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 Grace Under Fire: Season One


Show Type: Sitcom

First Telecast: September 29, 1993

Last Telecast: February 17. 1998

Theme Music: "Lady Madonna" by John Lennon & Paul McCartney; sung by Aretha Franklin

Broadcast History:

September 1993 - March 1994, Wednesday 9:30-10:00 on ABC

May 1994 - September 1994, Wednesday 9:30-10:00 on ABC

September 1994 - March 1995, Tuesday 9:30-10:00 on ABC

March 1995 - November 1996, Wednesday 9:00-9:30 on ABC

August 1995 - September 1995, Wednesday 8:00-8:30 on ABC

December 1996 - July 1997, Wednesday 8:00-8:30 on ABC

August 1997 - September 1997, Tuesday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

November 1997 - December 1997, Tuesday 8:00-8:30 on ABC

January 1998 - February 1998, Tuesday 9:30-10:00 on ABC


Grace Kelly..... Brett Butler

Quentin Kelly (age 8)..... Jon Paul Steuer

Elizabeth "Libby" Louise Kelly (age 5)..... Kaitlin Cullum

Patrick Kelly (age 8 months)..... Dylan and Cole Sprouse

Russell Norton..... Dave Thomas

Nadine Swoboda..... Julie White

Wade Swoboda..... Casey Sander

Jimmy Kelly..... Geoff Pierson

Faith Burdette..... Valri Bromfield

Bill Davis (1993-1994)..... Charles Hallahan

Dougie..... Walter Olkewicz

Vic..... Dave Florek

Carl (1993-1994)..... Louis Mandylor

Ryan Sparks (1994)..... William Fichtner

John Shirley (1994-present)..... Paul Dooley


Many critics called Brett Butler the successor to Roseanne - one tough, independent lady for the nineties. Her character, Grace, was certainly tough on men in the early episodes of this blue-collar comedy, and with some reason. She had just broken up with her physically abusive, "knuckle-dragging, cousin-loving, beer-sucking redneck husband" after eight years, convinced it was better to try and raise her three kids alone - whatever the sacrifices. Under an affirmative action program Grace got a job at an oil refinery (she called herself a "quota babe"), where she traded jibes with her Neanderthal male co-workers. Providing moral support were best friend Nadine and her husband, Wade, and mellow pharmacist Russell, who had just divorced his greedy wife.

In fact, a lot of people in this series had troublesome ex's. Grace's smooth-talking ex-husband, Jimmy, reappeared from time to time, trying to woo Grace and the kids (when that didn't work he got drunk and found another girlfriend); Russell fought comic running battles with his ex, Barbara; and Nadine was on her fourth husband with Wade. Grace's three kids, troublemaker (like his dad) Quentin, cute Libby, and baby Patrick added to the chaos at home. Also seen from time-to-time were Grace's loose-living sister, Faith; her huffy bosses at the refinery, Bill and later, John; boyfriend (for a time) Ryan; and Jimmy's oddly named kin Emmett Kelly, Jean Kelly, DeForest Kelly, etc....

In the 1995-1996 season Grace was promoted at the oil refinery and gained a steady boyfriend in plant executive Rick. They broke up after a season and Grace reentered the dating scene, while attending night school to better herself. In 1996-1997 her ex, Jimmy, started turning up more regularly, apparently trying to clean up his act. Also showing up was Grace's fourth child, Matthew, whom she had given up for adoption when she was young, and who now was in trouble. In early 1997, Wade and Nadine had a baby, but within a few months they divorced and Nadine disappeared from the cast. By the truncated final season, Grace had left the oil refinery and went to work first for a St. Louis ad agency and then a local construction company, where D.C. was her boss. Her former mother-in-law, Jean, was more frequently seen, and a new friend was Dot, who ran the local hair salon. In early 1998, Bev, a rich friend, moved in with Grace to "get in touch with her roots," but the new relationship was short-lived as the series was abruptly canceled in mid-February.