1st & Ten
  • Book Store Admin
  • DVD's
  • Comments Off on 1st & Ten

1st & Ten is an American sitcom that aired between December 1984 and January 1991 on the cable television network HBO. Featuring series regulars Delta Burke and veteran Reid Shelton, it was one of cable s first attempts to lure the lucrative sitcom audience away from the Big Three , by taking advantage of their freedom to include occasional cursing and nudity.


The sports-themed series follows the on-and off-field antics of the fictional American football team, the California Bulls. The team changed owners throughout the series history, with the premise that a woman is in charge.

During the first season Diane Barrow (Delta Burke) becomes the owner of her ex-husband s team as part of a divorce settlement, after he has an affair with the team s tight end. She quickly learns the ups and downs of pro football. In one episode, she is forced to coach the team herself after the head coach, Ernie Denardo, is placed in the hospital. She also has constant battles with her General Manager/husband s nephew, who has dealings with the local mob, and fights off advances made by her quarterback (played by Geoffrey Scott).

The second season dealt with two themes: training camp and the playoffs. Barrow was dealing with her players taking recreational drugs during training camp. During this season, O. J. Simpson joined the cast as T.D. Parker, a veteran running back who is forced to make the transition from player to coach. Two real-life football stars made cameo appearances: Marcus Allen portrayed a rookie who was taking over T.D. s spot on the team, and Vince Ferragamo played Mainstreet Manneti, a veteran quarterback. Jason Beghe joined the cast to play Tom Yinessa, a walk-on quarterback who deals with his overnight celebrity.

Delta Burke left the show midway through the third season, after committing herself exclusively to CBS Designing Women, which she had begun starring on in 1986, and which was renewed. Diane loses control of the Bulls to Teddy Schraeder, her former lover, who manipulates everyone to his own ends. His antics include having T.D. fire Ernie as coach, letting Yinessa practice without a contract, and ignoring steroid use. Legal issues force him to leave the country and turn control over to his daughter, played by Leah Ayres.

Season 4 was briefly renamed 1st and Ten: The Bulls Mean Business. Shanna Reed joins the cast as the team s new female president, representing the new owners, the Dodds Corporation. Her attempts to innovate include bringing a female soccer player in to kick, and signing an Olympic sprinter as wide receiver. Joe Namath has a cameo appearance. Shannon Tweed would replace her in Season 5, and remain with the show to the end. The show was renamed 1st and Ten: Do it Again for the fifth season. The final season was 1st and Ten: In Your Face.

Series themes

  • The Bulls somehow manage to make it to the championship football game, yet lose in a controversial, heartbreaking manner.
  • Mad Dog and Dr. Death haze the rookies and rally the defense.
  • Bubba and Jethro help each other with their various (often sex-related) mishaps. Bubba s voracious appetite is also a running gag
  • The volatile ownership position of the franchise.
  • Controversial aspects of professional sports in the late 1980s: steroids, the instant replay, women in the locker room, the role of free agency, multi-sport stars, endorsements.

Game footage

Footage was used from USFL s Los Angeles Express. During simulated game shots, the Bulls football helmet has a decal of horns on the side. When the show uses actual game footage, you can clearly see the letters L and A on the helmets side, representing the L.A. Express. The Bulls quarterbacks wore #14 to match the actual game footage of L.A. Express real-life quarterback Tom Ramsey. Many generic shots of USFL stadiums were used to depict where the Bulls were playing. As the series went on, aerial shots were used of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to represent the Bulls home stadium. Game footage from the USFL stopped midway through the third season, as scripted football plays were being used instead, and the USFL had ceased operations by that point.

At one point, Denardo suggests trading for a running back. He mentions the Bulls from that other league. He was talking about the Jacksonville Bulls from the United States Football League.


Only Donald Gibb, Cliff Frazier, Prince Hughes, and Reid Shelton appeared in all six seasons. John Kassir and O. J. Simpson joined the cast the second season and stayed till the show s end.

  • Diane Barrow: Delta Burke
  • Gail: Shanna Reed
  • Kristy Fulbright: Shannon Tweed
  • Ellen: Mariann Aalda
  • Frederick Miracle Miles Coolidge: Keith Amos
  • Dr. Doc Phillips: Jim Antonio
  • Teddy Schrader: Roy Thinnes
  • Jill Schrader: Leah Ayres
  • Tom Yinessa: Jason Beghe
  • Johnny Valentine: Sam J. Jones
  • Jethro Snell: Cliff Frazier
  • Leslie Dr. Death Krunchner: Donald Gibb
  • Elvin Putts: Jeff Hochendoner
  • Buford Bubba Kincaid: Prince Hughes
  • Jamie Waldren: Jeff Kaake
  • Zagreb Shkenusky: John Kassir
  • Mac Daniels: Jay Kerr
  • Roger Barrow: Clayton Landey
  • Rona Gold: Ruta Lee
  • Otis: Tommy Tiny Lister
  • Mad Dog Smears: Tony Longo
  • Deacon: John Benjamin Martin
  • John Manzak: John Matuszak
  • Johnny Gunn: Christopher Meloni
  • Carl Witherspoon: Sam Scarber
  • Bob Dorsey: Geoffrey Scott
  • Coach Ernie Denardo: Reid Shelton
  • Cheerleader: Tricia Pettitt
  • Police officer: Ron Shipp
  • T.D. Parker: O. J. Simpson
  • Joe Mainstreet Manneti: Vince Ferragamo
  • Tombstone Packer: Lawrence Taylor
  • Mace Petty: Marshall R. Teague
  • Rick Lambert: Marcus Allen
  • Billy Cooper: Michael Toland
  • Bulls lineman: Arthur Avant
  • Bulls wide receiver: A. J. DiSpirito

Syndication and home media

At the height of the O. J. Simpson murder case, the show made its way to syndicated reruns. The complete series was released on DVD on January 24, 2006.

The original HBO versions ran for 30 minutes, while the edited-for-syndication versions ran for 22 minutes, and had some dialog and scenes edited for content, as well as the addition of a laugh-track. The majority of episodes on the Complete Collection DVD are the syndicated versions.

The original opening credits showed former professional football player Fran Tarkenton introducing the players and the plot points at the beginning of each episode. Completely different closing credits were originally used, too. They showed credits rolling over scenes from the episode. In syndication, these were replaced with later opening credits featuring Miracle Miles Coolidge (even though he did not join the cast until the last season) and a generic Copyright 1991 disclaimer on a blue background respectively.

In popular culture

  • Outtake promos for the championship season with OJ and Marcus Allen were featured in the 2016 Oscar-winning documentary OJ: Made in America.

Year 1984
ReleaseDate 1984-12-02
Plot The comical exploits of the “California Bulls” (a fictional professional football team) and the organization’s players.
Awards Awards, 2 nominations
Stars Cliff Frazier, Prince Hughes, Donald Gibb
Series Produced by Sylvia M. White,Bruce Kirschbaum,Jonathan Debin,Donald Kushner,Peter Locke,Dawn Tarnofsky,Gary H. Miller
Series Music by Rocky Davis,Dave Fisher,Bruce Kernohan,Tom Borton,George S. Clinton,Richard Kosinski
Series Cinematography by Stanley Taylor,Robert F. Liu,Rick Bota
Series Film Editing by John Blizek,Kent Beyda
Series Casting By Rachelle Farberman,Dennis Cornell,Alice Cassidy,Sally Powers,A.C. Cowlings
Series Art Direction by Peter Clemens,Dian Perryman,Ivo Cristante,Richard K. Hummel,A. Rosalind Crew
Series Set Decoration by Anthony Brockliss,Will Combs,Jennifer Pray,Naomi Shohan,Gregory S. Melton
Series Costume Design by Bernadene Morgan,P. Kay Morris,Verkina Flower,Jennifer Michaud,Giovanna Ottobre-Melton
Series Makeup Department Tena Austin,Donn Markel,Judee Guilmette,Frances Mathias,Susan Mills,Laura Lewis,Cheri Montesanto,Denise Van Arsdale-West,Jeri Baker,Desne J. Holland,Timothy A. Miguel
Series Production Management Sylvia M. White,Albert T. Dickerson III,Thomas A. Bliss,Bruce Fritzberg,Richard J. Anobile,Barry Cahn,John S. Curran,Paul Deason,Ariel Levy
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Dan Dugan,Brian James Ellis,Roger E. Mills,Jonathan Debin,Michael J. Kane,Leonard S. Smith Jr.,Michael Schroeder,Donald P.H. Eaton,Rodney Allen Hooks,Wendy Ikeguchi,Warren Gray,John Syrjamaki,Brian Whitley,Carl Dubliclay,Steven Pomeroy,Richard T. Schor
Series Art Department Michael Powels,Jeanne Simon,Mark Simon,Manuel Baca,Chris Swenson,Edmond Scott Ratliff,Richard S. Lederer,Robert Johnson,Kenny Montante,Philip Steuer,Jay Bobbitt,Jim Ransohoff,Joe Olsen,Tommy Estridge,David E. Harshbarger,John A. Keim,Jonathan Lawrence,Chuck McSorley,Marc Meisels
Series Sound Department Bill V. Robbins,Brian Risner,T.W. Davis,Art Names,Peggy Names,Sherry Klein,Ladd McPartland,Al Ramirez,Flash Deros,Gerry Lewis,Jonathon Earl Stein,Barry A. Synder,David Halbert,Stephen Halbert,Andre Caporaso,Anthony Constantini,Doug Gray,Ed White,Itzhak Magal,Bob Redpath,Craig M. Otte
Series Special Effects by John Naulin
Series Visual Effects by Diana Dru Botsford
Series Stunts Michael Adams,Joe Gilbride,Doug Simpson,Parrish Cummings,Andy Gill,Larry Holt
Series Camera and Electrical Department Scott Hering,Bobby Broome,Christopher Fish Fischer,Jonathan Sharpe,Christopher Goss,Carol Westwood,Clinton Dougherty,Ben Batzdorff,Roxanne di Santo,Art Martin,Curtis Pepper,Jerry Batzdorf,Wayde Ferguson,Huston Beaumont,Ray Bilger,Robert Gray,Kim Kono,Jesse Mather,Lowell Peterson,Doug Scott,Malcolm Doran II,Kevin Kuhn,Dennis K. Wilson,Henry DeBardeleben,Mark Jackson,Joseph Longo,Richard Fezzey,Steven R. Monroe,Guy Skinner,Rich Sutherland,Vance Trussell,Ric Urbauer
Series Casting Department Bob Johnson,Brenda K. Kyle,Floyd Raglin,Michael Collins,Alice Cassidy
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department P. Kay Morris,Taryn Walsh,Karyn Wagner
Series Editorial Department Richard Garibaldi,Karl Jacobsen,Curtiss Clayton,Jay Bienstock,Jim Page,Jennifer Hogan
Series Location Management Eric Davies,Andrew Golder,Mike Abbot,Gerrit V. Folsom,Jim Vatis
Series Music Department George S. Clinton,Dave Fisher,Kathy Kurasch,Joel Hirschhorn,Al Kasha,David Kitay,Richard Kosinski,Michael Lloyd,Steve Tyrell,A.B. Clyde,Rocky Davis,Buddy Epstein
Series Script and Continuity Department Patricia Jordan,Gillian Zali,Sharon Hagen,Carlos Aragon
Series Transportation Department Paul Tumber,Griff Ruggles,Lawrence J. Romanoff,Phil Shaw,Carlos Williams,Oliver Eisenger
Series Additional Crew Brenda K. Kyle,Rick Moser,Jennifer Hogan,Edward T. Hanley,Nanette Munro,Millie Kline,Becka Morgan,Marc Gaede,Ben Kiester,Terri Rodgers,Bob Sanitsky,Sheila Wenz,Sylvia M. White,Janet Buck,Tom Fears,Michael Gannon,Eric Glazer,Andrew Golder,Holly Hawk,Charity Swayze,Chris Corbett,T. Barrett Curtin,Lisa Helfrich Jackson,Steven Kline,Phil Mishkin,Darcy Musil,Roseanna Ovington,Laura Saye,Chuck Beck,Kenneth R. Carlton,Gina Gilmour,Insiah Katz,David R. Poole,Bob Redpath,Steve Anker,Clyde Avant,Liane Abel Dietz,Karen Fuller,Greg Howard,Susan Johnston,Mary Montiforte,Gary Randa,Henie White,Lars P. Winther,Robin Bishop,George Escalera,David Pitlik,Kenny Rose,Sharon Simon,Louis Farah,Jack E. Herman,Randy Gitsch
Genres Comedy, Sport
Companies The Kushner-Locke Company
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating TV-14
ImDbRating 6.5
ImDbRatingVotes 496
Keywords cheerleader,coach,punctuation in title,ampersand in title,nudity