Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A pre-Sideways Thomas Haden Church and a pre-Will & Grace Debra Messing were the deliberately ill-matched stars of the short-lived Fox sitcom Ned and Stacey. Messing played Stacey Colbert, a left-leaning writer for The Village Voice (and later for the fictional cheap in-flight magazine "Skyward"), while Church played Ned Dorsey, a ruthless (but somewhat zany) ad executive. Ned needed a wife to improve his image with the advertising firm of Kirkland & Haywood; Stacey simply needed a new apartment. The two entered into a marriage of convenience orchestrated by Stacey's sister Amanda Moyer (Nadia Dajani), the wife of Ned's top clerk and close friend Eric "Rico" Moyer (Greg Germann). Occupying separate rooms in Ned's lavish apartment, Ned and Stacey agreed never to consummate their marriage, and energetically carry on separate social lives, with Ned trying to fix up Stacey with dates and vice versa. The rest of the time, the couple carried on arguments so loud and nasty that the viewer might be obliged to turn down the sound a few notches to avoid a ticket for noise pollution. Though they were considering divorce at the end of the first season, Ned and Stacey remained together for season two, under the same "in name only" conditions. By this time, however, the series' emphasis had shifted to Amanda and the various harebrained business ventures which she talked Ned into. Ultimately, Ned and Amanda became partners in an operation called "Amanda's Amuffins," with Stacey and Eric largely shunted to the background. Debuting September 11, 1995, Ned and Stacey was canceled halfway through its second season on January 27, 1997. Eleven of the series' 46 episodes remained unaired until they were picked up for syndication and home-video release.