IMDb > "The 5 Mrs. Buchanans" (1994)

"The 5 Mrs. Buchanans" (1994) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1994-1995

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Release Date:
24 September 1994 (USA) See more »
The story of 4 daughters-in-law...And the mother of all mothers-in-law
Four sisters-in-law struggle to deal with small town life and their overbearing mother-in-law. Full summary »
User Reviews:
A light precursor to Desperate Housewives See more (9 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 5 of 8)

Judith Ivey ... Alexandria 'Alex' Buchanan (17 episodes, 1994-1995)

Beth Broderick ... Delilah Buchanan (17 episodes, 1994-1995)

Harriet Sansom Harris ... Vivian Buchanan (17 episodes, 1994-1995)

Charlotte Ross ... Bree Buchanan (17 episodes, 1994-1995)

Eileen Heckart ... Mother Emma Buchanan (17 episodes, 1994-1995)

Series Directed by
Linda Day (9 episodes, 1994-1995)
David Trainer (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
John Sgueglia (3 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Writing credits
Marc Cherry (17 episodes, 1994-1995)
Jamie Wooten (17 episodes, 1994-1995)
Tracy Gamble (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
Richard Vaczy (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
Nancylee Myatt (3 episodes, 1994-1995)
Joey Murphy (3 episodes, 1994)
John Pardee (3 episodes, 1994)
David Flebotte (2 episodes, 1994-1995)

Series Produced by
Jan Siegelman .... supervising producer (17 episodes, 1994-1995)
Tracy Gamble .... co-executive producer (16 episodes, 1994-1995)
Nancylee Myatt .... producer (16 episodes, 1994-1995)
Richard Vaczy .... co-executive producer (16 episodes, 1994-1995)
Marc Cherry .... executive producer (8 episodes, 1994-1995)
Jamie Wooten .... executive producer (8 episodes, 1994-1995)
Coral Hawthorne .... associate producer (3 episodes, 1994-1995)

Jordan Reed .... assistant producer (unknown episodes)
Series Original Music by
Steven Cahill (17 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Cinematography by
Dan Kuleto (16 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Film Editing by
Mike Cole (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Casting by
Allison Jones (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Production Design by
David Sackeroff (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Set Decoration by
Greg J. Grande (1 episode, 1994)
Series Costume Design by
Judy Evans (3 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Makeup Department
Jennifer Bell .... hair stylist (1 episode, 1994)
Cheri Montesanto .... makeup artist (1 episode, 1994)
Paula Sutor .... makeup artist (1 episode, 1995)
Linda Trainoff .... hair stylist (1 episode, 1995)
Series Production Management
Joey Craine .... production manager (3 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wendy Neckels .... associate director (4 episodes, 1994-1995)

Rosario Roveto Jr. .... assistant director (unknown episodes)
Series Art Department
Dave Crockett .... property master / propmaster (3 episodes, 1994-1995)
Julie Kaye Fanton .... assistant art director (3 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Sound Department
Fred Tator .... re-recording mixer / post production sound / ... (17 episodes, 1994-1995)
John Bickelhaupt .... post production sound / post-production sound (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
Kerry Boggio .... production sound (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Howard Nugent .... lighting director (14 episodes, 1994-1995)

Steven Castaneda .... dimmer operator (unknown episodes)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Barbara Yokonji .... key costumer (2 episodes, 1994-1995)
Series Location Management
Mark Fifer .... location manager (1 episode, 1994)
Series Other crew
Tom Rotolo .... production assistant (17 episodes, 1994-1995)
Bruce Bryant .... main title design (16 episodes, 1994-1995)
James Castle .... main title design (16 episodes, 1994-1995)
Carol Johnsen .... main title design (16 episodes, 1994-1995)
Rosario Roveto Jr. .... stage manager (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
Robert Spina .... script supervisor (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
Sabrina Wind .... production coordinator / assistant to executive producers (4 episodes, 1994-1995)
David Flebotte .... story editor (3 episodes, 1994-1995)
Joey Murphy .... executive story editor (3 episodes, 1994-1995)
John Pardee .... executive story editor (3 episodes, 1994-1995)
Michael Patrick King .... creative consultant (2 episodes, 1994)
Kent Zbornak .... stage manager (2 episodes, 1994)

Sharon Adelman .... assistant to writer (unknown episodes)
Cindy Deukmejian .... unspecified assistant (unknown episodes)
Jason Gladstone .... production assistant (unknown episodes)
Max Joffe .... assistant to writer (unknown episodes)
Christopher Kitrinos .... production assistant (unknown episodes)
Laura Perkins-Brittain .... script coordinator (unknown episodes)
Jordan Reed .... unspecified assistant (unknown episodes)
Carol Riggins .... animal trainer (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
30 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

When producers were casting for the part of her character's husband, Harriet Sansom Harris suggested Richard Poe, who won the role.See more »
[Opening her shower gift]
Bree:Oh my gosh! It's a microwave!
Mother Buchanan:My friend, Beverly Davis - she got one just like it. Within a month, she was dead. Draw your own conclusion.
See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
A light precursor to Desperate Housewives, 18 January 2016
Author: VinnieRattolle from United States

Four sisters-in-law with little in common share deep friendships, thanks in part to their dealings with Mother Buchanan, their cantankerous mother-in-law. Alex is a quick-witted, sharp-tongued Jew who is married to eldest son Roy, a school principal. The den-mother of the group, she delights in trading barbs with Mother Buchanan. Delilah is a ditsy, busty former stripper who fell in love with crusading preacher Charles. Status-conscious Vivian is continuously exasperated by her twin sons and is stuck in a passionless marriage to stuffy Ed. New to the group is Bree, a beautiful, self-involved, seemingly-airheaded former Disneyland employee, who's naive concerning her new marriage to Jesse, but seems to have more going on in her head than she's credited for. Mother Buchanan is a stoic, gravely-voiced passive-aggressive (sometimes without the passive part) nightmare of a woman who intentionally tries to make the people around her miserable, but she has occasional flashes of humanity.

Co-creator Marc Cherry worked on a handful of failed sitcoms before finding success with "Desperate Housewives," but this is probably the closest to his big hit in terms of tone and story. We have a group of vastly different women living in suburbia, dealing with various real-life issues, experiencing bizarre adventures and spouting off venomous insults. Aside from the murder-mystery angle, the biggest difference in the two shows is that the Buchanan husbands, who were often spoken of, were seldom seen. Not surprisingly, several cast members went on to appear on the later series. Everyone expected the Buchanan ladies to have a hit on their hands... except CBS, which buried the show on Saturday nights.

Interestingly, Eileen Heckart admitted she wanted the role of Mother Buchanan because it gave her the opportunity "to play the bitch," but the renowned stage actress had difficulty adjusting to the fast-paced world of sitcoms, where dialogue can be changed in an instant. You'd hardly know judging from her wonderfully campy performance, in which her every syllable seems deliberately and appropriately punched. She and the rest of the cast all had remarkable chemistry, and each of their characters were uniquely lovable.

Looking at the show more than 20 years later, it's a little dated. Life was simpler before everyone was digitally connected which, by today's standards, makes some of the gossipy situations and revelations seem unnaturally slow to pass. There's the occasional pop-culture reference or discussed incident (such as Alex's stint streaking) which date the show to another time, and it suffers from hideous mid-90s color schemes and fashions.

Those minor nitpicks aside, there's really sharp writing, incredible characterizations and a lot of heart. It's really quite a shame that CBS didn't have more faith in it because it certainly had the potential to have been a long-running hit.

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