Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Nasal-voiced comic actress Fran Drescher, she of the braying laugh and garish bargain-basement wardrobe, was both star and co-creator (with her then-husband Peter Marc Jacobson) of the long-running CBS sitcom The Nanny. Debuting November 3, 1993, the series cast Drescher as Fran Fine, a middle-class Jewish girl from Queens who is somewhat improbably hired by stuffy British-born theatrical agent Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy) to be the nanny for his three motherless children: shy Maggie (Nicholle Tom), wheeler-dealer Brighton (Benjamin Salisbury), and button-cute Grace (Madeline Zima). Comfortably installed in Maxwell's posh Manhattan town house, the healthily vulgar and outspoken Fran immediately ran afoul of snooty butler, Niles (Daniel Davis), who despite his forbidding demeanor was a softie at heart -- and who infinitely preferred Fran's company to that of Maxwell's overbearing business partner Chastity Claire "C.C." Babcock (Laura Lane). Also in the cast were Renee Taylor as Fran's mother, Sylvia Fine, who considered the day wasted that she didn't harass her daughter over her unmarried status; Ann Morgan Guilbert as Fran's earthy grandmother Yetta; and Rachel Chagall as our heroine's best friend, Val Toriallo. Having set her cap for the widowed Maxwell Sheffield, C.C. rightly perceived Fran as her rival, though Maxwell himself did not glom on to the fact that he was in love with Fran until the series was several seasons old. Even then, he balked at admitting his ardor and refused to pop the question, which sent Fran into an emotional downward spiral and into the arms of several lesser gentlemen. Finally, at the end of the series' fifth season, Fran and Maxwell were wed, whereupon Fran adopted her former boss' children. Eventually she became pregnant herself, giving birth to twins in the series' final episode (number 146). Meanwhile, the "hate-hate" relationship between Niles and C.C. took a surprising turn, with the warring couple ending up in bed together! After six successful seasons, The Nanny ended its CBS run on June 23, 1999. Some five years later -- December 6, 2004 -- the original cast was reassembled for The Nanny Reunion, a special broadcast consisting largely of "bloopers" from the old series.