Hangin' with Mr. Cooper

Last updated
Hangin' with Mr. Cooper
Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.png
Genre Sitcom
Created by Jeff Franklin [1]
Starring
Theme music composer
Opening theme
  • "Hangin' with My Man", performed by Dawnn Lewis & Holly Robinson Peete with En Vogue (season 1)
  • "Soul Man", performed by Howard Hewett (season 2)
  • "Cooper, Cooper", performed by Sherwood Ball, Carmen Carter and Oren Waters (seasons 3–5)
Composer(s)
  • Jesse Frederick & Bennett Salvay (season 1)
  • Steve Tyrell (season 2)
  • Gary Boren
  • Steven Chesne (seasons 3–5; alternating)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes101 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Jeff Franklin (season 1, eps. 1–3 & 10)
  • Danny Kallis (season 1, eps. 3–22)
  • Cheryl Gard (season 2)
  • William Bickley & Michael Warren (seasons 3–5)
  • Barry O'Brien & Cheryl Alu (season 4)
  • David Chambers (season 5)
Camera setup Videotape; Multi-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network ABC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original releaseSeptember 22, 1992 (1992-09-22) 
August 30, 1997 (1997-08-30)

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper is an American television sitcom that originally aired on ABC from September 22, 1992, to August 30, 1997, starring Mark Curry and Holly Robinson. The show took place in Curry's hometown of Oakland, California. [2] [3] Hangin' with Mr. Cooper was produced by Jeff Franklin Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television, having been produced by Lorimar Television for the first season before being absorbed, and also became produced by Bickley-Warren Productions by the third season. The show originally aired on Tuesdays in prime time after sister series Full House , also created by Jeff Franklin and set in the San Francisco Bay Area. The show found its niche as an addition to the TGIF Friday night lineup on ABC, and was part of the lineup from September 1993 to May 1996 (spanning the show's second, third and fourth seasons before moving to Saturdays for its fifth and final season).

Contents

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankRating
First airedLast aired
1 22September 22, 1992 (1992-09-22)May 25, 1993 (1993-05-25)1614.6
(Tied with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Jackie Thomas Show )
2 22September 24, 1993 (1993-09-24)May 20, 1994 (1994-05-20)N/AN/A
3 22September 23, 1994 (1994-09-23)May 12, 1995 (1995-05-12)N/AN/A
4 22September 15, 1995 (1995-09-15)May 10, 1996 (1996-05-10)N/AN/A
5 13June 21, 1997 (1997-06-21)August 30, 1997 (1997-08-30)N/AN/A
Broadcast History
[4]

Cast

Main cast, from Season 2 (l-r): Quarterman, Symone, Curry, Robinson Peete, Wilson Hangin with Mr. Cooper.jpg
Main cast, from Season 2 (l–r): Quarterman, Symoné, Curry, Robinson Peete, Wilson

Main

Recurring

Synopsis

Season 1

In the first season, Mark Cooper, Vanessa Russell, and Robin Dumars live as roommates in a house that they rent together. Mark, whose room is in the den, had initially moved in with Robin and Vanessa to help them with their rent. Robin is Mark's long time childhood friend and Vanessa is Robin's best friend (and sorority sister) from college. In the pilot episode, Mark gets a job as a substitute science teacher for a high school where Robin also teaches music. Later in the season, he becomes a physical education teacher as well as the high school's basketball coach. In the middle of the season, the original landlord dies and the house is then purchased by the parents of their annoying but well-meaning neighbor, Tyler Foster. After purchasing the house, Tyler's father gives Mark, Robin, and Vanessa one month to vacate. Tyler intervenes and tells his father that he likes the trio and they are then invited to continue living in their home.

After failing to make the NBA in his youth, Mark is invited to try out and briefly play with the Golden State Warriors, but is soon cut from the team after an embarrassing take down from Charles Barkley. His jersey number with the Warriors was # 7.

The pilot episode was filmed on the same set used by the Seavers in the sitcom Growing Pains . [5]

Seasons 2 through 4

The show moved to Friday nights in the second season as part of the TGIF block. It also was remodeled into more of a family-oriented show instead of an adult oriented show as in the first season. In the second-season premiere, Tyler mentioned that Robin had moved and Mark had purchased the house from his parents. The second-season premiere introduces Mark's cousin, Geneva Lee, and her daughter, Nicole, who move in with Mark and Vanessa. Geneva took over teaching music at Mark's school. Around the time Geneva and Nicole joined the show, Mark's school welcomed a new principal, P.J. Moore (played by Nell Carter), who was Mark's babysitter when he was a child. She was replaced in Season 4 by Geneva.

In 1996, Mark proposed to Vanessa in the episode "Will She or Won't She". This episode was a cliffhanger season finale that was aired on May 10, 1996. The following season premiere episode ("The Ring") was not aired until June 21, 1997, more than a year later. Vanessa accepted Mark's proposal in this episode. "The Ring" is the first episode of the fifth and last season of the series.

The entire third season and most of the fourth season's episodes were directed by Mark Linn-Baker, who portrayed Larry Appleton on the hit ABC series Perfect Strangers . Linn-Baker also appeared in a few episodes.

Season 5

The last season was 13 episodes long, half the length of most television seasons, and was aired in the summer when most television shows are in reruns. In addition, this season was aired on Saturday nights—a move away from its traditional Friday-night slot on TGIF.

The series finale ("Getting Personal"), was aired August 30, 1997. In this episode, Vanessa wrote a personal ad in the newspaper and wanted Mark to figure out which ad was hers and to answer it. Mark decided to answer all ads in the paper, tell everyone to look for the man with the rose, and then not wear a rose. Mark figured that Vanessa would be happy enough that Mark answered her ad, would not worry about the rose, and that the other women would not get mad at him because, without a rose, they would not know that Mark is the one who answered their ads. Earvin knew about Mark's plan and decided to go to the restaurant with the rose so that he could get a date with one of the women whose ad Mark had answered. Vanessa and the other women figured out that the same man had answered all their ads. They decided that the man with the rose would be the dead man with the rose. When Earvin showed up, they all got mad at him, thinking he was the one who'd answered their ads. The finale ended with a goodbye from the cast.

While the series finale was viewed in its entirety on ABC affiliates in the Eastern, Central, and Mountain time zones, ABC pre empted the episode on the West Coast five minutes in to break the news of the death of Princess Diana, and the finale was never re-run on ABC. Other than several complaints from viewers on the West Coast, there was little, if any, controversy, as this episode generally had low ratings and aired on a Saturday. However, the episode eventually aired in syndication.

ABC actually intended to bring back Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and Step By Step to TGIF for the 1996–97 season as mid-season replacements if freshmen series Sabrina the Teenage Witch and/or Clueless were cancelled (Clueless was cancelled by February and was replaced by Step by Step by March, Clueless was picked up by UPN the next season. Sabrina lasted four seasons on ABC before being picked up by The WB in 2000 where it spent its last three seasons. Both shows are now owned by CBS Television Distribution).

The wedding of Mark and Vanessa would have most likely been the sixth-season premiere episode had the show been renewed after season five, as Mark Curry reportedly had wanted the wedding to begin a new season, not a series finale. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper was the only TGIF show cancelled after the 1996–97 season as CBS picked up Step by Step and Family Matters when that network attempted a TGIF-style comedy lineup on Fridays called the "CBS Block Party".

Production

The series was created by Jeff Franklin (who also created one-time lead-in Full House in 1987, of whose cast John Stamos, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen made a guest appearance in Mr. Cooper's second episode), the series was originally executive produced by Franklin, with Danny Kallis becoming executive producer and showrunner shortly after; Cheryl Gard became the showrunner for season two, before William Bickley and Michael Warren (who created the popular ABC sitcoms Family Matters and Step by Step, which moved to CBS in 1997) became the showrunners by the third season, continuing until the end of the series.

It is also the only videotaped sitcom produced by Bickley-Warren Productions (all other Bickley-Warren-produced comedies, all of which, except for Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and the short-lived WB sitcom Kirk , were produced in conjunction with Miller-Boyett Productions, were shot on film), and is one of only two series executive produced and/or created by Bickley and/or Warren, that Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett did not executive produce.

Theme song and opening sequences

The show had three different theme songs throughout its run. The first season's theme song was performed by the show's stars, Dawnn Lewis, Holly Robinson, and the R&B quartet En Vogue, and was written by Foster and McElroy. Lewis and Robinson perform most of the theme, while En Vogue sings "Cooper" in the chorus. This sequence was styled similarly to a music video. This was the only opening title sequence during the show's to feature two different versions. The version used in most episodes lasted only 32 seconds. However, a couple of episodes used a minute-long version that included an extra stanza that was not included in the short version.

R&B male crooner and Shalamar lead singer Howard Hewett sang the second season theme, which was a remake of Sam & Dave's R&B Top 10 hit "Soul Man." This version was produced by singer Steve Tyrell, who also composed the scene change music used during season two. The opening sequence accompanying the theme during this season featured Mark, Geneva, Nicole and Vanessa in the kitchen getting ready to go to work and school.

Sherwood Ball, Carmen Carter, and Oren Waters performed the third-season theme, [6] which became the main theme song until the series ended. This theme was written by Gary Boren and Steven Chesne, who also composed the music cues to signify scene changes and commercial breaks during the last three seasons and composed the music score of several Miller-Boyett series during the early and mid-1990s. The sequence, created by graphic design firm Creative Tool, featured shots of various places in Oakland in static and regular form with posterized shots of the cast members with clips on the opposite side of the cast members (though clips of Mark Curry are shown on both sides in his part of the sequence).

Alice Cooper was approached in the initial stages of production to create a theme song for the series, but he declined due to scheduling conflicts.


Syndication

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper went into off-network broadcast syndication (via Telepictures Distribution and Warner Bros. Television Distribution) in the fall of 1996, where it lasted until the fall of 2000 (airing until the fall of 1999 in some markets). From July 2008 to January 2009 it aired on ION Television as part of the network's Laugh Attack hour of American sitcoms, initially running from 5-6PM/ET, then moved an hour later (switching time slots with The Steve Harvey Show ).

The series has also aired on cable network TNN from 2000–2002, on Nickelodeon’s teen-oriented television programming block, TEENick from 2001–2003, on TV One from 2007 to 2008, and on BET from 2008 to 2010. The sitcom was picked up by Nick at Nite on January 13, 2014 during the 6:00AM–7:00AM morning line-up), and that same year it returned to Nick Jr. as part of the block, NickMom.

On September 29, 2017, Hulu acquired the streaming rights to Hangin' with Mr. Cooper along with fellow Warner Bros. TV properties Family Matters , Full House , Perfect Strangers and Step by Step in addition to Disney-ABC TV properties Boy Meets World , Dinosaurs and Home Improvement . [7]

Home media

On August 2, 2016, Warner Bros. released Hangin' with Mr. Cooper- The Complete First Season on DVD via their Warner Archive Collection burn-on-demand service. [8] The second season was released on March 5, 2019, via WBShop.com. [9]

DVD NameEp #Release Date
The Complete First Season22August 2, 2016
The Complete Second Season22March 5, 2019
The Complete Third Season22January 21, 2020

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References

  1. Braxton, Greg (October 4, 1992). "African-Americans are increasingly welcome in prime time, but some observers say the new shows fail to rise above stereotypes". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  2. King, Susan (July 12, 1996). "Q & A with MARK CURRY". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  3. Rosenberg, Howard (September 22, 1992). "'Mr. Cooper': A Comedy That Seems Familiar". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  4. Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present (Ninth Edition). Ballantine Books. p. 577. ISBN   978-0-345-49773-4.
  5. Obias, Rudie (15 May 2017). "10 TV shows that recycled their sets". Mental Floss . Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  6. Music samples by Gary Boren
  7. Hatchett, Keisha (September 29, 2017). "This Is Not a Drill: Boy Meets World Is Now On Hulu". TVGuide.com. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  8. 'The Complete 1st Season' is Coming to DVD at Last! Archived 2016-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  9. 'The Complete 2nd Season' is Coming to DVD at WBShop.com!