Nick And Hillary and Tattinger's


Nick And Hillary (1989)
Tattinger's (1988-1989)
Type: Series Revamp

   Once again, if a show doesn't fly in its original form, "fixing" it is probably only going to make it worse. But networks always try it. They get money invested in sets, they get a cast and crew in place and they just want to try so hard to make it work! Sometimes they take drastic steps, make drastic changes. That's actually probably better than minor tinkering which always just makes bad shows into really bad shows.

   Tattinger's was a case of a show that got a MAJOR overhaul. The original premise was that Nick Tattinger was a former New York restaurateur who had returned to New York and reacquired his old restaurant in the hopes of returning it to glory. The place was of course named Tattinger's. He bought the place back from his ex-wife Hillary who he once again would have to contend with. He also had two daughters and, of course, his staff at Tattinger's to deal with. It was an hour long comedy/drama. Sort of a Love Boat in a fancy restaurant with more focus on the regulars than on rotating guest stars. Every episode found some new problems for the staff or Nick.

   NBC gave the show a big push but it just didn't catch on in the ratings. I mean they put big money into this thing. They even actually filmed it in New York. Most shows just film in L.A. and pretend to be in New York. But the show's not working. What to do?

   Screw minor fixes. Big and daring changes were made. Tattinger's went bye bye as the changes were worked on. A few months later America got introduced to the new show: Nick And Hillary. The new format was a half hour sitcom. And give the show's makers credit. They played it gutsy, going so far as to mock original shows failure. The new open of the show started just like the old one before being interrupted and wrecked by the new one. They also set up that Tattinger's, the restaurant floundered because it had class and style and was DULL which could be said about the show as well.

   The starting point of the new series had Nick running off to chase after Hillary's and his accountant who had robbed them blind and fled the country. Nick left Hillary in charge. When he came back he found that Hillary had "tinkered" with Tattinger's, just like the show had been tinkered with. She took the proper and classy Tattinger's and turned it into a funky hip joint or at least what she thought was funky and hip. Nick was astonished. The writing on the new show was sharp, featuring not just self-referential humor but humor referencing pop culture and projects the cast had formerly worked on. The show was ahead of its time. Kevin Williams would make that sort of writing all the rage with the Scream films and Dawson's Creek.

   The show wasn't all "aren't we so smart" writing either. They went low brow too. There was one scene with a naked character on screen with his privates blocked by a very well placed lamp. This show is the ultimate proof for me revamping a show don't work! I mean Nick And Hillary was actually a well done and clever reworking and it still didn't fly. It got the axe after only a few episodes aired.

Other Nick And Hillary Crossover Links
Nick And Hillary and St. Elsewhere

Other Tattingers Crossover Links
Tattingers and St. Elsewhere

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