Today, we look at how the second season of Bosom Buddies dropped the “two guys dressing as women to live in an all-women’s apartment” angle.
This is “Gonna Make a Change,” a feature where I spotlight shows that underwent major revamps during their runs to avoid cancellation. Note that I mean MAJOR revamps, not, like, M*A*S*H getting more serious as it went on or Cheers becoming more of an ensemble comedy once Shelley Long left.
April is a month of Gonna Make A Change!
Show: Bosom Buddies
I’ll probably do an article about this in the future (perhaps a TV Legends Revealed?) about its strange origins, but Bosom Buddies was one of those network-driven ideas that if you’re a producer that wants to get his show on to the air, you just go along with, even if you’re not a fan of the idea at all. However, when that’s the case, you’re more likely to try to change things, especially when the initial concept doesn’t work as well as hoped.
Original Concept: A buddy comedy about Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari as two men who have to dress up as women to be able to live in an women’s-only apartment building. The men, Kip and Henry, pretend to be women named Buffy and Hildegarde, while also showing up at the building as themselves (as Buffy and Hildy’s brothers) to try to woo the women in the building. Kip and Henry also work in advertising.
Revamped Concept: After the show didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but everyone loved the Hanks/Scolari combo, the show was able to revamp in the second season with Kip and Henry’s ruse discovered, but they’re allowed to continue to live at the building. Kip’s love interest, Sonny (Donna Dixon) forgive Kip pretty quickly and they just date like a normal couple (without the drama of the guys getting caught, there was no need for the head of the building, so Telma Hopkins’ character took over that role and the other actor, Lucille Benson, was written out of the show). Kip and Henry started their own commercial production company.
The guys still technically dressed up as Buffy and Hildy, but barely, and you can see how the second season theme song demonstrates how the show was just a normal buddy show now (with still a BIT of the dress-up element to it still, just to keep the name in play)…
Did it get the show more than one last season?: Nope, not even with a burgeoning superstar lead in Tom Hanks. Two seasons was all the show received
Okay, that’s it for this installment of “Gonna Make a Change,” please send in suggestions for other good revamps to my e-mail address of email@example.com!