Evening Shade was the comeback show for Burt Reynolds and the follow-up show for Marilu Henner. As a rule these shows are usually a disaster but Evening Shade was beautifully written with a supporting cast to die for. Produced by Linda Bloodworth Thomason at the height of her Designing Women success.
The show focuses on Wood Newton (Reynolds), a former pro football player who has returned to his home town of Evening Shade, Arkansas to be the town's high school football coach and his wife Ada (Henner), a lawyer who becomes the town's DA. The following cast of supporting characters round out the show:
Herman Stiles (Michael Jeter)- Wood's assistant coach
Frida Evans (Elizabeth Ashley) - Ada's free thinking sister
Ponder Blue (Ossie Davis) - The owner of the local bar and grill
Evan Evans (Hal Holbrook) - Ada's father
Merleen Eldridge (Ann Wedgeworth) - Evan's younger girlfriend
Dr. Harlan Elldridge (Charles Durning) - The town doctor
Burt Reynolds received an Emmy Award fot this season - his only career Emmy. Plus Charles Durning, Michael Jeter and Elizabeth Ashley receive nominations for this season.
This show brought together some of the finest actors from Broadway including five Tony Award winners.
Michael Jeter was fresh off his emotional Tony Award win for Grand Hotel and this show made him a star. He won the Emmy for the second season.
Charles Durning also was fresh off his Tony win but he had been a major character actor in all mediums for the last twenty years. He received two Oscar nominations in 1982 & 1983. And prior to the show, received 4 Emmy nominations.
Ashley had been a confirmed Broadway star since her 1975 Tony Award win.
Ann Wedgeworth also received a Tony Award for Neil Simon's Chapter Two.
And And of course Holbrook (Tony winner in 1966) has been working in all mediums for longer - including working with his wife, Dixie Carter, on Designing Women.
Ossie Davis was a two time Tony award winner with over 30 years on Broadway, Films and Television when he joined this show. Prior to this show he received two Emmy nominations.
As you can see, this show brought together a great cast of stars.
The DVD set contains all 24 episodes of this charming comedy series' first season.