If you're a fan of "Designing Women" and "Evening Shade," have we got good news for you today.
The creator/producers of those shows, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason, have just signed a deal with CBS to produce five more series for that network.It's the biggest deal of its kind ever entered into by CBS, and while no financial details were announced, it's worth millions to the husband-and-wife team and their Mozark Productions.
The president of the CBS Broadcast Group, Howard Stringer, positively gushed over Linda and Harry.
"This dazzling duo, which has given CBS two superb shows this season, is now a primary architect in our long-term rebuilding of the network," he said. "The Thomasons' great gift is to understand what Americans are feeling and thinking (and) to present it in brilliant series comedy that has warmth as well as bite."
(Mr. Spud hates to be caught agreeing with gushy network executives, but he seconds Stringer's statement.)
The couple - she's from Missouri, he's from Arkansas - have drawn on their Southern roots to create their two successful series. The "Designing Women" are based on Bloodworth-Thomason and her Southern friends and family, while Thomason is a former high school football coach - which inspired the Burt Reynolds character on "Evening Shade."
"I started out at CBS," Bloodworth-Thomason said. "We have basically been together for 14 years. I thought it was time to get married."DELTA WHO?: The Thomasons' deal with CBS can't be good news to "Designing Women" star Delta Burke.
Burke, you'll recall, has taken to the tabloids and the airwaves to air her grievances against Linda and Harry, accusing them of mental cruelty and general meanness.
Not only have the other members of the cast and crew of "Women" rushed to the Thomasons' defense, but now the network rewards them with a big production deal.
CBS Entertainment President Jeff Sagansky even made a point of saying, "For all of their talent and success, Linda and Harry remain a delight to work with. They are remarkably unaffected by all the acclaim and are two of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of working with."
Gee, Delta, it seems like nobody is taking your complaints particularly seriously.IN THE SHADE: If you haven't tuned into the Thomasons' "Evening Shade" lately, do so soon. (It airs Mondays at 7 p.m.)
Like almost every new show, "Shade" got off to a bit of a rocky start. It was pretty good, but not as wonderful as "Designing Women" - which is only natural.
And perhaps viewers expected to see "Designing Women II," which "Shade" definitely is not.
What it is is warm and funny, well-written and well-acted. It's also one of the sweetest, most pro-family shows on the air.
Remember, that's Mondays at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.WHO'S THE FATHER?: As if all you couch potatoes aren't already excited about finding out who killed Laura Palmer, another mystery is about to be solved.
When "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" returns to Lifetime for its final season on Dec. 19, Molly will reveal who the father of her unborn child is.
For those of you who haven't kept up with Molly's life, it could be either her boyfriend, police detective Nathanial Hawthorne, of her former boss, Moss Goodman.
A total of 13 new episodes will air beginning in January, and then that will be it. You may recall that "Molly Dodd" started out on NBC before switching over to cable for the past couple of season.