Who's the Boss
Synopsis of TV Show
Few things propel a television show’s momentum as well as a little unconsummated romantic tension: just ask the producers of Cheers, Moonlighting, or The X-Files. Just give us the hope that the leads will end up together, but don’t tell us where, when or how, and the mixture of fascination and frustration will keep us tuning in week after week. With a little help from cute kids and a wisecracking matron, Tony Micelli and Angela Bower turned this principle into a long-running ABC hit, Who’s The Boss?
Tony (played by Tony Danza, in his second of four TV roles so far as a “Tony”) was a widower, father, and former baseball player who got tired of New York City and decided to escape to the suburbs. To do so, he applied for the unlikely job of live-in housekeeper for Angela, a divorced woman living in Connecticut. This household also included Angela’s young son Jonathan and her randy mother Mona. Also added to the mix was Tony’s pre-teen daughter, Samantha (“Sam” to her friends).
Tony took on the job and did it well, and he and Angela slowly (and we do mean slowly) took notice of each other. All too often, we’d see the two approaching the brink of becoming romantically involved, only to get spooked and decide to see other people. Each took on many significant others during the course of the show: the most notable for Angela was Geoffrey Wells, and the most notable for Tony was Kathleen Sawyer. Samantha found several boyfriends, the longest-lasting being Jesse, and even man-hungry Mona got into the act with an on-off boyfriend named Max Muldoon.
Other plot developments had Angela creating her own agency with the help of Mona after being fired from her ad-executive job, and Tony deciding to continue his education with college classes (including an advertising class taught by…you guessed it). When the show’s two child stars grew too old to indulge in kiddie antics (although the pin-up value of Alyssa Milano as a teenaged Sam was a nice trade-off), a new kid named Billy was briefly added to the show in 1990.
Tony and Angela finally admitted their attraction to each other in 1991, after more than six seasons of the ol’ romance tease. But surprisingly, in a departure from standard sitcom send-offs, Who’s the Boss? ended its run in September of 1992 without a wedding. Instead, viewers had to settle for Tony’s college graduation. After living in the same house for eight TV seasons, maybe this “are they or aren’t they” twosome just decided the title question was better left unanswered.
Release History of Prime Time Show9/20/84 - 9/10/92 ABC
TV Sub Categoriescomedy
Television StudioColumbia Pictures Television
TV CastTony Micelli Tony Danza
Angela Bower Judith Light
Samantha Micelli Alyssa Milano
Jonathan Bower Danny Pintauro
Mona Robinson Katherine Helmond
Geoffrey Wells (1986-1987) Robin Thomas
Bonnie (1986-1992) Shana Lane-Block
Jesse Nash (1987-1988) Scott Bloom
Mrs. Rossini Rhoda Gemignani
Billy (age 5) (1990-1991) Jonathan Halyalkar
Kathleen Sawyer (1990) Kate Vernon
Andy (1990) Doug Ballard
Hank Thomopalous (1992) Curnal Achilles Aulisio
Fran Thomopalous (1992) Candy Azzara
Al William Gallo
Joe Thomopalous (1992) Vic Polizos