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In Fresno, California, the once-wealthy Kensington family's raisin-growing empire has fallen on hard times. They are led by widowed matriarch Charlotte, who is locked in a deadly power struggle with rival raisin magnate Tyler Cane.




Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Charles Grodin ...  Cane Kensington 5 episodes, 1986
Luis Avalos ...  Juan 5 episodes, 1986
Pat Corley ...  Earl Duke 5 episodes, 1986
Valerie Mahaffey ...  Tiffany Kensington 5 episodes, 1986
Anthony Heald ...  Kevin Kensington 5 episodes, 1986
Teresa Ganzel ...  Bobbi Jo Bobb 5 episodes, 1986
Jerry Van Dyke ...  Tucker Agajanian 5 episodes, 1986
Charles Keating ...  Charles 5 episodes, 1986
Melanie Chartoff ...  Desiree DeMornay 5 episodes, 1986
Michael Richards ...  2nd Henchman 5 episodes, 1986
J.E. Freeman ...  1st Henchman 5 episodes, 1986
Jeffrey Jones ...  Mr. Acme 5 episodes, 1986
Natalie Gregory ...  China Kensington 5 episodes, 1986
Teri Garr ...  Talon Kensington 5 episodes, 1986
Carol Burnett ...  Charlotte Kensington 5 episodes, 1986
Dabney Coleman ...  Tyler Cane 5 episodes, 1986
Gregory Harrison ...  Torch 5 episodes, 1986
Bill Paxton ...  Billy Joe Bobb 4 episodes, 1986
Louise Latham ...  Ethel Duke 4 episodes, 1986
Tom Poston ...  Doc Parseghian 4 episodes, 1986
Henry Darrow ...  Commandante 4 episodes, 1986
Tammy Lauren ...  Candy Cane 4 episodes, 1986
George Wallace ...  Judge Henry Bejajian 4 episodes, 1986
Dakin Matthews ...  Prosecutor 4 episodes, 1986
Raye Birk ...  Mr. Loats 4 episodes, 1986
Thomas Hill ...  Mr. Crowther 4 episodes, 1986
Jack Kehler ...  Sergeant Cooper 4 episodes, 1986
Bill McIntyre Bill McIntyre ...  Bailiff 4 episodes, 1986
Mary Anne Dorward Mary Anne Dorward ...  Female Newsperson 4 episodes, 1986
Todd Susman ...  Sergeant Dobbs 4 episodes, 1986
Troy Curvey Jr. Troy Curvey Jr. ...  Troy 4 episodes, 1986
Terry Beaver Terry Beaver ...  1st Guard in Visiting Room 4 episodes, 1986
Raleigh Bond Raleigh Bond ...  Organ Store Manager 4 episodes, 1986
Greg Lewis ...  2nd Guard in Cellblock 4 episodes, 1986
Peter Jolly Peter Jolly ...  Mall Policeman 4 episodes, 1986
Mike Jolly Mike Jolly ...  1st Policeman 4 episodes, 1986
Robert Hanley ...  2nd Policeman 4 episodes, 1986
Mitch Kalamian Mitch Kalamian 4 episodes, 1986


A mini-series spoof of various TV primetime sopa operas set in Fresno, America's 64th largest city and showing the raisin production family of the Kensingtons centering on the matriarch Charlotte's feud with the family's arch rival Tyler Cane, the head of a powerful raisin conglomerate. Among the players are Charlotte's son, the vile, power-mad Cane Kensington; his voluptious nympho wife Talon; and a shirtless stranger, named Torch, who gets hired as a Kensington ranch hand and captures the attentions of all women he comes into contact with. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Power!...The Passion!... The Produce!










Release Date:

16 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fresno See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

MTM Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Although this mini-series plays it for laughs, the raisin industry is in fact known for being competitive, with a small number of players fighting over limited market shares. The New York Times reported, for example, that the wildly successful "California Raisins" commercial campaign ended in part because of squabbles over licensing and profits. See more »


Charlotte Kensington: [when employee, Juan, asks for a raise] Juan, there are two types of people in the world: those who have, and those who have not. I have. You have not.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Later re-aired in a trimmed down version with a laugh track added (apparently in the belief that early audiences didn't realize that it was supposed to be a comedy). See more »

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User Reviews

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, eh, Juan?"
27 April 2004 | by DunksSee all my reviews

I can only second all the preceding calls that this masterpiece of modern American comedy be issued on DVD. It was shown here in Australia in the late 80s and missed by most, but I was lucky enough to see it and it remains a cherished memory. My girlfriend (now wife) and I and all our flatmates laughed our guts out at the time, but how dearly I wish now that I'd kept the videotape!

I loved the whole cast, Carol really shines, must be her best comedy part ever IMO; the whole team is totally spot-on; this was my second major sighting of Bill Paxton, who's very funny indeed, and it's all done with such a straight face, a twinkle in the eye and *perfect* timing. Dabney Coleman at his hilarious, magnificent, slimy best best ... Charles Grodin (also a personal best IMO) hamming it up magnificently as the petulant Cane, Teri Garr fantastically funny as uber-bitch Talon ... Gregory Harrison perfect as the the mega-dumb Torch, who literally does not have his shirt on for one single shot in the entire show ... Valerie Mahaffey *wonderful* as the oh-so-dim Tiffany. The shot that stays in my mind is Carol's sidesplitting look of non-plussed resignation as she clambers into the back of the station wagon.

The script is brilliant, funny in its own right as well as striking its targets with perfect accuracy -- anyone who has ever watched any of the daytime or primetime soapies will squeal with laughter. It stripmines the entire genre for send-ups -- the overacting, the improbable shots and set-ups, the overblown emotions, the ridiculous names, the unbelievable plots and coincidences, the flouncy 'rivalry' between the antagonists, the gordian interpersonal relationships ... the whole Armenian name shtick ... oh I could go on for ages ...

It's really sad that this hasn't kicked on and attracted the kind of following that similar efforts like 'Soapdish' enjoy, because it's every bit as good.

I can only conclude by appealing: CBS - PLEASE issue this wonderful show on DVD RIGHT NOW!!!!!!! I've been waiting nearly 20 years - we all wanna see it. What's up? Don't you want the money???

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