R.I.P.: Eulogy for a Television Season

Melrose Place, the once-upon-a-time camp-queen of night-time soaps, died last month. Melrose Place was 7 years old, and lived at FOX, on Monday nights.The cause of death was sagging ratings.Melrose Place was born in 1992 as a 90210 spin-off and was nearly canceled after its first-season of sweet, sincere neighbors. All this changed when Heather Locklear moved in -- in 1993. Her scripted cat-fights, prompting characters like Allison to respond, "sure, I'll file that right after I pull the knife out of my back," made the show great. At its peak Melrose Place was the centerpiece of TV parties and drinking-games. (Amanda bleaches her hair to the roots -- 1 drink (2 if you can see the dark roots); There is a believable twist in the plot -- 2 drinks; The words "wacko", "psycho", or "lunatic" is used -- 1 drink; etc.) The exodus of a majority of the original cast in the Spring of 1997 led to prolonged illness and, eventually, to the death of Melrose Place.Mourners may pay their respects at the season finale, which will air on Monday, May 24th, 8:00 pm. According to spoilers close to deceased, this final episode will feature the fake double-funerals of Amanda and Peter, who then run-off together.Mad About You, the he-said/she-said comedy that NBC was hoping would become the new "Seinfeld," died last month. Mad About You was 7 years old, and lived at NBC on Monday nights. Former addresses include Tuesday and Thursday night.The cause of death was sagging ratings.Mad About You is credited with introducing such phrases into the American vernacular as, "not so much," "this is what I'm saying," and "never going to happen, my friend!" Mad About You will also be remembered as the show that simultaneously employed an Emmy-award winning actress (Helen Hunt) and an Oscar-winning actress (Helen Hunt).Friends and mourners are invited to attend the final service, which will be written and directed by Helen Hunt. The service is scheduled to run for one hour on NBC, Monday, May 24th. Mad About You is survived by Jeanie Garafalo, who will play the Buchman's grown-up daughter "Mabel" in this final service.The Nanny, which has been maligned as an "Amos and Andy" for Jews by some, and compared favorably to "I Love Lucy" by loyal fans, died last month. The Nanny was 6 years old, and lived at CBS, on Wednesday nights.The cause of death was Fran Drescher, who says she is ready for a normal life of cooking and going to the supermarket.The Nanny was recently the centerpiece of controversy at a meeting of the Morning Star Commission, a group of 30 Jewish professionals in TV and film, organized under the auspices of Hadassah. The commission found that focus groups identified Jewish women characters on television as "pushy, controlling, selfish, materialistic, shallow, and domineering."Nonetheless, The Nanny has had a loyal following. A group of viewers calling themselves "Oys in the Hood," are pleading with CBS to resurrect the show.Friends and mourners are invited to attend the last viewing of The Nanny on CBS, Wednesday, May 19. The farewell service will last one hour.Home Improvement, a haven for aging he-men, which launched the careers of Pamela Lee Anderson, Tim Allen, and teen-heart-throb Jonathan Taylor Thomas, died last month. Home Improvement was 8 years old, and lived at ABC on Tuesday nights.The cause of death was sagging ratings.Viewers close to the deceased have posted their farewells on the Home Improvement Official Web Site. Angele, 11: "I will miss HOME IMPROVEMENT more than everyone in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD." Francisco, 23: "This is a good program. Here in Mexico many people see the show. Bye to everyone." April, 22: "HOME IMPROVEMENT has always made me laugh no matter how bad things were in my life. I will miss the laughter and the tears--all I can say is it's been fun!"Home Improvement is survived by rumors that Tim Allen will not have a successful film career and that Jonathan Taylor Thomas will. Viewers are invited to attend the farewell service, on ABC, Tuesday, May 25th. The service will include a ninety minute retrospective of the deceased.Already dead, but without a memorial service: Cupid and Brimstone. Still listed in critical condition: Homicide: Life on the Streets and Chicaco Hope. In serious condition: Millennium, Caroline in the City, Jesse, Veronica's Closet, Pretender, Profiler, L.A. Doctors, Promised Land, Martial Law, Two of a Kind.

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