Frank's Place (TV Series 1987–1988) Poster

(1987–1988)

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Someone help release Frank's Place on DVD!
kekebe30 May 2005
The classiest sitcom ever on television, Frank's Place did not insult the intelligence of the American public, but used humor to make people think and perhaps come away from the thirty minute episode a better person for having watched. Perhaps the most innovative idea was the casting of Don Yesso, who was so fluent in the native tongue of New Orleans that sometimes captioning was used so that viewers could follow the dialogue! Wonderful. I can remember waiting all week for the show to come on, and taping each one, but over the years the tapes were worn out and/or lost. What a shame to not be able to buy this wonderful show on DVD. Someone who has influence, please help those of us who have a jones on for a Frank fix!
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Masterpiece
richard.fuller131 March 2004
Going on twenty years later, and it was one of a kind. Best show hands down.

Too funny, without being sexually explicit with adult material. Brilliant.

Beah Richards would deservedly win the guest actress Emmy as the widow of the man who "may" have killed himself, but to this day I enjoy fellow nominee Conchata Farrell from the same episode as the lawyer representing Richards. The lines "I spit up on her. My mother died in her arms" is a chilling, stunning setup.

"In other words, gentlemen, I am your worst nightmare come true."

Fantastic.

The Rosalind Cash-Lynne Thigpen episode. Subtle, yet memorable. Cash was the old voodoo ways, Thigpen was the updated voodoo ways. Too classic.

Loved the "spell" being carried in by Thigpen in a paper bag covered in aluminum.

I had forgotten about the dead body being removed from the funeral home. The "body" would tip his hat and smile at the very end after credits rolled.

The boxing match. Sensational.

I suppose my fave was the restaurant episode with the country band, the drag queens, the white family and "Pick a bale of cotton." Around the same time, Robin Williams had pulled the same joke on a special "Carol, Carl, Robin & Whoopi" but it was still funny here.

My brother managed to record most of the episodes, only missing a two parter dealing with drugs.

I still think about this grand show.

Daphne Maxwell-Reid and Virginia Capers. Hilarious when she got mad and was in that wheelchair.

And the reverend! How could I forget him! "But the Lord loves me!"

He would have a quick scene in the boxing match that was too funny.

Toward the end, Frank would be told that Daphne was getting married to a football player and he would meet the guy, who had a voice like a cartoon character. Frank felt vindicated. At the very end, he mimicked MIckey Mouse giving football calls.

This show would be replaced with that horrendous retirement community show that starred Glynis Johns, Alan Young and the fellow who played Wimpy in the Robin Williams-Shelly Duvall Popeye movie.

Was Frank's Place ahead of its time? Who knows?

It would receive numerous nominations in the only year it was on, and other than Richards' guest win, it would only receive writing.

Yes, it seemed to be because they were Black. Even in the eighties it could be too much. It was a shame.

But thankfully the show was done for that year.
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PLEASE make a DVD
FP-4-nyb24 August 2005
This show was so unique and so classy and so very well done in every way, that there are many many people who still rave about it to this day. If any show ever deserved to have all of its episodes on a DVD - - this is absolutely the one. The dialog was perfectly written. The music was wonderful and appropriate. It goes without having to elaborate that each one of the actors was talented and a joy to see and hear.

And, one of this show's most unique and classy perks was something that was pure class. There was NO LAUGH TRACK.

Frank's place was truly one of the greatest. This kind of quality is sorely missed. If only this show would be repeated now on any channel, anywhere- - that would be a wonderful thing. And if word got out that indeed it could be seen again on TV, it would not only instantly attract the viewers who still miss it very much; it would most likely establish a significant number of new loyal fans.

Somehow, someone, anyone, PLEASE create a DVD of it.
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Tremendous
balformatted17 September 2003
Fantastic show. As everyone else seems to note, canceled way too soon. Puts shows like NYPD Blue, Six Feet Under, and other critical darlings to shame -- had more depth, cleverness, backwards humor and good, understated acting in a single show than a year's worth of Six Feet Under.

Definitely leads off the list of "why don't the networks spend the six hours it would take to hire some intern to transfer the tape to DVD and release this oblivion" shows.
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A classic series set in New Orleans.
Micheaux5 February 1999
This series was the story of Frank Parrish, a Boston-based professor, who, upon his father's death, inherits a restaurant in New Orleans, the Chez Louisianne (called "The Chez" (pronounced shez) by the employees and patrons). He relocates to Louisiana and learns the restaurant business through fits and starts.

Other characters were Hanna Griffin, the object of Parrish's affections and the assistant to Bertha Griffin-Lamour, her mother and the owner of a prominent funeral home; Reverend Deal, a part-time entrepeneur and part-time preacher; Tiger Shepin and Cool Charles, bartenders of the Chez; Big Arthur, the Cook (NOT the Chef, he insisted) and Shorty his assistant; Anna-May, who was the waitress and Miss Marie, the senior waitress who only waited on customers of the Chez that were customers for 20 years or more; Bubba was a lawyer who was a regular customer (Hugh Wilson said in an interview that this was the character that was a representation of him in the show, "the White guy").

There was much talent to be had in front of and behind the camera; playwright Samm-Art Williams wrote an episode, Hugh Wilson not only helped write the show, but even made a cameo; guest stars included Conchata Ferrell, the late Rosalind Cash and boxer Joe Frazier.

The show could have easily relied on humor, which it certainly had a handle on (one wonderfully absurd episode, "The Body" has the restaurant trying to deal with a pesky corpse, ala, "The Trouble With Harry"), however, it addressed many topics; relationships within the African-American community, it featured Dizzy Gillespie on one show and another one show had a strong Voodoo influence.

The most famous episode (shown on Nick at Nite's TV Land) and the most lauded was "The Bridge", which won Emmys for the writer, Hugh Wilson and guest star Beah Richards.

BET (Black Entertainment Television) re-ran the show, but has since stopped. TV Land, by all appearances has the rights to show it, but does not do so regularly.

This was a truly great show, culturally enlightening, funny, touching and always engaging. It can be said that there was not a single clunker in 17 episodes. The cast was predominately Black, however, it was a show that anyone could watch and enjoy. As Tom Shales said in a review, "This was not a "Black" show, this was a "People" show."
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LA, not L.A., and thank God for it
Scritzy26 July 2000
Frank's Place is one of my favorite shows. Very underrated, very unappreciated and quite ahead of its time. The episode in which the corpse shows up sitting in the back row at his own funeral, with Bach's marvelously macabre "Toccata in D Minor" as the stinger, is pure genius. The episode in which the homeless man stands at the back door singing "Daaaaaaaaaaayyyyy-OOOOOOOO!" (Harry Belafonte, eat your heart out) is classic. And who could believe that Shorty! The use of subtitles to translate that spicy-as-gumbo Louisiana gush - what a hoot! My husband, whose father was from Louisiana, could always understand every word Shorty said. I had to rely on the subtitles. Why, why, why wasn't this show given a chance? Because it was sensitive, intelligent and enormously funny, that's why. Diversity, the dearth of which is so lamented today, came to TV in 1987 and was shuffled off with less finesse than was the missing corpse. Our loss. TV Land, bring it back! I promise to set my VCR!
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One of the (if not THE) best shows on TV
MJBM911916 November 2002
Frank's Place was loved by both viewers and critics. Too bad sponsors and networks were too jittery about black people as they really are and not as stereotypes. The episode where the "guys" take Ed's body from the funeral home for a night on the town is the funniest ever shown on TV. Even Lucy and Ethel would vote it the best.
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So lovely, so real
aussie-2022 September 2003
I've got to agree, this is closer to real Louisiana folks & New Orleans than anything else you'll find, and there's a lot of heart to it. I sense that the series was a labor of love, and I wish I could have it on DVD, along with Evening Shade.
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Victim of CBS
subcityii6 June 2003
This show was a victim of CBS. As other posters here have so adroitly put it, this was a wonderful, well done show about a New Orleans restaurant. The setting, the characters, the little touches throughout were positively intoxicating. The episodes I remember are "The Bum Out Front" and "Dueling Voodoo". The "Voodoo" episode was especially memorable because the lead character literally had to use magic powder to undo a curse. I remember when the show aired, it did have low ratings, but I thought they would renew it and give it another shot, because the show was of such high quality. I thought CBS would do what NBC did when it renewed the low rated but high quality "Cheers" and "Hill St. Blues" and gave them the time to find their audience. It was canceled by CBS and I have never forgotten how disappointed I was at that decision. Part of the reason it was taken off of the air, was so that the leads actors in the series, Tim Reid and his wife Daphne Maxwell Reid could do a forgettable hour long detective show called "Snoops". "Frank's Place" truly was a victim of CBS, I'd love to see the series on DVD or on Nick at Night again.
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One of the all time best
clarrain1 March 2005
I still so miss this show. Even more now that there is so little of quality on network television. I rank it with Barney Miller and Frasier in the superiority of its comedy writing. Far and away one of the most intelligent shows ever produced. But then so much more than comedy. So deep and true and human. With wonderful performances by the entire, quirky cast. With real essence of place, which seemed to figure as another character in the overall mix. Such conscience, compassion and heart.

It is very dispiriting that such high quality entertainment is choked off as very possibly too black, but is followed by such a host of "black" shows so dumbed down, stereotypical, canned and downright silly as to only be able to aspire to mediocrity.

What a blessing it would be to be able to acquire the episodes on DVD. And/or to get the same dream team together for another stellar effort. I know the characters were only [?] fictional, but they felt so much like friends. COME BACK!!!
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10/10
Biggest Disappointment Ever!!
migrjo9 February 1999
The demise of this very fine series was, for me, the single biggest disappointment in my history of watching television (forty-plus years)! It had the potential to be an American television classic. My personal favorite episode, "Dueling Vodoo", was as fine an hour of television as anything I've seen.

I had high hopes for it when BET aired it briefly, but they too unceremoniously dumped it.

I believe, at the time it was on the air, it (and "Hooperman") was called a Dramedy. Some people may have found the combination of drama and comedy unsettling. I thought it was superb!

Someone, somewhere give this show a second chance! Quality must count for something!!
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Frank's Place on DVD - Hum
jackie19114 January 2003
The best thing I did in the early nineties was to tape the "Frank's Place" episodes that aired on BET. For ten years I watched the tapes so much I almost worn them out. To maintain them now, I only view them twice a year. It's hard to pick one favorite episode. Each one was well written and the acting was great. I love the person who selected the jukebox music. I was born in northern Louisiana and the show taught me a lot about southern living. The way sentences were phrased brought back memories of my childhood. Today, my friends tease me because I "make grocery" while they go grocery shopping. Frank's Place was a great series, it made me cry and laugh at the same time. If they decide to release Frank's Place on DVD, I'm buying! HINT, HINT, HINT.
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"TV too good for TV"
Varlaam28 March 1999
Funny. Warm. Original location. Ensemble cast. Well-differentiated performances. And all right from the first episode.

I guess that's why this series had "doomed to failure" written all over it from the outset.

Tim Reid has a genuine talent although people don't seem to have many opportunities to experience it. Have a quick look at "Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colo(u)red" and you'll find yourself hooked on Reid if you have not succumbed already.
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10/10
Quirky, intelligent, fun; great music
asbwa9 January 2007
I too greatly loved the show, though I only saw a few episodes because they kept changing the time it was on and I couldn't always find it. The plots, acting, and music were all wonderful - intelligent and quirky. I especially remember the episode about the corpse taken out for his last night on the town; it was reminiscent of the Cuban film Death of a Bureaucrat, but very funny in its own right. About a year ago, I wrote an e-mail to Tim and Daphne Reid asking about releasing the show on DVD. I thought it would be good to do it then and donate a portion of the proceeds for Hurricane Katrina relief. Daphne Reid replied, saying Viacom owns the rights and they'd been trying to get Viacom to release it on DVD for about two years. Of course, that's now three years, assuming it hasn't changed ownership. If anyone out there is ambitious enough to start a campaign to get it released, that's who to contact.
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10/10
Frank's Place = My Place
CheerfulLeigh17 October 2006
I saw this show the first year I had moved away from New Orleans. I moved back to FL to be with my family, but it sure looked like N. O. had followed me. The pilot had a scene of Frank's first night there, after living in Chicago (I believe). What he finds crawling up his bedclothes made me yell with recognition, and I will never forget his reaction. This was such an accurate show - that's why I remember it so well. The writers REALLY knew The City, and I should know - I lived there for 10 years, and went through much of what Frank had to learn. My favorite episode was when the young man who worked for Frank got in with the wrong crowd, then tried to get back out. I have been a "vidiot" for 50 years, and I can say absolutely that that one TV episode made me cry so hard I had to get a bath towel to try to recover. I have never, ever, been so moved by what I saw, and I saw the last episode of M.A.S.H., the last Johnny Carson Show, and many All In The Family episodes that were every bit as dramatic as they were usually hilarious. I cannot recommend it enough. Period.
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10/10
One of the best show EVER on TV!
nickistar5916 October 2006
This show was written, cast, and directed on the same level as classics like the Cosby Show, Cheers, Seinfeld, and Fraiser. It is nothing short of superb in its sets, pace, tone, and themes. It was one of the pioneer "dramedies" and handled the format beautifully. Typically, the first half was a humorous set-up and the last half resolved the set-up in (usually) a serious way. Shows are either character driven or social theme driven. Each character was showcased at least once (I think), lending to their beautifully drawn, three-dimensionality. Other shows are about drugs, homelessness (a very different take on the "problem"), social status, New Orleans culture, race, religion, food, VooDoo--you name it, they covered it. I desperately wish the Reids (or whomever can do it) would release the series on DVD. It deserves it, if only so a few more people can see it, and those few of us who got to see it before can relive its glory!
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10/10
I Miss New Orleans
momsatrekkie27 June 2006
There must be SOME way that "Frank's Place" could be released on DVD! I have never felt as strongly about any other TV show and am as angry today as I was 20 years ago when CBS pulled the plug on it. This show had everything -- an excellent cast, tremendous scripts, and a setting that brought back memories of a city that I love. I wish that I would have taped the shows back then and am envious of those of you who had the foresight to do so. Frank's Place was ahead of it's time -- but would probably not have a huge following even in today's world because it was too quirky for the average sitcom watcher. I feel fortunate that I was able to see it the first time around and pray that (eventually) DVDs will be released and I can visit the Chez one more time.
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Very Sadly Missed
jbitt22 August 2000
"Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?" asks the theme to this excellent program. I have never been to New Orleans, but I really miss this show. It is one of the great tragedies of American television that it was on so briefly. Great writing, characters and direction are not enough, I guess. I've heard and read that it was "ahead of its time," whatever that really means. I would very much like to get a copy of every episode.
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10/10
The More's the Pity
mduff-323 August 2007
I've looked for a DVD of the series, but none seems to be available for Frank's Place. That's just a shame. It may seem strange to read this, given the characterization of Frank's Place as a half-hour comedy, but I really do think this was the best television show ever made. Yes, better than the Sopranos, better than Blackadder, better than Your Show of Shows. The writing had enormous depth without ever condescending to the audience. The performances were universally appropriate and adept. It had the quality of rare literature: It combined longing and wonder and reticence and grace. I was in a pub once in Ireland and a rerun of the show came on and I made the bartender leave it on, and the crowd there shook their heads and talked about how American television was supposed to be bad. They were surprised by the quality of the show, and the Irish are a literary bunch. BET has shown the series once or twice, and if they do again, I'll dust off the old VHS and tape it. This is a show that deserves to have a thousand lives.
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10/10
Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?
zzakia29 August 2006
Frank's Place was a masterpiece of writing, casting, acting and production values. It was much too good for network TV. The characters felt like friends, complex and believable--unlike the cartoon characters on normal sitcoms. How so much could be conveyed in a mere half hour is still a mystery to me. I miss it and wish it could be released on DVD, especially in the wake of New Orleans'destruction by Katrina. Frank's Place embodied all that is unique and endearing about New Orleans. The melange of warmth, humor, pain, sass, danger and intelligence that was served up those few short weeks in the late 1980's could comfort us today.
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Native of the North East finds out about, remedies , race relations and his roots with his relocation to the Big Easy.
redagin30 April 2006
Frank's Place one of the most intelligent comedy-dramas of the 80s. This show was underrated and was taken off the air prematurely. CBS seemed not to be able to place it in the right time slot. The episode of the deceased showing up in the back row of his own funeral was one of the most enjoyable episodes of ANY TV show that I can remember. If only....If only it was brought back in syndication.

Tim Reid and Daphne M. Reid produced such a wonderful show, it calls to your attention that well written, sophisticated, intelligent television programs many times do not receive the praise and viewing slot that is necessary to make it a mega hit.
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Missing New Orleans
lindachil028 October 2005
One of the top 5 TV series of all time, with great atmosphere, memorable characters, unusual story lines, remarkable writers, and a cast that was perfect. If this is what New Orleans was, this gem should certainly be broadcast again (and released to DVD) so the city will be reconstructed the right way. It has been at least 15 years since I have seen this series, but reading the comments brings so many memories back to me. I remember an episode about the Capital C Club, which explained that Capital C meant Creole, membership restricted to light skinned black people, as differentiated from lower case creole people. Many topics handled in an adult manner. Do you know what it means, to miss New Orleans? If we could watch Frank's Place, it might give us hope.
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10/10
One that got away
Miles-1014 July 2001
This was a great show that a broadcast network allowed to get away. I wish I had known that it was on BET. I hope I catch "The Bridge" episode on TV Land some day. I only saw the last ten or fifteen minutes of it when it aired on network TV.
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10/10
Still miss this show! Update on Austin Leslie
lokidog17 November 2015
This show was truly great. It must have been - I still think about it regularly after so many years. What I wanted to put here was a sad update on the show's inspiration - at least for it's atmosphere and location - Chez Helene in New Orleans and it's proprietor Austin Leslie. I visited New Orleans a few years after the show was canceled, and sought out the restaurant. Austin talked to me at length and told me stories about the influence his place had on the show, as well as many other stories and anecdotes, as well as advice on my visit. He was really a great host. It was first time to New Orleans and his welcome really made my trip special. So did the smothered cabbage and pig tails!(it was a creole and soul food restaurant). Years later, after Katrina, I looked him up to see how he was doing. I have a cookbook he signed for me (as well as drawing a caricature of himself inside); and I was making a recipe out of it... Sadly he died from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. He was trapped in an attic and was exposed to heat (over 120F!) and other deprivations, which weakened him, and he eventually succumbed to pneumonia. But what a cook and truly remarkable person!
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Frank's Place On DVD, You Can Now Have Them!, Yeah!!!
woodmydarling20 March 2008
Hello Everyone, I recently found very decent copies of Frank's Place on DVD. If you would like to purchase a set for yourself, please do contact Todd (a very nice guy) at Professor Video.

He (Todd) has all 22 episodes, and he will put them all together for you on five DVD's at the responsible price of ten (10) dollars per DVD.

Expect a very fast delivery from Todd once he receives your payment. I'm currently enjoying my Frank's Place DVD's.

So Sport Fan's , you now have it (the Frank's Place info).

Do write to Todd at todd@professorvideo.com, and you too will soon no longer "know what it means to miss New Orleans."

I hope that this did help all of those Frank's Place fanatics, like myself.

Sincerely, Robert.
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