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(1996–2002)

Episode List

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Season 1

17 Sep. 1996
Pilot
Mike Flaherty has to juggle the interests of his conservative mayor boss and a gay activist whom the Mayor has unwittingly insulted. At home, Mike has to deal with his reporter girlfriend Ashley, when it finally dawns on him that she doesn't just sleep over but that she actually lives with him. To appease both Carter, by having his voice heard, and the mayor, by correcting his gaffe, Mike hires Carter as his new consultant of minority affairs.
 
24 Sep. 1996
The Great Pretender
The mayor's vocal wife causes Mike and the staff heartache as Winston and the staffers attend a dinner hosted by Catholic and Jewish leaders in New York City at which the mayor is being honored. Meanwhile, Paul is uptight over Ashley's latest reporting hot streak involving an internal audit at a Queens high school and Mike faces problems with his love life following his being named the Sexiest Man in New York.
 
1 Oct. 1996
The Apartment
Mike and Ashley's hectic schedules cause problems in their personal lives at home. Meanwhile, the garbage strike continues and as negotiations continue between the Mayor and the workers, Stuart is left in charge of the office while Mike keeps Winston in line.
 
8 Oct. 1996
Pride and Prejudice
A camera crew for a magazine films Mike and his staff performing their daily office duties and they each give their own spin on what goes on in City Hall every day. While this is going on, the reporter develops the hots for awkward speech writer James and Carter encourages the mayor to address the pressing issue of AIDS in New York City.
 
15 Oct. 1996
The Rivals
Winston, jealous of the old Mayor Garfield's likability factor which he just can't seem to obtain, wishes death on the man and within a couple of days, he gets his wish! Mike and the staff try to console the Mayor by telling him it's not his fault and that Garfield had a bad heart. Nikki bets that none of the men in the office have what it takes to be a dad.
 
22 Oct. 1996
A Star Is Born
Dr. Bronsteen, an old professor of James', is appointed the city's new School Commissioner by Winston, but it is later revealed by the press that he was caught on camera smoking pot at a 1971 Grateful Dead concert causing duress for Mike and disbelief for James. Ashley is offered a job reporting for a local TV station.
 
29 Oct. 1996
Grand Illusion
Ashley's job for New York's ABC affiliate isn't as fulfilling as her old one; Carter plans to marry Nikki to make a point to the Mayor on gay marriage. He believes that if two heterosexual people are allowed to marry no matter how close they are or how much they have in common, gays should be able to have the same luxury.
 
12 Nov. 1996
The High and the Mighty
Paul's identity is stolen during a period where crime in the city is at its lowest rate in years. A famous developer signs onto a project for the Mayor's office and hopes for something in return: he suggests an unethical opportunity for Mike to inform the billionaire about the lowest bid for a construction contract he wants.
 
19 Nov. 1996
Meet Tommy Dugan
A childlike janitor wins the Mayor For A Day contest intended for kids only and begins to have more influence over the press than the Mayor himself, who isn't particularly favored by the press.
 
26 Nov. 1996
The Competition
City Council's Lisa challenges Mike to a turkey cook-off on Thanksgiving to see who can feed more homeless people: the Mayor's office or City Council. Meanwhile, James looks for a way to break up with his girlfriend of seven years. To complicate things, Becky shows up to surprise her long-distance boyfriend for the holiday.
 
10 Dec. 1996
Dog Day Afternoon
Mike attempts to appease the Police Commissioner by honoring a fallen hero: Bingo, the police dog. Things get out of hand, however, when Paul and Carter lose the dog's body after they're kicked out of a cab and Mike can't stall the service for Bingo any longer. Ashley ponders boundary issues when she overhears a message intended for Mike regarding the Bingo situation.
 
17 Dec. 1996
Criss Cross
When the Mayor falls ill due to Paul spreading a nasty flu bug all around the office, Mike steps in for His Honor on the national TV show "Counterpoint." The best part is that his opponent happens to be his girlfriend, Ashley. Also, Carter has the staff coming to him for ridiculous dating and relationship advice. At the end, he thanks God that he's gay.
 
7 Jan. 1997
Bye Bye Love
After Ashley Schaeffer leaves him for a better job in Los Angeles, Mike attempts to cover up by saying it was a mutual decision and that he gave her his approval to take the job. Mike later reaches his breaking point as he nearly strangles Stuart in a restaurant after he calls her a bitch and confesses to Nikki that he begged her to stay but she left anyway.
 
14 Jan. 1997
Starting Over
New Asst D.A. Danielle Brinkman, an old friend of Mike's, is eager to get re-acquainted, but out-of-sorts Mike finds it hard to date after his breakup with Ashley, despite her great looks & advances. Paul meets his fan club president.
 
28 Jan. 1997
Gabby's Song
Mike tries to charm hard-nosed new appointee Gabrielle Sanchez, by whom the men feel threatened. Claudia wants to get to know Paul intimately.
 
11 Feb. 1997
Kiss Me, Stupid
Valentine's Day brings romantic chaos: Carter's ex-boyfriend Spence comes to visit and has a surprise. James hits on Nikki. Paul and Claudia's liaison is a comedy of errors.
 
18 Feb. 1997
An Affair to Remember
Mike plans a star-studded party for the Mayor's 50th birthday, but tries to keep him away from Holly Cohen, Randall's romantic interest from the governor's office so that the Winston marriage doesn't suffer.
 
25 Feb. 1997
Snowbound
During a blizzard, an inept security guard pursues a nudist in City Hall; Mike's high school crush visits en route to Paris; Paul & Randall make gaffs during a radio broadcast; and Carter and Stuart get locked in the boiler room.
 
4 Mar. 1997
Striptease
At a constituent's bachelor party in a strip club, the staffers find that Mike's new girlfriend is a stripper, then must deal with bad publicity from reporters and photographers.
 
18 Mar. 1997
Deaf Becomes Her
Paul's leg injury, Mike's toothache, and possibly falsified resumes all get mixed up with accidental insults to the hearing-impaired community.
 
1 Apr. 1997
Hot in the City
Mike's aggressive former girlfriend Carrie makes him uncomfortable by asking to have a child with him; a drop in the mayor's approval rating coincides with the reunion of rock musicians.
 
29 Apr. 1997
Bone Free
Randall's secret fantasies about a speaker lead the public to believe that he has a heart condition. Is Nikki's new boyfriend George really writing a screenplay or just taking advantage of her?
 
6 May 1997
The Mayor Who Came to Dinner
James helps Stuart write a speech for his condo association meeting; Nikki models in a charity fashion show; Randall breaks up with his wife after 22 years and moves in with Mike.
 
13 May 1997
Mayor Over Miami
Randall is depressed after signing divorce papers. Claudia pursues Paul. So both men skip town for Miami, leaving the other staffers to cover for them. Stuart has a personality change due to his new girlfriend.
 

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