Dharma & Greg


Dharma & Greg Information

Dharma & Greg is an American television sitcom that aired from September 24, 1997, to April 30, 2002.

It stars Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson as Dharma and Greg Montgomery, a couple who married on their first date despite being complete opposites. The series is co-produced by Chuck Lorre Productions, More-Medavoy Productions and 4 to 6 Foot Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television for ABC. The show's theme song was written and performed by composer Dennis C. Brown.

Created by executive producers Dottie Dartland and Chuck Lorre, the comedy took much of its inspiration from so-called culture-clash "fish out of water" situations. The show earned eight Golden Globe nominations, six Emmy Award nominations, and six Satellite Awards nominations. Elfman earned a Golden Globe in 1999 for Best Actress.

Cast

Jenna Elfman as Dharma Freedom Montgomery, née Finkelstein, Greg's wife and a flower child. She is overly cheerful and sensitive, but she is also more compassionate and forgiving than most people. Despite her trust in the goodness of people and persistent good intentions, Dharma is not naive. She understands the real world, employs sarcasm and receives it well. Dharma perseveres in expressing her personality and her identity even in the face of an overwhelmingly opposing world. Dharma encourages Greg to seek happiness rather than fret about practical issues like money. She is named after the concept of dharma in Indian philosophy. A Native American friend of her father's gave her the name "Crazy Man's Daughter".

According to Chuck Lorre's eleventh vanity card (see below), he and Dottie Dartland originally conceived Dharma & Greg as "a series revolving around a woman whose personality is not a neurotic product of societal and parental conditioning, but of her own free-flowing, compassionate mind".

Thomas Gibson as lawyer Gregory Clifford "Greg" Montgomery, Dharma's husband. He is an upright, uptight, decent, though sometimes surprisingly open-minded man. Greg's life was hopelessly banal before he met Dharma and married her on their first date. Since then, he has played straight man to the antics of his eccentric wife. Though his relationship with Dharma has been rocky at times, Greg has never been shown to regret their marriage. He is an alumnus of elite schools, Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard University, and Stanford Law School.

Susan Sullivan as Katherine "Kitty" Montgomery, Greg's extravagant mother. In the beginning of the first season Kitty was generally represented as a manipulative, controlling woman who only had higher aspirations for her son. As an elite socialite, Kitty was initially quite displeased to have Dharma and her parents join the family, but over the course of the series, Kitty broadens her limited country club world to become part of a larger family, becoming a major part of Dharma's life, while remaining lovingly manipulative. Despite their vast differences, she recognizes Dharma's place in their family's life, once telling her "We both know you're not the girl I would have picked for Greg. What matters is that you are the girl that Greg did pick."

Mitchell Ryan as Edward Montgomery, Greg's eccentric father. His philosophy for dealing with his wife, Kitty, involves remaining as uninvolved as possible. Head of Montgomery Industries (though he keeps working only because he can see little tugboats out the window) and at odds with Dharma's father, who calls him "Ed" and whom he calls "Finkelstein." Edward is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, of which he is fiercely proud, and partially resents Greg for considering Notre Dame to not be "good enough" for him. Ed is often seen drinking martinis and Scotch.

Mimi Kennedy as Abigail Kathleen "Abby" O'Neil, Dharma's free-spirited, caring mother, who encourages her daughter and son-in-law to produce children: "Feel free to have sex anywhere." Although they have a grown daughter and later a son, she and Dharma's father are not married. She and Larry were engaged and held the wedding ceremony but still did not marry to "stay under the radar". Unlike her "lifemate" Larry, she immediately accepted Greg, though she still constantly annoys and conflicts with his parents. She is a militant vegan, which is a never-ending source of trouble. During her pregnancy in season 4, however, she did make exceptions because of her food cravings. It was mentioned in Invasion of the Buddy Snatcher that she has a degree in ornithological psychology from Berkeley.

Alan Rachins as Myron Lawrence "Larry" Finkelstein, Dharma's "hippie" father. He is a stereotypical sixties radical who frequently rants about various conspiracies, a lot of which revolve around Richard Nixon. He also thinks he's wanted by the FBI, but when Greg discovers he's not, his family goes to great lengths to prove to him that he still is because this is a source of great pride to him. Despite this, he manages to get along with Edward, often when both are sick of dealing with their wives. He homeschooled Dharma in American history, passing on his conspiracy theories, such as the latest Apollo mission secretly burying the missing minutes of the Watergate tapes on the moon. It is often alluded to that Larry is a chronic user of marijuana, though never shown. In the season 4 episode Mother Daughter Reunion, Dharma mentions that Larry has a resistance against most drugs after frequent use. In the pilot episode Abby introduces his usual cluelessness with "he blew out his short term memory back in 1972". He sometimes becomes a "pothead savant" and reveals skills such as his talent for carpentry and his music.

Shae D'Lyn as Jane Deaux, Dharma's friend. She considers all men more or less evil; over the course of the show, her hair went from black, to red, to blonde. She married Pete Cavanaugh in Season 2, and made an attempt to divorce him after 6 weeks. They eventually divorced in the premiere of the fourth season. She and Dharma met when Dharma dialed a wrong number. D'Lyn left at the end of the fourth season, though she had one "guest appearance" in season five.

Joel Murray as Peter James "Pete" Cavanaugh, Greg's friend and colleague at the Justice Department. A particularly bad, lazy lawyer, he was married to Jane for a time. His entire life can be summed up by the interior of his apartment: a massage chair surrounded by empty take-out containers, next to which is a small refrigerator and a stack of porno tapes. A high-class entertainment center is in front of this. It is said he wears adult diapers to football games. Greg once said of his friend: "Pete went to law school in Barbados; he failed the Bar eight times. The last time because he threw up on the exam." In season 1, he mentions that he worked as a plumber's assistant during college. Pete marries Jane in the second season because neither of them wants to be alone on Valentine's Day

Helen Greenberg as Marcie, One of Dharma's Co-Op friends; nasal-voiced receptionist, whose vocabulary primarily consists of the words "I'm sorry." Greenberg joined the main cast in season five, she also played a different character in the episode "Drop Dead Gorgeous".

Susan Chuang as Susan Wong, One of Dharma's friends from the Co-Op, she is seen as Marcie's counterpart. Susan also pulls a "Dharma & Greg" with a lawyer, Darrell Gottlieb, hired by Kitty in a community garden spat (her wedding, along with Dharma's accident, was the Season 4 finale). Chaung joined the main cast in season five, she also played a different character in the episode "Looking for the Goodbars".

Other characters

  • Celia (Lillian Hurst) "? Kitty and Edward's Hispanic maid. She is given constant support from Larry, who views her as "oppressed". When Kitty and Edward are out of town, Celia and her family move into the Montgomerys' mansion and invite their friends over, pretending it's their house. (appears in 16 episodes)
  • Marlene (Yeardley Smith) "? Greg's legal secretary whom he fired and then re-hired. She is snide, rude, and a bad secretary in general, though a better "lawyer" than Pete. (appears in 17 episodes)
  • George (Floyd Westerman) "? an elderly Native American, who came to live with Dharma and Greg in the episode "Indian Summer"; he died at the end of the episode, but his ghost sometimes appears to Dharma to offer her advice. (appears in 4 episodes)
  • Charlie (Kevin Sorbo) "? a university professor going through a divorce who falls in love with Dharma. His affections, particularly a love letter and offering to drive Dharma home on a rainy day, cause Dharma and Greg to briefly separate in a story arc that alienated many viewers of the show. (appears in 4 episodes)
  • Young Greg (Mathew Weiss) " Greg as a young boy (appears only in pilot). Falls in love with Dharma instantaneously when the two swap glances for the first time while barely missing each other on the subway"?years before they finally meet and marry on their first date.
  • Young Dharma (Megan Butala) " Dharma as a young girl (appears only in pilot). Megan is Jenna Elfman's niece (her brother's daughter), as told by Elfman herself in the audio commentary to the pilot episode from the DVD release.
  • Stinky "? Dharma's and Greg's dog; a long-haired mutt.
  • Nunzio (Bud 1997"1998, Butch 1998"1999, Twiggy 2000"2001) "? Stinky's dog, a Welsh Corgi; Dharma's gift to Stinky on his Bar Mitzvah.

Episodes

Awards and nominations

Primetime Emmy Awards

  • 1998 Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Jenna Elfman)
  • 1999 Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Jenna Elfman)
  • 2000 Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Jenna Elfman)
Golden Globe Awards

  • 1997 Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series (Jenna Elfman)
  • 1998 Nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series (Thomas Gibson)
  • 1998 Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series (Jenna Elfman)
  • 1998 Nomination for Best Musical or Comedy Series
  • 1998 Nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie (Susan Sullivan)
  • 1999 Nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series (Thomas Gibson)
  • 1999 Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series (Jenna Elfman)
  • 1999 Nomination for Best Musical or Comedy Series

Ratings and cancellation

The series was a top-25 fixture in the US during its first three seasons, first airing Wednesday at 8:30 pm, then at 8:00. It was moved to Tuesdays at 9pm during its third season where it experienced a dramatic ratings lift thanks to a lead-in of the then red-hot Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. As ratings for that series waned in 2000/2001, Dharma & Greg suffered a similar fate, compounded by NBC moving Frasier into the same time slot. As Millionaire fell even further and was moved off the night in the fall of 2001, ABC tried to rebuild a Tuesday night comedy block consisting of Dharma & Greg, What About Joan?, Bob Patterson and Spin City. The move was ill-fated, however, with sophomore Joan lasting just two episodes and Patterson five. Dharma & Greg and Spin City shared the 8pm timeslot for the rest of the season, despite ever-declining ratings.

The final episode aired on April 30, 2002 to just 6.8 million viewers, compared to the 20 million the series had peaked at just two years previously. Along with Ally McBeal, Dharma & Greg was one of the last two surviving shows to debut during the 1997-98 season, one of the weakest in television history for new shows. (Only seven shows to debut would be picked up for a second season, and only Ally McBeal and Dharma & Greg would last longer than three seasons, each providing enough episodes for syndication.) Both shows ended at the end of the 2001-02 season, just five years after their debut.

Season Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Ranking Viewers
(in millions)
1st September 24, 1997 May 20, 1998 1997"1998 #25 13.9
2nd September 23, 1998 May 26, 1999 1998"1999 #25 13.5
3rd September 21, 1999 May 16, 2000 1999"2000 #14 15.76
4th October 10, 2000 May 22, 2001 2000"2001 #38 12.3
5th September 25, 2001 April 30, 2002 2001"2002 #82 8.1

DVD releases

20th Century Fox has released the first season of Dharma & Greg on DVD in Region 1. Season 1 & 2 have been released in Region 2 & 4

DVD Name Ep # Release dates
Region 1Region 2Region 4
The Complete 1st Season 23 June 13, 2006 June 20, 2007 January 11, 2007
The Complete 2nd Season 24 N/A April 1, 2008 January 22, 2008
Season 2 was released in Australia as a Region 4 PAL on January 22, 2008, with a picture of Dharma and Greg dancing on the cover. It is available in Japan as a Region 2 NTSC format with a picture of them sitting down for the cover art. In the spring of 2008, the second season was released in Europe (Netherlands) as a Region 2 PAL as well. All countries have different covers, and all are using the "dance shot".

Vanity cards

The vanity card for Chuck Lorre Productions at the end of each episode included a message written by producer and show co-creator Chuck Lorre, expressing his personal views on a variety of subjects. Because the card only appeared on the screen for a brief moment, it was usually readable only by those who recorded the program and paused it (although the complete collection of cards has now been posted on Lorre's website.

Messages were also included on the vanity cards for later Chuck Lorre Productions shows, such as Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, and The Big Bang Theory.

Crossovers

Elfman and Gibson had a cameo appearance in the 2011-12 season premiere episode Two and a Half Men "Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt". Their characters are not named either in the dialogue or the credits (possibly for legal reasons due to Mens being produced by a different studio), but they appear to be based on Dharma and Greg. While the couple remain married, Greg seems overly tired by his responsibilities and marriage, even going so far as to sarcastically hint at divorce to Evelyn Harper (along with a self-inflicted gunshot gesture) when leaving. Joel Murray also makes a cameo appearance in the episode.

See also

  • List of awards and nominations received by Dharma & Greg
  • List of Dharma & Greg episodes



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dharma_%26_Greg" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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