Charlie & Co. (TV Series 1985–1986) Poster


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Not so bad
athomas122 July 2002
This show wasn't so bad, as the previous reviewer would let you believe, but come on, it was going up against The Cosby Show. I liked it because it focused on more than just the kids in the show and some of the episodes were pretty darn funny.
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Who remembers this black sitcom from the 1980's?
rcj536526 January 2011
For those who may not remember this sitcom from the 1980's,the short-lived situation comedy "Charlie and Company" was CBS' answer to cash in on the success of "The Cosby Show",which was a ratings monster for NBC. And two,CBS was also trying to bring comedian-actor Flip Wilson back to weekly television after the huge success of his prime time variety-musical-comedy series "The Flip Wilson Show" which became one of the biggest hits to come out of the 1970's. However,the short-lived series "Charlie and Company" was comedian-actor Flip Wilson attempt to come back to television and also was his first attempt at doing a weekly series. Unlike "The Cosby Show",which ran for eight seasons at NBC,the series "Charlie and Company",lasted only one season. Only 18 episodes were produced for CBS-TV from September 18,1985 until the final episode of the series on May 16,1986. "Charlie and Company" was basically Flip Wilson first and only attempt at doing a weekly series. Not only CBS brought Flip Wilson back to television,but brought back R&B songstress Gladys Knight to television in which was her first and only attempt at starring in a weekly series. But did it work? And did it last? Nope. Gladys Knight had appeared on a weekly series when she appeared as a guest star on Flip Wilson's variety show during the early 1970's as a member of Gladys Knight and the Pips.

The series followed a middle class African-American family that lived on the South Side of Chicago. Charlie Richmond(Flip Wilson)was a black middle class employee of the Division of Highways for the state of Illinois,who juggled his work and home life with his lovely wife Diana,who was an elementary school teacher(played by Gladys Knight). The couple had three children,the older child,sixteen year-old "Junior" (Kristoff St. John),the teenage daughter Lauren(Fran Robinson),and the baby child,nine year-old Robert(Jaleel White). Actress Della Reese joined the cast during the latter half of the season as Charlie's sister Aunt Rachel.

Some of the episodes were extremely funny in their own right,and some were not,courtesy of Flip Wilson's outrageous comedy and punchlines,and it didn't help in the ratings neither. However,this sitcom provided a stepping stone for two of the actors who would go on to bigger and better things in their careers....Kristoff St. John(who was also seen in another short-lived series prior to this was the TV-version of "The Bad News Bears")would go on to make a career in daytime television as Neil Winters on the popular daytime serial "The Young and the Restless". And as for Jaleel White,his biggest triumph career boost was yet to come four years later on another black sitcom series "Family Matters" which became one of the biggest hits that came out of the mid-1980's that lasted no more than nine and a half seasons on the air and brought White fame and fortune as next door nerd Steve Urkel. Whatever happened to the career boost of Fran Robinson? Whatever happened to Fran Robinson?

"Charlie and Company" faulted in the ratings and it shows in some of the episodes. CBS put this sitcom on its Wednesday night schedule which it plummeted in the ratings when they put this half-hour sitcom opposite the ABC powerhouse prime time soap drama "Dynasty" which clobbered it. In some of the episodes the writing was beyond horrible,but during its run the acting(especially coming from Gladys Knight)went from bad to worst,and it is the reason why this show was canceled after 18 episodes. It remains one of the lost black sitcoms of the 1980's,and it hasn't been heard from since.
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Wasn't All That Bad!
Syl20 March 2007
I remember when CBS and ABC had to have their answer to the huge success of the Cosby Show. CBS brought Flip Wilson and Gladys Knight as a middle class African American show living in an apartment with children played by Jaleel White who became better known as super nerd, Urkel on Family Matters and Kristoff St. John who is on Young and the Restless as Neil Winters. The show also included the wonderful Della Reese. The cast was first rate but the writing was forgettable at best. I don't recall much except that the network was trying to cash in on Cosby's success. Either way, the first rate cast moved on to better themselves.
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Cruel and inhumane punishment.
14jade15 January 2002
I try not to be too harsh, but this is one time I must make an exception. This show has to be one of the most horrific I can ever remember. I mean, I actually felt physical pain from the one episode I watched. Even then, I didn't make it though the entire 30 minutes. I truly feel sorry for the actors who were cast for this Titanic, especially the late comedian Flip Wilson and famed singer Gladys Knight. The actors, for the most part, were able to move on, thank God. They shouldn't have to be held accountable, and at least they got a check or two for their humiliation. I blame the writers, who are conveniently left off of the credits. I know it was quite embarrassing, but they could at least admit to their mistake. For those of you who can't remember, this was CBS' answer to `The Cosby Show,' and a sorry one it was. I can still hear the rip from `The Cosby Show' cloth in 2002.

I'm sure this show might catch the interest of some die-hard Steve Urkel fans, but don't worry about catching any reruns soon. It won't even make the cut on BET.
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The Promo Jokes Were An Absolute Turn-Off
richard.fuller17 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The jokes used in the advertisements were unbelievably juvenile.

In one, Flip is sitting at the breakfast table with the kids and Gladys Knight as his wife, had set some food on the table and was walking away and Flip said, "you devil, you," as she walked away.

Another one, they were camping in the living room or something, they were all in sleeping bags, and Flip yells out, "who put the lock on your mother's sleeping bag?" I don't know if it was supposed to be romantic, but it was very immature for a man with three kids to behave like this.

When Della Reese joined the show, she was as an antagonist to Flip, her son-in-law, and she would say, "What happened? Did you wake up on the wrong side of your cage?" I didn't watch the show based on these promos alone. It was enough to drive anyone away.

If anyone liked it, I'm glad for them.
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What was Flip thinking? or CBS?
John Wayne Peel25 May 2008
I cannot believe that anyone has anything good to say about this show. It was BEYOND bad. Just seeing Gladys Knight trying to act is painful enough (I can't understand why anyone who can sing with such feeling can be such a horrific actor but...) I remember when this show debuted. it was clear that CBS was trying to make it's own Cosby Show clone and even the COs himself mentioned how he felt hurt by his old friend Flip Wilson doing this to him. The writing was pitiful, the acting was from bad to worse and there is nothing memorable (in a good way) about this misfire. Be glad it isn't on any video format and pray it stays that way.
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