weinberger. Amy Heckerling created original characters for the series while using key creative and script elements from Look Who's Talking, which she had written and directed.

The series' theme song was a modernized, slightly re-written version of "Bread and Butter", a 1964 hit by The Newbeats. A few lines in both the chorus and stanzas were tinkered with to help illustrate the show's premise (the most obvious example being "..that's what mommy feeds him, 'cause he's her little man"). The first season had the main vocals done in a fashion similar to the original Newbeats recording, a raspy male falsetto. The second season had these vocals switched to those done by a high female voice; however, the mid-range male sing of the chorus remained.


Synposis & changing formats

Baby Talk featured the adventures of Baby Mickey (played by Paul & Ryan Jessup, voiced by Tony Danza), as he commented to the audience on the misgivings and new wonders of his world. Mickey's mother, Maggie Campbell, was played by two different actresses -- Julia Duffy during the spring 1991 run, and Mary Page Keller for the show's only full season -- at different points during the series' short existence.

Baby Talk spent most of its life on ABC's TGIF, having bounced around, at one period or another, between the latter three time slots (between 8:30 and 10:00 EST) of the Friday lineup. From April to May 1991, the show even occupied Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c in an effort to help the show's success. Numerous time slot adjustments, and the massive cast and setting overhaul for season two could not even defy, or perhaps was responsible for, the marginal ratings and the critical panning Baby Talk received. In fact, results of the 1991 Electronic Media Critics' Poll voted Baby Talk the Worst Series on Television.

Connie Sellecca was the first actor cast in the role of Maggie, but, dissatisfied with the role, she quit after a few episodes had been taped. This caused Baby Talk to be delayed from its intended fall 1990 premiere to March 1991 (by then, enough episodes had been reshot with Duffy). Rare footage of the mostly unseen Sellecca version was featured in the 1990 ABC Fall Preview Show.


Season 1

In the first season, Ms. Duffy's Maggie Campbell was adjusting to life as a single mother from the start. It was explained that Mickey's father, who got Maggie pregnant while she was unmarried, had never separated from his supposed ex-wife. Maggie left the cad, but she decided to keep her baby as the one positive centerpiece from the failed relationship. Little Mickey quickly expressed out loud to viewers his realization that there was no daddy around when Maggie responded to the amorous advances of many of the single men who passed through - namely that of Joe (George Clooney), one of the construction workers renovating the Campbell's not-yet-finished New York loft. Mr. Fogarty (William Hickey) was the crew's foreman, and Howard (Lenny Wolpe), another construction worker who was always underfoot. Dr. Elliot Fleisher (Tom Alan Robbins) was Mickey's pediatrician, who also had eyes for Maggie. The doctors' office was another frequent setting in the first season, where Mickey interacted with other infants who had active, adult-like thoughts of their own. Andrea (Michelle Ashlee) was one of Dr. Fleisher's attending nurses.

Season 2

When Baby Talk returned in September 1991 for a full season order, drastic changes took place. In addition to Mary Page Keller now being in the role of Maggie, mother and son had moved, now residing in a trendy, uptown apartment in Manhattan. All other cast members, including George Clooney, were dropped from the show except for the baby Jessup twins. Polly Bergen joined the cast as Maggie's meddling mother Doris Campbell, who took great joy in co-raising Mickey while snooping around in her daughter's affairs. Scott Baio also signed on, sharing star billing with Ms. Keller, as James Halbrook, the building superintendent who became Maggie's new potential love interest. Living next door to the Campbells was sarcastic single mom Anita Craig (Francesca P. Roberts), whose infant daughter Danielle (played by Alicia and Cecelia Johnson, voiced by Vernee Watson-Johnson) also had her thoughts featured regularly in play with Mickey's. Tony Craig (Wayne Collins) was Danielle's older brother, while Susan Davis (Jessica Lundy) was Maggie's best friend and co-worker at an accounting firm.

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