Caroline in the City

Caroline in the City Information

Caroline in the City is an American situation comedy that ran on the NBC television network. It stars Lea Thompson as cartoonist Caroline Duffy, who lives in Manhattan in New York City. The series premiered on September 21, 1995 in the "Must See TV" Thursday night block after Seinfeld. It ran for 97 episodes over four seasons, but was cancelled; its final episode was broadcast on April 26, 1999.


Caroline Duffy (Lea Thompson), a cartoonist who lives in Manhattan, spends a lot of time with dates and lovers, and meddles in the lives of her friends and neighbors. In the pilot episode, she has broken up with Del Cassidy (Eric Lutes), who quickly finds another date. She hires Richard Karinsky (Malcolm Gets) to be her new colorist, and he pretends to be her new boyfriend during a dinner to prevent her from being embarrassed over Del's moving on. During the first season, Richard develops feelings for Caroline.

Caroline's success as a cartoonist is displayed throughout the first season; her cartoon character gets a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, she has a park dedicated to her in her native Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and she even has an offer for a cereal brand. When she was a child, she drew violent pictures of her brother Chris, and after dropping out of college, she started doodling at a copywriting job. It took less than five years for her cartoon to become nationally syndicated, and she even appeared on The Today Show.

Towards the end of season one, Del proposes to Caroline. Richard is distressed by this, and searches for a new job. Although Richard has kept his feelings secret, their friends Annie (Amy Pietz) and Remo (Tom La Grua) figure out that he loves Caroline. The day before the wedding, Richard writes her a love letter where he asks Caroline to meet her at Remo's if she loves him. He leaves the letter in a pile of wedding thank-you cards. Caroline arrives at Remo's but does not mention the letter, and continues with the wedding plans. Richard decides to leave Manhattan. When Caroline and Del call off the wedding, Caroline visits Richard's apartment but he has left.

In the second season, Richard returns to Manhattan after having been in Paris where he had tried to sell paintings. Caroline gives the thank-you cards to a friend; Richard tries to find and destroy the love letter; he tosses it out the window, only to have Annie find it. He resumes his old job as Caroline's colorist. Later, Caroline discovers that she has feelings for Richard, however Richard has reunited with his former girlfriend Julia, whom he met in Manhattan. Caroline leaves a message on his answering machine telling him that she loves him, but Julia discovers it and erases it.

Richard and Julia get married which prompts a bitter love triangle among the three. Richard eventually splits with Julia.

Caroline and Richard eventually become a couple, however, they split after arguing over whether to have children; Richard learned that Julia had a child. In the final episode, Caroline is about to marry Randy, when Richard shows up at the wedding.

Character listing


  • ' (Lea Thompson) " Caroline is a cartoonist of the comic strip Caroline in the City. Originally from Peshtigo, Wisconsin, Caroline has a need for people to like her. She meddles in the lives of her friends and people around her, and often gets into trouble because of it. She initially breaks her engagement to Del Cassidy, but remains friends with him. She hires Richard Karinsky to be her colorist. Although Richard has feelings for Caroline, she does not realize or reciprocate until the end of the second season. She dates veterinarian Joe DeStefano in the second season, and former classmates Trevor and Randy in the third and fourth seasons. She becomes engaged to Randy, but her wedding ceremony is interrupted when Richard appears.
  • ' (Malcolm Gets) " Richard is the colorist for the Caroline in the City comic strip. He is a struggling artist who usually lives in the slummy parts of New York City, and is regularly embarrassed about the nature of his job. He has several chances for a big break, but they end up in failure. He has a substantial student loan debt from attending an unnamed art school. He has a sarcastic personality, especially with Annie. He falls in love with Caroline during the first season, and does not think highly of Del Cassidy and his lack of intelligence. Eventually he and Caroline have a relationship.
  • ' (Eric Lutes) " Del works at a greeting card company owned by his father, and manages the Caroline in the City comic strip card products. He is Caroline's sometimes boyfriend; they get engaged during the first season, but break it off in the season finale. After he takes one too many insults from his callous father, Del quits to build his own business, where Caroline becomes one of his only suppliers at this company, Eagle Greeting Cards. In the fourth season, he sells the business to a large entertainment conglomerate.
  • ' (Amy Pietz) " Annie is Caroline's across the hall neighbor and her best friend. She is a dancer in the Broadway production of Cats. She is somewhat promiscuous and this makes her a constant target for Richard's wisecracks. After Richard writes Caroline a love letter which he later regrets, Annie comes across the letter and uses it to blackmail him until her sister uses it for a song. After meeting Shadoe Stevens in Los Angeles, she quits her job and rushes to California to shoot a television pilot. Unfortunately, the pilot is not picked up, and she becomes unemployed.
  • ' (Andy Lauer) " He is a delivery boy in Del's father's company, and after Del is fired, they become partners in new company Eagle Greeting Cards. He has a poor grasp on reality. In the last season, he moves to Europe.


  • Remo (Tom La Grua) " Remo owns the Italian restaurant, Remo's Ristorante, where the main characters usually hang out.
  • Johnny (John Mariano) " A waiter at Remo's Ristorante.
  • Joe DeStefano (Mark Feuerstein) " A veterinarian who dated Caroline, and came close to moving in to her apartment. However, after he tells Caroline that he slept with his ex-girlfriend, he and Caroline split up.
  • Julia Mazzone Karinsky (Sofia Milos) " Richard's former girlfriend and love of Richard's life (as he calls it 'sincero amore' " the love that you don't have to question). She first met Richard in Italy, and during the third season, they get married. Her father, an Italian businessman, does not approve of their relationship and tries to destroy Richard, first physically, then economically.
  • Trevor (Robert Gant) " Trevor is Caroline's boyfriend during the third season. He owns a computer company and has a German shepherd dog. When Caroline rushes to Spain to meet Richard and Julia, Trevor realizes that he will never win a place in Caroline's heart.
  • Randy (Anthony Tyler Quinn) " Randy is a pediatrician and schoolmate of Caroline from Peshtigo, Wisconsin. He initially reunites with Caroline during the fourth season; he buys Caroline's parents house, but agrees to sell it to Caroline and rent it from her. When he arrives in New York for the pediatricians seminar they meet again, and Caroline realizes that she harbors some feelings for him, even though she is in a relationship with Richard. After Richard goes to Italy to take care of his son, Annie brings Randy to cheer Caroline up, and he falls in love with Caroline. They have a wedding in the final episode.
  • Angie Spadaro (Candice Azzara) " Annie's mother who regularly visits Annie's flat and drives her crazy. She gets divorced in the third season.
  • Pete Spadaro (Adam Ferrara) " Annie's brother who worked at their father's undertaking company. He is influenced by Richard to try some other occupations including an electrician and a painter.
  • Shelly (Lauren Graham) " Richard's short-term girlfriend. Richard was desperate to break up with her, but she always had reason not to.
  • Elevator Lady (Cathy Ladman) " Caroline's neighbor from one of the upper floors. She often appears in key dialogues when someone enters the elevator.

Notable guests

This is a list of the notable guest stars in the series. Some of them appear as their characters from related NBC series that aired around the same time.

Actor Character Episode Notes
Matthew Perry Chandler Bing "Caroline and the Folks" Crossover appearance. Caroline meets Bing at the video store. The same night, Thompson appeared as Caroline in the November 2, 1995 Friends episode "The One with the Baby on the Bus."
Jean Stapleton Mary Kosky "Caroline and the Opera" Stapleton plays Caroline's aunt in the episode.
Jane Leeves Daphne Moon "Caroline and the Bad Back" Frasier cameo crossover appearance at the end of the episode.
David Hyde Pierce Niles Crane "Caroline and the Bad Back" Frasier cameo crossover appearance at the end of the episode.
David Hyde Pierce Jimmy Callahan "Caroline and the Cat Dancer" Pierce plays an IRS agent who hopes to win a role alongside Annie in Broadway's Cats. Minor appearances were also made by Frasier actors Dan Butler and Harriet Sansom Harris, but none of them appeared as their characters from the show.
Sharon Lawrence Maddie "Caroline and the Proposal"
John Landis Himself "Caroline and the Movie"
Florence Henderson Herself "Caroline and the Balloon"
Elizabeth Ashley Natalie Karinsky "Caroline and Richard's Mom"
"Caroline and the Bad Trip"
Ashley plays Richard's mother in these episodes.
Morey Amsterdam Vic Stansky "Caroline and the Watch" Alumnus from The Dick Van Dyke Show appeared with Stella Dawson as an elderly married couple. Amsterdam died later that year, making the episode his last television appearance.
Rose Marie Stella Dawson "Caroline and the Watch"
"Caroline and the Kept Man"
Alumnus from The Dick Van Dyke Show appeared with Vic Stansky as an elderly married couple.
Phil Hartman Host (uncredited) "Caroline and the Letter" In a parody of The Twilight Zone, the host describes the viewers entering the "Caroline Zone"
Thomas Gibson William Stevens "Caroline and the Nice Jewish Boy" Gibson plays Caroline's old boyfriend.
Julie Andrews Herself "Caroline and Victor/Victoria" Andrews has an audio cameo in this episode.
French Stewart Stu "Caroline and the Long Shot" Stewart plays a reporter who covers Richard in this episode.
Debra Jo Rupp Melody "Caroline and the Red Sauce" Rupp plays Richard's boss in this episode.
George Segal Bob Anderson "Caroline and the Buyer"
Brian George Mr. Tedescu "Caroline and the Ombudsman" George plays Caroline's super in the episode.
Shadoe Stevens Himself "Caroline and the Wayward Husband" Stevens inspires Annie to go to Los Angeles to try to become an actress.
Judd Hirsch Ben Karinsky "Caroline and the Comic" Hirsch plays Richard's father in the episode.
Jay Leno Himself "Caroline and the Bad Trip"
J.C. Wendel Candy "Caroline and Richard & Julia"
Marvin Hamlisch Himself "Caroline and the Bitter Beast"


The show was filmed at the CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles, California.


Season Time Slot Notes
1 (1995"96)Thursdays, 9:30 PM Part of the "Must See TV" lineup.
2 (1996"97)Tuesdays, 9:30 PM
3 (1997"98)Mondays, 9:00 PM Part of the "Must She TV" lineup which included Suddenly Susan, Fired Up, and The Naked Truth.
4 (1998"99)Mondays, 8:30 PM



Season Season premiere Season finale TV season Season
(in millions)
1 1995-96 4 17.26
2 1996-97 25 10.67
3 1997-98 47 8.4
4 1998-99 91 8.8


CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released the first two seasons on DVD in Region 1.

In Region 2, Revelation Films released all four seasons on DVD between August 2005 " June 2006

In Region 4, Visual Entertainment has released the first two seasons on DVD in Australia.

Season Ep # Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 24 August 12, 2008 August 22, 2005 March 8, 2010
2 25 March 10, 2009 November 7, 2005 October 15, 2010
3 26 TBA February 20, 2006 TBA
4 22 TBA June 26, 2006 TBA

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