Kate & Allie

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Kate & Allie

Kate & Allie was one of network television's most popular comedies dealing with feminist issues during the 1980s. Created by Sherry Coben and supervised by veteran producers Bill Persky and Bob Randall, the series revolved around two divorcees, Kate McArdle (Susan Saint James) and Allie Lowell (Jane Curtin), who shared a Greenwich Village apartment and were adjusting to a new single lifestyle with three children between them. Kate & Allie, which debuted on CBS on March 19, 1984, dealt with practical problems faced by women recently on their own: how to achieve financial independence, how to date again, and how to care for kids who were growing up too quickly in the city. The women, friends since high school, evolved over the years, holding down different jobs and eventually starting a catering business together. The series reflected questions of identity and personal growth experienced by many working women, who helped to make Kate & Allie a Top Twenty show for three consecutive seasons. The series experienced a decline when Allie got married and was cancelled after 122 episodes in 1989.

—Ron Simon

Further Reading:

Brown, M. E., editor. Television and Women's Culture: The Politics of the Popular. Newbury Park, California, Sage, 1990.

Ehrenreich, B., and J. O'Reilly. " Kate & Allie : Real Women as Friends." TV Guide. November 24, 1984, 6-10.

Spigel, Lynn, and Denise Mann, editors. Private Screenings: Television and the Female Consumer. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1992.