Major Dad TV Series Overview (1989-1993)


Introduction

Major Dad is an American sitcom television series created by Richard C. Okie and John G. Stephens, developed by Earl Pomerantz, that originally ran from 17 September 1989 to 17 May 1993 on CBS.

It starred Gerald McRaney as Major John D. MacGillis and Shanna Reed as his wife Polly. The cast also includes Beverly Archer, Matt Mulhern, Jon Cypher, Marisa Ryan, Nicole Dubuc, and Chelsea Hertford.

Outline

The first season is set at the fictional Camp Singleton (meant to represent Camp Pendleton), where hard-charging United States Marine Corps Major John D. “Mac” MacGillis is commander of the infantry training school’s acquisition division. MacGillis’s life is changed when he falls in love with a liberal journalist, Polly Cooper. The show follows Mac in his work life, where he deals with Lieutenant Eugene Holowachuk (Matt Mulhern), Sergeant Byron James (Marlon Archey), and Merilee Gunderson (Whitney Kershaw), as well as his home life, as he learns to live with Polly’s three daughters, Elizabeth, Robin, and Casey.

At the beginning of the second season, the MacGillis family moves to Camp Hollister (based on Marine Corps Base Quantico), where Mac must adapt to the role of staff secretary (or “staff weenie”) and the crazy antics of Commanding (Brigadier) General Marcus C. Craig, Aide-de-Camp 1st Lieutenant Eugene Holowachuk (who transferred with Major MacGillis from Camp Singleton), and Gunnery Sergeant Alva “Gunny” Bricker, the General’s secretary, a no-nonsense Marine, who despite her brusque nature and unprepossessing physical appearance, is the target of many enthusiastic (and unseen) suitors.

Character development increased during the second season, such as the revelation that MacGillis is a former member of the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.

Cast

  • Gerald McRaney as Major John D. “Mac” MacGillis.
  • Shanna Reed as Pollyanna Esther Cooper MacGillis.
  • Marisa Ryan as Elizabeth Cooper MacGillis.
  • Nicole Dubuc as Robin Cooper MacGillis.
  • Chelsea Hertford as Casey Cooper MacGillis.
  • Matt Mulhern as Lieutenant Eugene “Gene” Holowachuk.
  • Marlon Archey as Sergeant Byron James (season one).
  • Jon Cypher as Brigadier General Marcus C. Craig (seasons two-four).
  • Whitney Kershaw as Merilee Gunderson (season one).
  • Beverly Archer as Gunnery Sergeant Alva “Gunny” Bricker (seasons two-four).
  • Timothy Schnabel as Billy Sparling (Some episodes).

Trivia

  • Polly’s middle name is “Esther” (making her “Polyester”!).
  • The building shown at the opening of the show when they lived on Camp Holister Marine Base is actually Lejeune Hall, the headquarters of Quantico Marine Base in Virginia.
    • It is across from the military lodging on the main road.
  • The first season opening credits originally showed young Chelsea Hertford removing Gerald McRaney’s Marines cap and putting it on her own head.
    • Soon after, the producers heard from the Marines saying Chelsea’s actions were disrespectful.
    • Therefore, for the second season, the credits were changed to show Chelsea starting to reach for the cap but then stopping when Major MacGillis looked at her like, “Don’t.”
    • From the third season on, she does not even try.

Major Dad Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Michael Lembeck … (67 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Ellen Gittelsohn … (13 episodes, 1989-1990).
    • Will Mackenzie … (4 episodes, 1989).
    • Linda Day … (3 episodes, 1989).
    • Howard Storm … (3 episodes, 1992).
    • Jim Evering … (2 episodes, 1992-1993).
    • Skip Collector … (2 episodes, 1992).
    • Mary Lou Belli … (1 episode, 1992).
    • Gerald McRaney … (1 episode, 1992).
  • Producer(s):
    • Gerald McRaney … executive producer (96 episodes, 1989-1993).
    • Earl Pomerantz … executive producer (96 episodes, 1989-1993).
    • Rick Hawkins … executive producer (70 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Barry Gold … producer / co-producer (47 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Janet Leahy … co-producer (26 episodes, 1989-1990).
    • Miriam Trogdon … co-producer (24 episodes, 1990-1991).
    • E.A. Jemison-Ball … associate producer (22 episodes, 1992-1993).
    • Abby Singer … coordinating producer (6 episodes, 1989-1993).
    • Larry Heath … associate producer (3 episodes, 1989).
    • Richard C. Okie … executive producer (3 episodes, 1989).
    • Jim Evering … supervising producer / co-executive producer (3 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Todd Stevens … producer (3 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Carrie Honigblum … co-producer (2 episodes, 1991-1993).
    • Renee Phillips … co-producer (2 episodes, 1991-1993).
    • Liz Sage … supervising producer (1 episode, 1993).
  • Writer(s):
    • Richard C. Okie … (created by) (96 episodes, 1989-1993).
    • Richard C. Okie … (written by) (96 episodes, 1989-1993).
    • Earl Pomerantz … (developed by) (96 episodes, 1989-1993).
    • Earl Pomerantz … (written by) (96 episodes, 1989-1993).
    • John G. Stephens … (created by) (96 episodes, 1989-1993).
    • Barry Gold … (written by) (12 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Rick Hawkins … (written by) (12 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Carrie Honigblum … (written by) (11 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Jim Evering … (written by) (10 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Renee Phillips … (written by) (10 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Lisa Albert … (written by) (8 episodes, 1989-1992).
    • Jeffrey Stepakoff … (staff writer) (8 episodes, 1989-1990).
    • Jeffrey Stepakoff … (written by) (8 episodes, 1989-1990).
    • Jeffrey Stepakoff … (story) (8 episodes, 1989-1990).
    • Jeffrey Stepakoff … (teleplay) (8 episodes, 1989-1990).
    • Manny Basanese … (written by) (7 episodes, 1991-1993).
    • Miriam Trogdon … (written by) (5 episodes, 1989-1991).
    • Janet Leahy … (written by) (4 episodes, 1989-1990).
    • Peter Tilden … (written by) (4 episodes, 1989-1990).
    • Peter Tilden … (teleplay) (4 episodes, 1989-1990).
    • Liz Sage … (written by) (4 episodes, 1992-1993).
    • Neil Lebowitz … (written by) (2 episodes, 1991-1993).
    • Deborah R. Baron … (written by) (1 episode, 1990).
    • Peter Garcia … (written by) (1 episode, 1990).
    • Rick Parks … (written by) (1 episode, 1990).
    • Ron Lux … (written by) (1 episode, 1991).
    • Leslie Rasmussen … (written by) (1 episode, 1991).
    • Sydney Blake … (written by) (1 episode, 1992).
    • Chuck Bulot … (written by) (1 episode, 1992).
    • M.J. Cody … (written by) (1 episode, 1992).
    • Dorothy Van … (written by) (1 episode, 1992).
    • Albert DaSilva … (written by) (1 episode, 1993).
    • Kathryn Davison … (written by) (1 episode, 1993).
  • Music:
    • Steve Dorff … (70 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • Roger Steinman … (26 episodes, 1989-1990).
  • Cinematography:
    • Vincent A. Martinelli … (4 episodes, 1989-1990).
    • David Plenn … (2 episodes, 1991-1993).
  • Editor(s):
    • Skip Collector … (72 episodes, 1990-1993).
    • John Heath … (3 episodes, 1989).
    • Augie Hess … (1 episode, 1989).
  • Production:
    • S.B.B. Productions.
    • Spanish Trail Productions.
    • Universal Television.
  • Distributor(s):
    • CBS (1989-1993) (USA) (TV) (original airing).
    • Italia 1 (1992) (Italy) (TV).
    • RTL 7 (1999) (Poland) (TV).
    • Studios USA Television (all media).
    • Universal Television (USA) (TV).
  • Release Date:
    • Series 01: 17 September 1989 to 21 May 1990.
    • Series 02: 17 September 1990 to 13 May 1991.
    • Series 03: 16 September 1991 to 1992.
    • Series 04: 25 September 1992 to 17 May 1993.
  • Running Time: 30 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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