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Babes is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 situation comedy
Situation comedy
A situation comedy, often shortened to sitcom, is a genre of comedy that features characters sharing the same common environment, such as a home or workplace, accompanied with jokes as part of the dialogue...

 series that ran for one season on the Fox Television Network from September 13, 1990
1990 in television
For the American TV schedule, see: 1990-91 United States network television schedule.The year 1990 in television involved some significant events.Below is a list of television-related events in 1990.-Events:-Debuts:-1950s:...

 to August 10, 1991
1991 in television
For the American TV schedule, see: 1991-92 United States network television schedule.The year 1991 in television involved some significant events.Below is a list of television-related events in 1991.-Events:-Debuts:-1950s:...

. It was created by Gail Parent
Gail Parent
Gail Parent is an American television and screenwriter, television producer, and author.Parent's writing career began with a 1971 episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show...

 and executive produced by Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
Dolly Rebecca Parton is an American singer-songwriter, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress and philanthropist, best known for her work in country music. Dolly Parton has appeared in movies like 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Steel Magnolias and Straight Talk...

 and Sandy Gallin's Sandollar Productions for Twentieth Century Fox Television
Fox Television Studios
Fox Television Studios, Inc. is the TV production arm of the News Corporation's Fox Entertainment Group, as well as being the production arm of Fox and a production arm of 20th Century Fox Television, Inc., itself a division of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation...

. Parton even guest starred as herself in episode 15, entitled "Hello, Dolly".


The series follows the lives of the Gilbert sisters, a trio of plump siblings who had other things on their mind besides their weight: like work, relationships, popularity, and starting a family. The ladies also shared a small one-bedroom apartment in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, which added to the comic friction.

The Gilbert sisters include Darlene (Susan Peretz
Susan Peretz
Susan Peretz was an American actress, best known for her performances in film and on television. Among others, she appeared in Dog Day Afternoon, Melvin and Howard, Swing Shift, and Oh, God! You Devil....

), the eldest, who was a dog groomer and recently divorced (her husband had an affair with their weight-loss counselor); Charlene (Wendie Jo Sperber
Wendie Jo Sperber
Wendie Jo Sperber was an American actress, best known for her performances in the films I Wanna Hold Your Hand , Bachelor Party and Back to the Future as well as the television sitcom Bosom Buddies .-Life:Sperber was born in Hollywood and aimed for a performing-arts career from high school onward...

), the middle sister, who was a makeup artist for a commercial photographer and was the most active one out of the three; and Marlene (Lesley Boone
Lesley Boone
Lesley Boone is an American actress.Born in Los Angeles, California, she later attended California State University, Northridge at Northridge. Following graduation, she earned her S.A.G. card after appearing on an episode of Hooperman. Since then, Boone has acted in television and film, as well as...

), the youngest sister, a former toll collector (and later an actress in a pantyhose commercial and a soap opera), who was seen as a dreamer with a naive, yet trusting, personality. Also in the cast was Charlene's boyfriend, Ronnie Underwood (Rick Overton
Rick Overton
Richard "Rick" Overton is an American screenwriter, actor and comedian. His writing credits include Dennis Miller Live, and his acting credits include Willow and The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne.-Life and career:...

), a restaurant owner. He disappeared at mid-season, as a result putting all three sisters on the dating market. At that time, the girls' landlady, Florence Newman (Nedra Volz
Nedra Volz
Nedra Volz was an American film and television actress.-Early life and career:Born Nedra Gordonier in Montrose, Iowa, she began her career in the family tent show, and appeared in vaudeville as a toddler...

), became a regular.

All three also had physical elements in their resume and it was evidenced in most of the episodes whenever something would tick off the sisters. Among the notable examples: Charlene getting blown up in a helium dress, Darlene breaking a hockey stick while attending a New York Rangers
New York Rangers
The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in the borough of Manhattan in New York, New York, USA. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . Playing their home games at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers are one of the...

 game that got her on probation and head-butting Ronnie over who was going to spend the night at the apartment, Marlene waking the sisters up with potato chips after they didn't hear her come in, and the sisters ganging up on a mime after he mocked them.

Controversy and cancellation

The show was initially criticized by several groups for making fun of overweight
Overweight is generally defined as having more body fat than is optimally healthy. Being overweight is a common condition, especially where food supplies are plentiful and lifestyles are sedentary...

 people due to some of the jokes that were used in the show's early episodes, but the controversy faded as later episodes began to put a more positive spin on the characters when it came to weight issues (this was pointed out in one episode in which they vowed the word "fat" would not come up in the conversation while they had a argument).

Although it had the Top 30 hit The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

as its lead-in, it could not hold on to a large enough percentage from that show, and also at least partially because of the controversy, it did not earn a second season and was cancelled at the end of the 1990–1991 season.

International broadcasts

Outside the US, the series also aired in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 under the title "Jamais Deux Sans Trois" ("Never Two minus Three").

External links

  • "Babes" at Share TV
  • "One Fun Babe", a 1990 Entertainment Weekly
    Entertainment Weekly
    Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

    profile of Sperber that discusses her role on the series.