About Designing Women
Four distinctly different women form a work family at an Atlanta design firm in this highly rated and critically acclaimed comedy Designing Women.
Actress and singer Dixie Carter stars as Julia, fiercely feminist founder of Sugarbaker and Associates. Delta Burke is her partner Suzanne, a self-centered beauty queen with a more conservative worldview than her older sister. Annie Potts is Mary Jo, a recently divorced designer with a teen daughter and young son. Jean Smart is naïve office manager Charlene. And Meshach Taylor is Anthony, whose “unfortunate incarceration” as a teenager is the subject of many a tall tale. Supporting players include Hal Holbrook as Julia’s beau Reese Watson and Alice Ghostley as flighty family friend Bernice.
Designing Women broke ground with stories about extra-marital relationships, body image, and illness (including a memorable episode about a friend who was HIV-positive). But while the sitcom often tackled tough topics, it was never preachy. Creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason wrote roughly half the series’ episodes and her authorship is strongly felt.
The series received 18 Emmy nominations, including acting noms for Burke, Taylor and Ghostley. Burke and Smart left after five seasons. The series continued for two more years with replacements, but without the same spark.
Notable guest stars: Dolly Parton, Gerald McRaney, Scott Bakula, Tony Goldwyn, Patrick Warburton, Michael Jeter, Kim Zimmer, Mary Ann Mobley, Jackee Harry, Ron Glass, Della Reese, Sherman Hemsley
Created and written by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (Emmy nominee). Direction by Harry Thomason, Jack Shea (Emmy nominees). Costume design by Cliff Chally (Emmy nominee). Editing by Roger Dondelli, Judy Burke (Emmy nominees). Sound mixing by Larry Lasota (Emmy nominee). Hairstyling by Judy Crown, Monique DeSart (Emmy winners).
Click here to check out getTV's 30 favorite episodes of Designing Women!