The Nanny (1993–1999)
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What the Butler Sang 

Maxwell hears Niles singing and asks him to sing for his backers' audition. Meanwhile, Fran clashes with her sister Nadine.


(as Lee Shallat)


(developed by), (developed by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Ellen Ratner ...
Barry Cooperman


Fran finagles it so that her sister Nadine, who was just dumped by her husband Barry, can stay at the house for a few days. This invitation may have been an error on Fran's part as Nadine is driving her crazy. Nadine wants whatever Fran has, the latest possession they are fighting over being Maxwell. A caterer by trade, Nadine plans to cook her way into Maxwell's heart. Fran figures the only way to get Nadine out of the house is to reunite her with Barry. Meanwhile, after hearing Niles sing, Fran convinces Maxwell and C.C. to use Niles in a backer's audition when their original singer becomes unavailable. Maxwell unwittingly psyches Niles out just before the audition. The audition has its bumps but ends with mixed results. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family | Romance





Release Date:

27 February 1995 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is a reference to the old phrase "What The Butler Saw" concerning voyeurism, specifically a butler peeping at the ladies of the house through the keyholes of their bedroom doors. It is frequently suggested in the series that Niles knows everything that is going on in the mansion because he eavesdrops on the family while "polishing" the keyholes. See more »


[C.C. is introducing Niles to the audience at an audition]
Chastity Claire 'C.C.' Babcock: After the Act 1 curtain, it's a gorgeous ballad sung by Niles...
[C.C. realizes she doesn't know Niles' last name]
Chastity Claire 'C.C.' Babcock: Niles...
[stumbles further]
Chastity Claire 'C.C.' Babcock: Niles... Butler. Niles de Butler.
See more »


References Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

The butler, the nanny, the sister and her lover
29 December 2006 | by (Ravenna, Italy) – See all my reviews

Can an episode make you laugh 'till the tears ? Yes, of course. That's What a Butler Sang, the episode where Fran's sister (the cousin in the Italian version) Nadine (Nadia) is hosted by the Sheffields and she directly try to seduce Maxwell, upsetting Fran very much. Meanwhile C.C. and Maxwell organize a public audition in the house but just when Niles sang (badly, indeed),Fran, Nadine and her furious husband Barry start quarreling animatedly.

Niles' dreams (poor Niles! his dream was take part in a musical) still cruelly broken off, with C.C.'s satisfaction, the 70s ballet behind Niles singing, the C.C.'s pursuit with the chandelier, the scene at Maxwell's room, and many others.Genial humor-ism. Careless and devoid of any vulgarity.

It's strange that story writers never put Nadine, the sister (so a considerable member of the family), in any other episode. While Maxwell's sister, Jocelyn, appears in several episodes, she isn't always the same. The first was the famous model Twiggy, then replaced with Sophie Ward.

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