Designing Women was a CBS network sitcom created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason which aired from September 29, 1986 to May 24, 1993, lasting for six seasons & 163 episodes.
The series spawned a short-lived spin-off series "Women of the House" in 1995.
The series was about the misadventures of four women and their handyman, Anthony running a design firm in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Dixie Carter as Julia Sugarbaker
- Annie Potts as Mary Jo Shively
- Meshach Taylor as Anthony Bouvier
- Delta Burke as Suzanne Sugarbaker [seasons 1-5]
- Jean Smart as Charlene Frazier (later Stillfield) [seasons 1-5]
- Julia Duffy as Alison Sugarbaker [season 6]
- Jan Hooks as Carlene Frazier Dobber [seasons 6-7]
- Judith Ivey as Bonnie Jean "B.J." Poteet [season 7]
- Alice Ghostley as Bernice Clifton
- Priscilla Weems as Claudia Shively
- Brian Lando as Quinton Shively
- Hal Holbrook as Reese Watson [seasons 1-4]
- Richard Gilliland as J.D. Shackleford
- Douglas Barr as Colonel Bill Stillfield
- Sheryl Lee Ralph as Etienne Toussant Bouvier [season 8]
- Scott Bakula as Ted Shively [episodes 1, 12, 13, 24, 43 ]
- Arlen Dean Snyder as Ray Don Simpson [episodes 1, 5, 39 ]
- George Newbern as Payne [episodes 4, 8, 133 ]
- Gerald McRaney as Dash Goff [episodes 28, 44 ]
- Pamela Bowen as Marjorie [episodes 2, 31, 36, 41, 79, 80]
- Olivia Brown as Vanessa [episodes 79, 80, 84, 86, 93]
- Bobbie Ferguson as Monette [episodes 14, 62, 69 ]
- M.C. Gainey as T. Tommy Reed [episodes 35, 125 ]
- Dub Taylor as Daddy Jones [episodes 70, 86 ]
- Lexi Randall as Randa Oliver [episodes 97, 115-118]
When "Designing Women" first debuted in CBS' Monday-night line-up in 1986, it received respectable ratings, but the network moved it several times into other time slots.
After dismal ratings in the time slots on Sunday & Thursday nights, CBS placed it on hiatus and was prepared to cancel it, but a viewer campaign saved "Designing Women" and returned it to its usual Monday night slot.
The show's ratings solidified, and it regularly landed in the top 20 rankings. From 1989 through 1992, the show and another CBS program, "Murphy Brown" aired back-to-back, creating a very successful hour-long block for CBS as both shows were thought to appeal to similar demographics.
The show became a top 30 hit for three seasons from 1987 to 1992 & helped CBS which struggled in the ratings around the late 80's, but when "Designing Women" moved to Friday nights in the fall of 1992, the ratings dropped, falling to 67th place in the Nielsen ratings.