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I am sad as I'm sure many others are to learn of the death of Richard Mulligan (1932-2000), he died this past year of cancer at 67. When I read the news I felt somber then I remembered the good times the "Empty Nest" days and I type this comment as a tribute to him. "Empty Nest" was one of the few TV-series: in my lifetime that I watched together with my family and received enjoyment. A Saturday night tradition. Having struck ratings gold with the Miami-based "Miami Vice" and "The, Golden Girls", NBC scored again with this sunny sitcom based in the Sunshine City. Like "The, Golden Girls", it featured a star of the 70's Richard Mulligan as a generous and heartwarming worrywart Dr. Harry Weston, and his only family consisted of two grown daughters Carol Weston (Dinah Manoff) and Barbara Weston (Kristy McNichol). Rounding the cast out were Harry's hick hillbilly southern nurse LaVerne (Park Overall) and a nerd and inept neighbor Charley (David Leisure) who supposedly worked on a cruise ship but would always splash and deadbeat into the Weston's kitchen. "Empty Nest" was a great comedy I know I got annoyed from time to time by putting up with the neurotic Carol and sarcastic LaVerne. Put those minor problems aside Richard Mulligan made this show a hit with his wit and comedic ability at the same time being the generous and serious Dr. Harry Weston. I know people think that producers just go to some little town and find a dippy person, but acting takes great skill and Richard Mulligan proved that on "Empty Nest". I also wish that this show like it's Miami counterpart "The, Golden Girls" would receive Lifetime airings as well it sure deserves it. The theme song of "Empty Nest" describes it all not just for the show but everyday life as well no matter what mysteries, problems, or things we find in life we will get the answer no matter how hard remember "Life Goes On". Finally I know we will all miss Richard Mulligan and his many talents we must remember no matter how much sadness we can find the answers and "Life Goes On".
Early on in my life, my parents would have me stay at my Grandparents if
they had somewhere to go. I became familiar with the sitcoms aimed at
people. "The Golden girls" and "Empty Nest" became fixtures for
In my opinion, "Empty Nest" was one of my faves during my early childhood. It premired on NBC in 1988, when I was 6 years old. My grandma had me watching it, and I enjoyed it.
Richard Mulligan was good as Harry Weston, a pediatrician living in Miami with his two grown daughters, Barbara and Carol. The show was a great sitcom and was actually very amusing to a little kid. I watched it its entire run, and still remember Richard Mulligan, especially in his passing, as the gravely voiced gentle doctor.
I wish I could find this show somewhere on TV, cause it was a fixture in sitcoms!
Park Overall made this one. Flipping through channels and hearing her
was enough to get me started watching the show.
The early shows were the best. Barbara (Kristy McNichol) was needed to offset the neurotic Carol (Dinah Manoff). The show lost a lot when McNichol left.
It also lost a lot when Richard Mulligan as Dr. Harry Weston retired from his practice and started working in the storefront clinic. It was never the same after that, and Marsha Warfield as Dr. Maxine Douglas added little to it.
The show was a spin-off of Golden Girls about their neighbor, Dr. Harry Weston, a widower and doctor, who lived down the street with his beautiful dog, Dreyfuss. He gets frequent visitors like David Leisure who played the womanizing pilot, neighbor and friend. His daughters were played by Kristy McNichol and Dinah Manoff, both professional actresses with long histories. Of course, who could forget his nurse, Park Overall as Laverne. The show last seven seasons probably because it fell on after Golden Girls huge success. Richard Mulligan won awards for his performance and he was the heart and soul of the show's existence in my opinion. Marsha Warfield joined the cast late and there was some trouble especially with Kristy professionally and personally. Anyway the show was a lot better written than most of today's sitcoms. It dealt with lot of issues like death, relationships, etc. always with a good dose of laughter along the way. It was never the Golden Girls nor did it pretend to be and sometimes they would visit the show.
"EMPTY NEST," is my opinion, is a pure definition of must-see TV! I don't think I've seen every episode, but I still enjoyed it. It's hard to say which episode was my favorite. However, I think it was always funny when a mishap occurred in the hospital. I always laugh at that. As a matter of fact, I think just about every single one of LaVerne's (Park Overall) lines was funny. It would have been nice if Barbara (Kristy McNichol) had stayed with the show throughout its entire run. Everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. In conclusion, I hope they bring it back on the air for fans of the show to see.
Widower Dr. Harry Weston, Richard Mulligan (London Suite), was a pediatrician with two daughters: Carol Weston, who was very neurotic, played by Dinah Manoff (Ordinary People). She was a little neurotic but very funny. Barbara Weston, the young daughter Kristy McNichol (Family) was the cute and sane one in the family. Doctor Weston was a wonderful dad. Dr. Weston's receptionist was Laverne, Park Overall (Undercover Blues) a very southern woman, who was always talking about her home town Hickory. She was adorable. Charley Dietz was the neighbor who was always running out of food and everything else and was always coming over to borrow something and eat their food. When David Leisure (The Brady Bunch Movie) played this part he was also making commercials for Isuzu, and he was a liar in the commercial. To some extent Carley had a bit of that edge and was a complete womanizer. The Westons lived next door to the Golden Girls, and sometimes one of them would come by and make guest appearances. One of them was Estelle Getty (Golden Girls) Sophia Petrillo, the little old lady who took her pocket book everywhere including to bed. As in every family show the Westons had a cute dog. This was a nice series. I have found memories of it.
It's difficult to find great comedy without being to risky for some people.
Shows such as Seinfeld, Golden Girls, and Empty Nest can always light a
smile on anybody.
I really liked David Leisure's character on this show "Charlie". He would just walk in the neighbors house grab a beer and off he went. He was so stupid and inept, he was funny.
Park Overall and Marsha Warfield added character to the show as well.
It did what TV supposed to do, make you laugh and forget about your problems.
Richard Mulligans passing was a great loss.
Empty Nest was one of my favorite sitcoms growing up, I was exposed to
Empty Nest as a preteen quite simply because I was a fan of The Golden
Girls. Empty Nest was a sort of quasi-spin off of The Golden Girls. A
little piece of trivia but you can actually see the original concept of
Empty Nest during Season 2 of The Golden Girls in the episode "Empty
Nest". The original concept had veteran character actors Rita Rudner
and Paul Dooley playing a couple coping with their children all leaving
home. Thank god they didn't go with this original concept as it was
dreadful. After poor audience response they re-tooled the show as a
showcase for Mulligan, a successful widower doctor with two very
different daughters still living at home.
Late in Season 2 the character of Barbara (Kristy McNicol) was written off the show allegedly because McNicol was diagnosed with Severe Bipolar Disorder. Thankfully though we would be reunited with the character of Barbara in the shows series finale. Her departure however was rather unfortunate as she was a good counter to the character of Carol, who was a neurotic psychological mess. Park Overall was the true firecracker of the show. She was easily the funniest character and her scenes seemed to always elevate an episode.
Empty Nest was part of the infamous "Miami Trilogy" which aired for several years on NBC Saturday nights. Empty Nest, The Golden Girls, and Nurses (All shows created by Susan Harris by the way) were all part of the same "universe", so to speak. They all took place in the same Miami, various characters from the shows lived & worked near or with one another and guest spots among characters appearing on the other shows was not uncommon. Even Estelle Getty (The Golden Girls feisty elderly lady Sophia) joined the cast in it's final 2 seasons. However during these last two seasons the show "Jumped The Shark" when main character Dr. Harry Weston left his job at the hospital and started a free clinic in a "not-so-nice" neighborhood with fellow doctor, Marsha Warfield (Of Night Court fame). Empty Nest remains one of my favorite sitcoms from that era. I have heard mixed things about a possible DVD release. Despite the show lasting 7 seasons and consistently being in the Nielsen Top 10 a DVD release is probably unlikely any time in the near future considering the show has become all but forgotten. I won't forget though.
Empty Nest has always been my favorite sitcom. I called Disney several
times and a few friends have also called them but it is not on the list
( they have planned for the next 12 months.)
they give no reason for not releasing it on DVD. Say get more people to write. Unfortunately people give up after a while.
I had some on tape which were stolen and now only have a few--- Dreyfus and puppies is one.
it is frustrating as cannot understand why not released on DVD. Any ideas? A sweet sitcom with no angry or unkind plots. Good family viewing.
A spin-off of "The Golden Girls," Touchstone's 1988 series "Empty Nest"
took place in Miami also, and it was a funny show that ran on NBC
Saturday nights (?) Sorry, it's been a while since seeing this!!!!!
I haven't seen this in years, but here's one thing that I do remember: the dog at the beginning that's licking on the camera always made me smile!!!!! I also do remember that it took place on a beach, too. Anyone else remember this?
I liked this show because it was funny. Like Disney's cartoon shows, Touchstone's early shows were funny and were things that the whole family could enjoy, not like the junk that they put out today. This show was an example of their goodness!!!!!
"Empty Nest" will NEVER leave you feeling empty in your heart!!!!!
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