We don’t have to tell you, you already know that “Living Single” is classic television. It was new and innovative as far as television standards go, it was funny and hip. And it was relatable. How many of us didn’t see ourselves in at least one of those characters. And since Warner Brothers is being stingy and won’t release anything beyond the first season of the show, we must continue to live and relive the glory days. So come along with me as I put ya’ll on game and teach you some things you probably never knew about one of your favorite shows.
If you have the season one DVD, you may remember that at the end of the first episode the ladies gather around, grab different bathroom appliances and sing and dance to a spirited rendition of the Temptations’ song “My Girl.” Well perhaps there was a reason they picked that song. Initially, the show was going to be called “My Girls.” It surely would have fit but I think we like “Living Single” better.
During the course of it’s five year run the show was not only a fan favorite, it also received critical acclaim. It was nominated for two Emmys for lighting… oook, a GLAAD Media Award and Queen Latifah was even nominated for best actress in a series for the Kids’ Choice Awards. In 1996 and 1998, the show won the NAACP Image Award for best comedy series and Erika Alexander won best actress in a comedy series during those years as well.
You know before they know if a show is going to do well or not, studios try not to spend too much money. Perhaps that’s why on the pilot episode the ladies were living in the the old Winslow family house, you know from “Family Matters.” I don’t know if the ladies eventually got their own space or if they just redecorated. Just out the decor in the video above.
Yvette Lee Bowser
Yvette Lee Bowser, who looks like this , became the first African American woman to develop her own primetime series with “Living Single.” But she knew what a good show should look like. Before creating her own projects she worked on “A Different World.” And after “Living Single,” she went on to produce “Half & Half.”
A Different World
Since the show’s creator, Yvette Lee Bowser had worked on “A Different World,” she hired a lot of the actors from that show to appear on “Living Single.” You may remember that Jasmine Guy showed up as a psychologist, Kadeem Hardison was a rival reporter turned romantic interest, Darryl Bell (Ron), had a thing with Maxine and Cree Summer almost stole Overton from Synclaire.
The Facts of Life
As you know we were introduced to Kim Fields from her breakout role in “The Facts of Life.” And the show gave a nod to this during an episode in the first season when Max’s ex boyfriend brings his fiancee to dinner at the apartment. Regine tells the woman she looks familiar and asked her what school she attended. The woman responds, “Eastland.” Regine looks directly in the camera and says, “Hmm never heard of it.” Knowing good and well Eastland School for Girls was the name of the boarding school the characters on “The Facts of Life” attended.
Regine and Overton
You know what’s bound to happen when you put too many attractive, young people in close proximity of one another. Someone’s bound to hook up. And that was the case for Kim Fields (Regine) and John Henton. They dated during the course of the show.
Unsurprisingly, “Living Single” was hugely popular during it’s last couple of years after fans had gotten to know the characters. In 1996- 1997, it was the most popular show among black folks beating out “New York Undercover” and more impressively, “Martin.”
Max and Kyle
As you know T.C. Carson and Erika Alexander, (Kyle and Max) didn’t really hate each other. In fact, the two share a special connection. They both share a birthday: November 19…just 9 years apart.
Half & Half
The characters of “Living Single” lived on after the show ended it’s run on Fox. Erika Alexander and T.C. Carson reprised their roles in an episode of “Half & Half.” In this particular episode, Dee Dee, a law student, learns that her mother Big Dee Dee is starring in a play with Kyle Barker. Dee Dee soon learns that Kyle and Maxine are together. Big Dee Dee is intimidated by Kyle’s talent and is afraid he’ll outshine her during the show, so she has him fired. Such a petty lady. But the episode revealed that Maxine and Kyle were raising their seven year old daughter, a bit of resolution for people who didn’t quite know where Maxine and Kyle stood at the end of the series. You can watch part 1 of the episode in the video above and the remaining part below.