The It's A Living TV show was a 30 minute comedy series that aired on ABC for its first two seasons and then went into syndication for four more seasons. It was about a group of young, sexy waitresses working at a high-class restaurant under the supervision of their more mature female supervisor. Every episode the girls would get into some kind of trouble and they'd almost always drag their supervisor into the mess.
It's A Living Cast
Marian Mercer .... Nancy Beebe
Barrie Youngfellow .... Jan Hoffmeyer
Gail Edwards .... Dot Higgins
Paul Kreppel .... Sonny Mann
Ann Jillian .... Cassie Cranston (1980-1986)
Susan Sullivan .... Lois Adams (1980-1981)
Wendy Schaal .... Vicki Allen (1980-1981)
Bert Remsen .... Mario (1980-1981)
Louise Lasser .... Maggie McBurney (1981-1982)
Earl Boen .... Dennis Hubner (1981-1982)
Crystal Bernard .... Amy Tompkins (1985-1989)
Richard Stahl .... Howard Miller (1985-1989)
Sheryl Lee Ralph .... Ginger St. James (1986-1989)
Richard Kline .... Richie Gray (1987-1989)
It's A Living Theme Song
Title: "It's A Living"
By: "George Tipton and Leslie Bricusse"
Life's not the French Riviera
Believe me, Life's not a charity ball.
It isn't all a great, big bed of roses
It's not like showbiz
But the main thing I suppose is
We're not the people you envy
Believe me, We know we're doing okay
We may be less than wealthy
But better yet, We're young and healthy
And anyone who's young and healthy knows
That that's the way the traffic flows
We've no misgivings
It's a living.
It's A Living Trivia
It's A Living was retitled, "Making A Living" for the second season only and then returned to its original title when it was reborn in syndication.
Ann Jillian got her first acting role on "Leave It to Beaver" on the episode titled, "Wally, the Businessman". She was 10 years old at the time. In 1988, Ann won an Emmy for her performance as herself in a TV movie about her life titled, "The Ann Jillian Story".
It's A Living didn't do very well in the ratings during its first two seasons on network television so ABC canceled the series. The following year (1983), It's A Living reruns did very well. Ann Jillian also announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984, becoming one of the first celebrities to do so. Her brave disclosure also moved viewers to want to see her on It's A Living. The producers of the show decided that there was enough interest so they put the series back into production more than three years after it was canceled and it aired in syndication for four more seasons!
When It's A Living returned, it had most of its original Cast. That's pretty unusual after a three year hiatus. Ann Jillian unfortunately had to leave the series after one season to concentrate on her fight against breast cancer but It's A Living went on with a new actress (Sheryl Lee Ralph) in the lead role.
There were several reasons why It's A Living didn't do well during its first two seasons on ABC. Its time slot was changed five times in two seasons! Viewers had trouble finding the series and many dropped the show when it moved opposite a show that they liked better. In its first season, it was up against the premiere season of the hit series, "Magnum P.I.". In the second season, it had more heavy competition from "Walt Disney". It's A Living also lost a major sponsor (Proctor and Gamble) due to what they felt were oufits that were too revealing and a controversial segment in the pilot episode where one of the waitresses (who was a virgin) was agonizing whether she should go on a vacation with a new boyfriend because it could lead to sex. The other waitresses heartily encouraged her to go and not worry about it. That was certainly no worse than anything on other shows like "The Love Boat" or "Three's Company". Of course, most of those other shows were much higher in the ratings and maybe that caused their sponsors to ignore a minority of their customers complaining.
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