Thea (TV series)

Thea is an American sitcom that premiered September 8, 1993 on ABC, and last aired on February 16, 1994, for a total of 19 episodes. Starring comedian Thea Vidale, the series marked the first time an African American female comedian was the star of a series named after her.[1]

Created byBernie Kukoff
Written byBill Bryan
Lenore G. Bunt
Dan Cohen
Elias Davis
Tom Devanney
Michelle Jones
Bernie Kukoff
David Kukoff
David Pollack
F.J. Pratt
Donald Seigel
Terri Schaffer Hicks
Chris Sheridan
Latrice Williams
Directed byJohn Bowab
Linda Day
Paul Kreppel
Jay Sandrich
Tony Singletary
Chuck Vinson
StarringThea Vidale
Adam Jeffries
Brandy Norwood
Jason Weaver
Brenden Jefferson
Cleavant Derricks
Yvette Wilson
Theme music composerFreddie Washington
Benjamin Wright
Composer(s)Kurt Farquhar
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes19
Executive producer(s)Bernie Kukoff
Andrew Susskind
Producer(s)Tom Devanney
Mary Ellen Jones
Running time2224 minutes
Production company(s)Castle Rock Entertainment
Columbia Pictures Television
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 8, 1993 (1993-09-08) 
February 16, 1994 (1994-02-16)


Thea Vidale starred as the sassy Thea Turrell (known for her trademark one-liner of "See ya!"), a widowed mother of four who worked in a Houston, Texas supermarket by day and ran a single-chair beauty salon on the corner of her porch in the evenings.

The show was the first to feature Brandy Norwood, who went on to become a Grammy-winning singer and the star of her own sitcom, Moesha, co-starring Yvette Wilson.

Although the show initially attracted high ratings, viewership declined steadily over the course of the season, and the series was canceled after 19 episodes, having ended the season in 43rd place.





No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Pilot"Jay SandrichBernie KukoffSeptember 8, 1993 (1993-09-08)
Thea has a hectic routine: working at the supermarket checkout by day, dressing hair by night, and supervising her four demanding children. Jarvis gives his mother $25 which he earned delivering sandwiches during his school lunch hour, but she insists that he keep the money and eat his own lunch in the cafeteria. Danesha returns from taking James clothes-shopping, and James blabs that he had to keep trying on ill-fitting clothes while she talked on the phone to her new boyfriend Leonard, whom she's meeting at the library later. Thea insists that Leonard pick Danesha up at home so she can inspect him. Meanwhile, Jerome is supposedly at a friend's house doing a geography assignment, but Thea finds his geography book and knows that he has been at the video arcade instead, and grounds him before she leaves to attend a memorial service. It's the night of a big video-game competition, and Jerome sneaks out despite Jarvis' attempts to keep him at home, then must face Thea's wrath.
2"Jerome Makes the Grade"Jay SandrichTom DevanneySeptember 10, 1993 (1993-09-10)
Jerome is failing English because of his desperate attempts to make the school basketball team. When Thea forces him to finish his book report on "To Kill a Mockingbird", he doesn't make the team but gets a B on his report. Meanwhile, Danesha attempts to submit a video to America's Funniest Home Videos.
3"Dirty Laundry"TBATBASeptember 15, 1993 (1993-09-15)
The washing machine breaks down, which means endless trips to the laundromat. Meanwhile, Danesha's boyfriend is in hot water after he kisses another girl, and Thea puts him through the wringer before he can come clean with Danesha.
4"How I Got Over"Jay SandrichMichelle JonesSeptember 29, 1993 (1993-09-29)
Thea gets a chance to train for manager, but Jerome plans a boxing-match party while Thea is at her night-school class.
5"To Tell the Truth"Jay SandrichDon SiegelOctober 6, 1993 (1993-10-06)
Jarvis lets his younger brother drive and they get into an accident, but the boys don't tell their mother who was behind the wheel. To punish them, Thea cooks up a scheme with Lynette, who pretends to have lost her wedding ring in her trash, now at the bottom of a very fragrant dumpster.
6"Artie's Party"Chuck VinsonBill Bryan & Tom DevanneyOctober 13, 1993 (1993-10-13)
Conflict brews when Arthur invites Jerome to his bachelor party but Thea thinks he's too young to attend.
7"Here Comes Mr. Gordon"TBATBAOctober 15, 1993 (1993-10-15)
Thea acquires an unwanted admirer.
8"Birthday Girl"TBATBANovember 3, 1993 (1993-11-03)
On her birthday, Thea's treasured gift of tickets to a Motown reunion concert go unused when her boss calls her in to work a replacement shift.
9"Danesha Loooves Leonard"TBATBANovember 17, 1993 (1993-11-17)
When Danesha's romance with Leonard disrupts the household, Jarvis and Jerome hatch a plan to split them up.
10"Mama, I'm Full"TBATBANovember 24, 1993 (1993-11-24)
Thea must work at the market on Thanksgiving, so she entrusts Danesha with the cooking of the family feast.
11"Good Stock"TBATBADecember 1, 1993 (1993-12-01)
Jerome finds he has a knack with stocks, which leads Thea to lend him a real-investment stake.
12"A Christmas Story"TBATBADecember 15, 1993 (1993-12-15)
Jarvis procrastinates putting up the Christmas lights because he's afraid of heights.
13"Danesha Project"TBATBADecember 22, 1993 (1993-12-22)
Danesha teams up with Cliff Croverd, the most popular guy in school, for a social-studies project on single parents.
14"Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow"TBATBAJanuary 5, 1994 (1994-01-05)
Thea finds herself in a hairy situation when she can't afford mandated improvements to her in-home salon and an inspector wants to close it down.
15"Who's Zoomin' Who"TBATBAJanuary 12, 1994 (1994-01-12)
Marcella uses Jerome to make her boyfriend Dwayne jealous, while Jerome uses the relationship to meet his own needs. Meanwhile, Thea decides to fix her own plumbing after Charles can't make time to do it for her.
16"Of Fish and Men"TBATBAJanuary 19, 1994 (1994-01-19)
Danesha is paired with a basketball star for a school project, but he tries to pass all the work off on her.
17"Call Me Thea"TBATBAFebruary 2, 1994 (1994-02-02)
Thea takes a day off, leaving the kids to do the household chores. She visits her favorite barbecue joint, Mickey's, but Mickey has died and new owner Roy's cooking doesn't come close, so Thea joins the restaurant as the head chef.
18"T.C.B."TBATBAFebruary 9, 1994 (1994-02-09)
Barbecue-sauce chef Thea is offered a restaurant partnership.
19"The Pie Queen and the Loan Duck"TBATBAFebruary 16, 1994 (1994-02-16)
Jarvis needs space and privacy to study for his college SATs. Meanwhile, Thea is outraged when she learns that Mitch Mallard, the banker who holds the mortgage on the diner, eats there for free.

Ratings [2][3][4]

  • Episode 1: 13.6/22, 20.7 million, #11
  • Episode 2: 10.4/20, 15.9 million, #29
  • Episode 3: 15.0/24, 23.4 million, #10
  • Episode 4: 10.1/17, 14.9 million, #52
  • Episode 5: 10.5/17, 15.4 million, #52
  • Episode 6: 10.3/16, 15.4 million, #53
  • Episode 7: 11.2/18, 17.0 million, #40
  • Episode 8: 10.0/16, 14.6 million, #57
  • Episode 9: 9.7/15, 15.1 million, #55
  • Episode 10: 9.3/16, 14.8 million, #56
  • Episode 11: 13.6/21, 22.2 million, #23
  • Episode 12: 9.6/16, 14.9 million, #54
  • Episode 13: 8.5/14, 14.2 million, #61
  • Episode 14: 11.4/17, 17.6 million, #45
  • Episode 15: 10.2/16, 15.0 million, #58
  • Episode 16: 11.5/17, 17.3 million, #47
  • Episode 17: 10.1/16, 15.6 million, #59
  • Episode 18: 10.7/16, 16.8 million, #48
  • Episode 19: 9.2/14, #46 [5]


Reruns of the show aired on BET from 1994-1998 and returned to the same channel on Mother's Day in 2008 but stopped airing a few months later.

Award nominations

Year Award Category Recipient Result
1994Young Artist AwardsOutstanding Youth Ensemble in a Television SeriesBrandy Norwood, Jason Weaver, Brenden Jefferson and Adam JeffriesNominated


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