Show Type: Sitcom

First Telecast: October 30, 1980

Last Telecast: September 10, 1982

Broadcast History:

October 1980 January 1981, Thursday 9:30-10:00 on ABC

July 1981 August 1981, Tuesday 9:30-10:00 on ABC

September 1981 October 1981, Friday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

October 1981 January 1982, Saturday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

February 1982, Friday 9:30-10:00 on ABC

June 1982 September 1982, Friday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

(In first-run syndication from September 1985 - September 1989)



Nancy Beebe..... Marian Mercer

Lois Adams (1980-1981)..... Susan Sullivan

Dot Higgins..... Gail Edwards

Vicki Allen (1980-1981)..... Wendy Schaal

Cassie Cranston (1980-1986)..... Ann Jillian

Jan Hoffmeyer Gray..... Barrie Youngfellow

Sonny Mann (nee Manishewitz)..... Paul Kreppel

Mario (1980-1981)..... Bert Remsen

Maggie McBurney (1980-1982)..... Louise Lasser

Dennis Hubner (1981-1982)..... Earl Boen

Amy Tompkins (1985-1989)..... Crystal Bernard

Howard Miller (1985-1989)..... Richard Stahl

Ginger St. James (1986-1989)..... Sheryl Lee Ralph

Richie Gray (1986-1989)..... Richard Kline

Reggie St. Thomas (1988-1989)..... Julius Carry

Bobby Lee Lord..... (1988-1989)..... Jay Baker


This sexy comedy was about five pretty waitresses working at a posh Los Angeles restaurant (so posh that in one scene an enraged customer received a bill for $540.00 for six people).

Nancy was the disciplinarian supervisor, trying to get a days work out of Lois, Dot, Vicki, Cassie (the brassy one), Jan, and Sonny, the self-absorbed lounge pianist. Along with battling customers and chattering about their home life, the girls all giggled a lot, paraded around in skimpy outfits, and made jokes about who had "done it" the previous night.

ABC evidently had faith in this show. Despite a shaky first season, it was renewed, given a new name (Making A Living) and two new cast members, and tried out in several time periods. It didn't help.

Three years after leaving ABC, with its original title and most of the original cast, Its A Living returned to the air with new episodes produced for the syndicated market. Added to the cast were Amy, a nave, new young waitress; a new chef named Howard who was the constant, and disinterested object of Nancy's amorous advances; and the infrequently seen Richie Gray (played by Richard Kline), an electrician who eventually married Jan. In the fall of 1986, an outspoken, sexy black waitress named Ginger joined the other waitresses at Above The Top. Late in 1987, in a moment of weakness, sarcastic Howard finally started dating Nancy and, to the surprise of everyone on the staff including himself, the two of them married in Las Vegas.

During the 1988-1989 season, there were two more marriages Ginger to successful physician Reggie St. Thomas (Julius Carry) and her roommate Amy to Bobby Lee Lord (Jay Baker), a devout young preacher. As the series wound down, Dot was still looking for her big break as an actress, Sonny was as obnoxious as ever, Jan and Richie were expecting a baby and, most remarkably, Howard and Nancy were still together.