Suddenly Susan
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Suddenly Susan is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from September 19, 1996, to December 26, 2000. The series was created by Clyde Phillips and starred Brooke Shields in her first regular series. Shields played Susan Keane, a glamorous San Francisco magazine writer who begins to adjust to being single, and who learns to be independent-minded after having been taken care of all her life. The series was developed by Gary Dontzig and Steven Peterman, who also served as executive producers during the first three seasons, and was produced by Warner Bros. Television.


Susan Keane (Brooke Shields) has always been taken care of by someone else. She worked as a copy editor at The Gate, a fictional San Francisco magazine. On her wedding day, she realizes that she and her wealthy, vain fiancé, Kip, are not meant for each other and that there is more to life than just being known as the s in The Kip Richmonds. She abruptly leaves him at the altar. Now, she s suddenly just Susan. Susan s parents, played by guest stars Swoosie Kurtz and Ray Baker, were less than ecstatic about their daughter deciding to end her engagement to Kip, though her grandmother and confidant, Nana (Barbara Barrie) stands as a pillar of support for Susan.

The day after the wedding, Susan goes to her boss, Jack Richmond (Judd Nelson), the rebellious brother of Susan s former fiancé, Kip, begging for her job back. Instead, Jack assigns Susan to write a regular column about being suddenly single. Susan s coworkers include photographer Luis Rivera (Nestor Carbonell), boyish rock music reporter Todd Stities (David Strickland), restaurant critic Vicki Groener (Kathy Griffin), and, in later episodes, investigative reporter and Susan s old enemy Maddy Piper (Andréa Bendewald).

In the show s final season, The Gate is taken over by Ian Maxtone-Graham (Eric Idle) and overhauled into a men s magazine that s run out of an old warehouse in Chinatown. Along with this, Ian brings his own team of workers, including executive assistant and U.S. Navy veteran Miranda Charles (Sherri Shepherd), sports writer Nate Knaborski (Currie Graham), and freelance photographer Oliver Browne (Rob Estes). Susan is faced with a new set of problems and has to prove herself all over again.

Besides the task of putting together a magazine and focusing on the lead character s life, Suddenly Susan also focuses on the private lives of many employees in the show.


  • Brooke Shields as Susan Keane
  • Nestor Carbonell as Luis Rivera (Susan s co-worker)
  • Kathy Griffin as Vicki Groener (Susan s co-worker)
  • Barbara Barrie as Helen Nana Keane (Susan s grandmother)
  • Judd Nelson as Jack Richmond (Susan s boss)
  • David Strickland as Todd Stities (Susan s co-worker)
  • Andrea Bendewald as Maddy Piper (Susan s co-worker)
  • Sherri Shepherd as Miranda Charles
  • Eric Idle as Ian Maxtone-Graham


Season 1 (1996–97)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 1 First Episode Andy Ackerman Story by : Clyde Phillips
Teleplay by : Gary Dontzig & Steven Peterman & Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore & Clyde Phillips
September 19, 1996
2 2 Dr. No Steve Zuckerman Dan O Shannon September 26, 1996
3 3 The Best Laid Plans Shelley Jensen Mimi Friedman & Jeanette Collins October 3, 1996
4 4 Suddenly Susan Unplugged Steve Zuckerman Rick Singer & Andrew Green October 10, 1996
5 5 Hoop Dreams Shelly Jensen Heather MacGillvray & Linda Mathious October 17, 1996
6 6 Lie! Lie! My Darling Shelley Jensen Ian Praiser October 31, 1996
7 7 Golden Girl Friday Shelley Jensen Rick Singer & Andrew Green November 7, 1996
8 8 Beauty and the Beasty Boy Steve Zuckerman Maryanne Melloan November 14, 1996
9 9 Cold Turkey Rod Daniel Story by : Gary Dontzig & Steven Peterman
Teleplay by : Dan O Shannon
November 21, 1996
10 10 Was It Something I Said? Steve Zuckerman Marc Flanagan December 12, 1996
11 11 The Walk-Out Barnet Kellman Heather MacGillvray & Linda Mathious December 19, 1996
12 12 The Me Nobody Nose Shelley Jensen Mimi Friedman & Jeanette Collins January 9, 1997
13 13 The Ways and Means Gail Mancuso Jana Barto February 27, 1997
14 14 What a Card Shelley Jensen Rick Singer & Andrew Green March 6, 1997
15 15 Love and Divorce American Style: Part 1 Shelley Jensen Ian Praiser March 13, 1997
16 16 Love and Divorce American Style: Part 2 Pamela Fryman Dan O Shannon March 20, 1997
17 17 Love and Divorce American Style: Part 3 Pamela Fryman Susan Fales March 27, 1997
18 18 With Friends Like These Shelley Jensen Maryanne Melloan April 10, 1997
19 19 Where the Wild Things Aren t Shelley Jensen Maryanne Melloan April 17, 1997
20 20 A Boy Like That Shelley Jensen Gary Dontzig & Steven Peterman April 24, 1997
21 21 Family Affairs Gail Mancuso Phil Baker & Drew Vaupen May 1, 1997
22 22 I ll See That and Raise You Susan Shelley Jensen Neil J. Deiter May 8, 1997

Season 2 (1997–98)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
23 1 I Love You, I Think Tom Moore Steven Peterman & Gary Dontzig September 22, 1997
24 2 Past Tense Tom Moore Mimi Friedman & Jeanette Collins September 29, 1997
25 3 Truth and Consequences Pamela Fryman Christopher Vane October 6, 1997
26 4 Next Stop, Heaven Shelley Jensen Becky Hartman Edwards October 13, 1997
27 5 Susan s Minor Complication Shelley Jensen Chuck Tatham October 20, 1997
28 6 It s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Maddy World Shelley Jensen Phil Baker & Drew Vaupen November 3, 1997
29 7 It s My Nana and I ll Cry If I Want To Pamela Fryman Chuck Tatham November 10, 1997
30 8 A Kiss Before Dying…on Stage Tom Moore Drew Vaupen & Phil Baker November 17, 1997
31 9 The Old and the Beautiful Philip Charles MacKenzie Rick Singer & Andrew Green November 24, 1997
32 10 I Didn t Write This Pamela Fryman Lisa Albert December 8, 1997
33 11 Yule Never Know Philip Charles MacKenzie Mimi Friedman & Jeanette Collins December 15, 1997
34 12 A Kiss is Just Amiss Tom Moore Christopher Vane January 5, 1998
35 13 The Big Shalom Alan Rafkin Rick Singer & Andrew Green January 12, 1998
36 14 Matchmaker, Matchmaker Alan Rafkin Becky Hartman Edwards January 19, 1998
37 15 Car Trouble Shelley Jensen Phil Baker & Drew Vaupen January 26, 1998
38 16 Ready…Aim…Fong! Shelley Jensen Chuck Tatham February 2, 1998
39 17 Daddy Piper Joyce Gittlin Dan O Shannon March 9, 1998
40 18 Not in This Life Leonard R. Garner, Jr. Christopher Vane March 16, 1998
41 19 Models and Strippers and Wasps, Oh My! Tom Moore David Kirkwood April 6, 1998
42 20 Poetry in Notion Joanna Kerns Becky Hartman Edwards April 6, 1998
43 21 Pucker Up Philip Charles MacKenzie Andrew Green April 13, 1998
44 22 5,947 Miles Philip Charles MacKenzie Jana Barto April 20, 1998




A Tale of Two Pants Roger Christiansen

Alan Rafkin

Michael McCarthy

Rick Singer

May 4, 1998




Oh, How They Danced Shelley Jensen Steven Peterman & Gary Dontzig May 18, 1998

Season 3 (1998–99)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
49 1 Birds Do It, Bees Do It, Even Some of These Do It Shelley Jensen Steven Peterman & Gary Dontzig September 21, 1998
50 2 Feels Like the First Time Shelley Jensen Christopher Vane September 28, 1998
51 3 Don t Tell Philip Charles MacKenzie Maria Semple October 5, 1998
52 4 Sleeping with the Enemy Philip Charles MacKenzie Phil Baker & Drew Vaupen October 12, 1998
53 5 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Susan s Party Alan Rafkin Chuck Tatham October 26, 1998
54 6 War Games Philip Charles MacKenzie Rick Singer November 2, 1998
55 7 Seems Like Old Times Alan Rafkin Becky Hartman Edwards November 9, 1998
56 8 Trash-Test Dummies Alan Rafkin Andrew Green November 16, 1998
57 9 The Thanksgiving Episode Shelley Jensen Chuck Tatham November 30, 1998
58 10 The Apartment Hunt Shelley Jensen Maria Semple November 30, 1998
59 11 Merry Ex-Mas Shelley Jensen Rick Singer December 14, 1998
60 12 Wedding-Bell Blues Leonard R. Garner, Jr. Christopher Vane January 11, 1999
61 13 On a Clear Day You Can Hear Forever Leonard R. Garner, Jr. Becky Hartman Edwards January 18, 1999
62 14 One Man s Intervention Is Another Man s Tupperware Party Roger Christiansen Gary Dontzig & Steven Peterman January 25, 1999
63 15 Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut Shelley Jensen Polly Levy February 8, 1999
64 16 Ben Rubenstein, Meet Joe Black Shelley Jensen Andrew Green February 22, 1999
65 17 The Song Remains Insane Philip Charles MacKenzie Michael McCarthy March 1, 1999
66 18 Revenge of the Gophers Roger Christiansen Phil Baker & Drew Vaupen March 15, 1999
67 19 In This Corner…Susan Keane!: Part 1 Philip Charles MacKenzie Chuck Tatham May 3, 1999
68 20 In This Corner…Susan Keane!: Part 2 Philip Charles MacKenzie Andrew Green May 10, 1999
69 21 The First Picture Show Michael Kelly Phil Baker & Drew Vaupen May 17, 1999
70 22 Bowled Over Shelley Jensen Jana Barto May 24, 1999
71 23 A Day in the Life Alan Rafkin TBA May 24, 1999

Season 4 (1999–2000)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
72 1 The New Gate Lee Shallat Chemel Mark Driscoll & Maria Semple September 20, 1999
73 2 The Billboard Lee Shallat-Chemel Mark Driscoll & Maria Semple September 27, 1999
74 3 The Pushkin Letters Lee Shallat-Chemel David Babcock October 4, 1999
75 4 Vicki Moves In Lee Shallat-Chemel Sylvia Green October 11, 1999
76 5 Halloween Andrew Tsao Ellen Idelson & Rob Lotterstein October 18, 1999
77 6 Cheerleaders Andrew Tsao David Flebotte November 1, 1999
78 7 The Wish List Andrew Tsao Ellen Idelson & Rob Lotterstein December 6, 1999
79 8 First Date Alan Rafkin David Babcock December 13, 1999
80 9 The Birthday Party Roger Christiansen Joel H. Cohen December 20, 1999
81 10 Susan s Ex Craig Zisk Roger Peacock December 27, 1999
82 11 Luis Gets His Groove Back Lee Shallat-Chemel Ed Yeager December 27, 1999
83 12 Dinner Party Andrew Tsao Story by : David Wright
Teleplay by : Stacy Traub
January 3, 2000
84 13 Stock Tip Andrew Tsao Beth Seriff & Geoff Tarson January 3, 2000
85 14 I Love You Andrew Tsao Story by : Anne Rovak
Teleplay by : Sylvia Green
June 6, 2000
86 15 The Break Up Andrew Tsao Stacy Traub June 13, 2000
87 16 Girls Night Out Dana deVally Piazza Robert Peacock June 20, 2000
88 17 The Bird in the Wall Gordon Hunt Lisa K. Nelson & Tod Himmel June 27, 2000
89 18 The Gay Parade Alan Rafkin Lisa K. Nelson & Tod Himmel Unaired
90 19 Susan and the Professor Roger Christiansen Beth Seriff & Geoff Tarson December 26, 2000
91 20 The Reversal Michael Kelly Story by : Mike Dieffenbach
Teleplay by : Joel H. Cohen
December 26, 2000
92 21 The Finale: Part 1 Andrew Tsao Ellen Idelson & Rob Lotterstein December 26, 2000
93 22 The Finale: Part 2 Andrew Tsao Ellen Idelson & Rob Lotterstein December 26, 2000

Original pilot

In the show s original pilot, written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore and based on a dramatic script by Clyde Phillips, Susan worked at a publishing house editing children s books. After breaking up with her live-in boyfriend Ted (Brian McNamara), Susan finds herself single for the first time in years. Concurrently, Susan faces even greater challenges at work when her boss, Eric (Philip Casnoff), assigns her the task of working as an editor with Charlotte (Elizabeth Ashley), a hugely successful and highly opinionated romance novelist. Always on hand to provide support is Susan s grandmother, Nana (Nancy Marchand), her co-workers, acerbic best friend Marcy (Maggie Wheeler) and Neil (David Krumholtz), who has a crush on Susan.

When the series was picked up, Brian McNamara s Ted character did not return, though McNamara did later play the part of Cooper Elliot, who took Susan to Italy at the end of season one. Other changes between the pilot and the series were Barbara Barrie replacing Nancy Marchand in the role of Nana, while Swoosie Kurtz and Ray Baker replaced Kurt Fuller and Caroline McWilliams as Susan s parents, Bill and Liz. In the series, though the setting switches from a publishing house to a magazine, the main office set retained most of its features from the pilot; the most noticeable difference was that the elevator was to the right. While the pilot s storyline featuring Elizabeth Ashley as one of the publishing house s clients was not used in the series, a cardboard cut out of Ashley that was featured in the pilot appears throughout the first three seasons of the show – it can be seen briefly behind Susan s desk, near the filing cabinets along the back wall.

The actual location for the exterior shots of the office was the Newhall Building at 260 California Street in San Francisco.

Death of David Strickland

David Strickland died by suicide in a Las Vegas hotel room on March 22, 1999. Strickland s death was later incorporated into the show s third-season finale, which killed off his character, Todd Stities. Todd has gone missing, and throughout the episode, Susan desperately tries to find him. As the episode progresses, Susan learns about a number of good deeds that Todd had done around his neighborhood that she never knew about. Out-of-character interviews with the supporting cast also appear throughout the episode, with each actor sharing their personal experiences they had with Strickland before his death. As the episode comes to an end, Todd s favorite song, Praise You by Fatboy Slim, plays outside in the street as Susan and her co-workers sit in a circle praying for Todd s well-being. At last, the phone in the middle of the room rings, but the camera cuts away before the news of Todd s fate can be revealed. The episode ends with an archive video footage of Strickland and its titles: The Gods of comedy looked down upon you and smiled .

Fourth season and cancellation

At the beginning of the fourth and final season, Judd Nelson and Andrea Bendewald left the show; series developers and executive producers Steven Peterman and Gary Dontzig also left the series, and the show replaced almost its entire writing staff (with the exception of new co-showrunner Maria Semple, who joined the series the previous season). The Gate was transformed into a men s magazine by its new owner, Ian Maxtone-Graham (Eric Idle), and relocated from its trendy uptown offices overlooking the bay to a dingy former warehouse in Chinatown. In tow, Ian brought his own team of workers, including executive assistant and U.S. Navy veteran Miranda Charles (Sherri Shepherd), sports writer Nate Knaborski (Currie Graham), and freelance photographer Oliver Browne (Rob Estes). Faced with new challenges, Susan suddenly had to prove herself all over again.

Airing between Seinfeld and ER during its first season, Suddenly Susan was initially a ratings success, attracting almost 25 million viewers per episode, despite mostly unfavorable critical reviews. When the show was moved to Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. (against the Top 30 hit Cosby) in the second season, the show experienced a large ratings fall, sliding from #3 to #71 in one year, bringing in less than 11 million viewers. The ratings failed to bounce back, and in its final season, the show barely ranked in the top 100, prompting NBC to pull it from the schedule in January. It returned briefly in June, but at the end of the month was pulled from prime-time lineup with five episodes left unaired. One episode, The Gay Parade, remained unaired by NBC (but was eventually shown on Lifetime a few years ago); the final quartet of shows (including the two-part series finale) were burned off from 2:00 to 4:00 am (EST) on December 26, 2000, where they aired during the NBC All Night block.


On Rotten Tomatoes, season 1 has an approval rating of 55% based on reviews from 11 critics. The website s critical consensus was: Comedic inspiration doesn t spark Suddenly for this Susan, hampered by derivative gags that undermine Brooke Shields energetic performance.

Caryn James of the New York Times wrote: Like its lead character, Suddenly Susan has no identity of its own. The beauty of the magic time slot is that it gives Suddenly Susan, with its engaging star and flexible format, a well-deserved chance to grow.

Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gave it a grade C and called it: A wearyingly self-conscious updating of The Mary Tyler Moore Show: nice girl trying to make it in the competitive workplace of a big town.

Ratings history

Season TV Season Episodes Season premiere Season finale Time slot (ET) Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 1996–97 22 September 19, 1996 May 8, 1997 Thursday at 9:30 pm (Episodes 1–12)
Thursday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 13–22)
#3 16.5
2 1997–98 26 September 22, 1997 May 18, 1998 Monday at 8:00 pm (Episodes 1–19, 21–23, 25)
Monday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 20, 24, 26)
#65 7.9
3 1998–99 23 September 21, 1998 May 24, 1999 Monday at 8:00 pm (Episodes 1–9, 11–22)
Monday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 10, 23)
#81 9.5
4 1999–2000 22 September 20, 1999 June 27, 2000 Monday at 8:00 pm (Episodes 1–10, 12)
Monday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 11, 13)
Tuesday at 8:00 pm (Episodes 14–17)
#94 6.6

^ Twenty-three episodes were produced for season four, but episode 18, The Gay Parade was never broadcast.^ End of the series original broadcast run. Last four episodes were aired six months later.

Year 1996
ReleaseDate 1996-09-19
Plot Jack owns a magazine and is the former brother-in-law of Susan. After she runs out on her fiancé on their wedding day, Jack agrees to take her back at the magazine.
Awards Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys, 8 wins & 14 nominations total
Stars Brooke Shields, Judd Nelson, Kathy Griffin
Series Produced by Frank Pace,Andrew Green,Rick Singer,Gary Dontzig,Steven Peterman,Brenda Bos,Jeanette Collins,Mimi Friedman,Becky Hartman Edwards,Christopher Vane,Phil Baker,Drew Vaupen,Chuck Tatham,Maria Semple,Brooke Shields,Perry Rogers,Dan O Shannon,Tod Himmel,David Babcock,Mark Driscoll,Jean Zuhorski,Ian Praiser,Ed Yeager,Korby Siamis,Ellen Idelson,Susan Fales-Hill,Rob Lotterstein,David Flebotte,Lisa K. Nelson
Series Music by Ed Alton
Series Cinematography by Frank Raymond
Series Film Editing by Larry Harris,Marco Zappia
Series Casting By Anthony Sepulveda,Mark Saks
Series Art Direction by Greg Richman
Series Set Decoration by Steve Rostine
Series Costume Design by Judith Brewer Curtis,Bambi Breakstone
Series Makeup Department Cynthia Bachman Brown,Luke O Connor,Patrina O Connor,DeeDee Altamura,Aliki Demetriades,Camille Friend,Beth O Rourke,Amy L. Taylor
Series Production Management Michael Kelly,Leif Christoffersen,Judith Zaylor,Brenda Bos
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Michael Kelly,William Bardelli,Rosario Roveto Jr.,Phyllis Guarnaccia,Robbie Countryman,Ron Dempsey
Series Art Department Joshua Meltzer,Bruce Fuselier,Samantha Lea Smith,Nancy Lowry,David Brennan,Joaquin Navarro,Alisha Rothman
Series Sound Department Anthony Constantini,Doug Gray,Robert Douglass,Phil Valdivia,Charles Bruce,Mike Cruz,Larry Tozzi,Dale Rardin,Rick Himot,Michael Ballin,Phil Brown,John Hart,Noel Vought
Series Visual Effects by Dan Carrington,Scott Milne,Shelly Dutcher,Robin Scher,Mark Zarate,Tim Bird,Casey Conroy,Lori Freitag-Hild,John Myers,Kevin Prendiville,Jerry Spivack
Series Stunts Anita Hart,Myke Schwartz
Series Camera and Electrical Department Rod Weaver,Jon Purdy,Timothy White,Ron P. Jaffe,Rick Lamb,Cary Sachs,Ron Eisenberg,Thomas H. Frederick,John Lazear,Wayne A. Lee,Gary Armstrong
Series Casting Department Barbara Miller
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department David McGough,Joyce Unruh,Chris Burrows,Steve Hicke,Melissa Antablin
Series Editorial Department Scott Freeman,Michele Gitomer
Series Music Department Shawn Colvin,Matt Kierscht
Series Script and Continuity Department Kate Wright,Danielle Elaine,Patti Mustari
Series Additional Crew Yuell Newsome,Roger Christiansen,Roni Kaplan,Gary Dontzig,Steven Peterman,Clyde Phillips,Beverly Jackson,Betty Arnold,Rick Singer,Brenda Bos,Andrew Green,Maryanne Melloan Woods,Robert Peacock,Heather MacGillvray,Linda Mathious,Phil Baker,Drew Vaupen,Marc Flanagan,Tom Conkright,Bruce Bryant,James Castle,Tom Doak,Lane Napper,Joe Allen Rosenberger,Brett Dos Santos,Brian Hall,Polly Levy,Rebecca Thornell,Billy Van Zandt,Robert Zimiga,Louis E. Rosas
Series Thanks David Strickland
Genres Comedy
Companies Warner Bros. Television
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating TV-PG
ImDbRating 5.8
ImDbRatingVotes 3041
Keywords giant,giantess,sitcom,character name in title