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The Great TV Sitcom Book

Diana

Everybody was waiting for this one: English import Diana Rigg, known to TV viewers for her highfalutin’ acting as Emma Peel on the British spy series, ‘The Avengers’, was coming to sitcom land in her very own show. Here is how the NBC press kit described her: “Diana Smythe, a divorcee seeking a new life in America working as a fashion coordinator assigned to the merchandising and advertising of Butley’s, a fashionable Fifth Avenue department store… each week, she finds herself in amusing situations with her co-workers and a variety of her brother’s friends who hold keys to the apartment he has rented for her…” Of course the shop was peopled by a bunch-of-lovable-nuts (as they are called in sitcom lingo) who included: commercial model Holly Green (Carol Androsky); Norman Brodnik, president of Butley’s (David Sheiner); his wife, Norma (Barbara Barrie); Howard Tolbrook (Richard B Schull), a cranky copywriter who shared an office with Diana; and Marshall Tyler (Robert Moore), a window dresser. None of them could save this series, and four months later NBC sent Diana packing back to England where, apparently, she got a job at Harrods.


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