Empty Nest (TV Series 1988–1995) Poster


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The TV-series: theme song said it all: ("Life Goes On").
Brian-27230 December 2000
I am sad as I'm sure many others are to learn of the death of Richard Mulligan (1932-2000), he died this past year of cancer at 67. When I read the news I felt somber then I remembered the good times the "Empty Nest" days and I type this comment as a tribute to him. "Empty Nest" was one of the few TV-series: in my lifetime that I watched together with my family and received enjoyment. A Saturday night tradition. Having struck ratings gold with the Miami-based "Miami Vice" and "The, Golden Girls", NBC scored again with this sunny sitcom based in the Sunshine City. Like "The, Golden Girls", it featured a star of the 70's Richard Mulligan as a generous and heartwarming worrywart Dr. Harry Weston, and his only family consisted of two grown daughters Carol Weston (Dinah Manoff) and Barbara Weston (Kristy McNichol). Rounding the cast out were Harry's hick hillbilly southern nurse LaVerne (Park Overall) and a nerd and inept neighbor Charley (David Leisure) who supposedly worked on a cruise ship but would always splash and deadbeat into the Weston's kitchen. "Empty Nest" was a great comedy I know I got annoyed from time to time by putting up with the neurotic Carol and sarcastic LaVerne. Put those minor problems aside Richard Mulligan made this show a hit with his wit and comedic ability at the same time being the generous and serious Dr. Harry Weston. I know people think that producers just go to some little town and find a dippy person, but acting takes great skill and Richard Mulligan proved that on "Empty Nest". I also wish that this show like it's Miami counterpart "The, Golden Girls" would receive Lifetime airings as well it sure deserves it. The theme song of "Empty Nest" describes it all not just for the show but everyday life as well no matter what mysteries, problems, or things we find in life we will get the answer no matter how hard remember "Life Goes On". Finally I know we will all miss Richard Mulligan and his many talents we must remember no matter how much sadness we can find the answers and "Life Goes On".
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One of the best sitcoms ever.
dnwalker27 February 2000
Park Overall made this one. Flipping through channels and hearing her speak was enough to get me started watching the show.

The early shows were the best. Barbara (Kristy McNichol) was needed to offset the neurotic Carol (Dinah Manoff). The show lost a lot when McNichol left.

It also lost a lot when Richard Mulligan as Dr. Harry Weston retired from his practice and started working in the storefront clinic. It was never the same after that, and Marsha Warfield as Dr. Maxine Douglas added little to it.
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Not Entirely Empty!
Sylviastel21 March 2007
The show was a spin-off of Golden Girls about their neighbor, Dr. Harry Weston, a widower and doctor, who lived down the street with his beautiful dog, Dreyfuss. He gets frequent visitors like David Leisure who played the womanizing pilot, neighbor and friend. His daughters were played by Kristy McNichol and Dinah Manoff, both professional actresses with long histories. Of course, who could forget his nurse, Park Overall as Laverne. The show last seven seasons probably because it fell on after Golden Girls huge success. Richard Mulligan won awards for his performance and he was the heart and soul of the show's existence in my opinion. Marsha Warfield joined the cast late and there was some trouble especially with Kristy professionally and personally. Anyway the show was a lot better written than most of today's sitcoms. It dealt with lot of issues like death, relationships, etc. always with a good dose of laughter along the way. It was never the Golden Girls nor did it pretend to be and sometimes they would visit the show.
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A great show, memorable
AllisonLVenezio20 May 2001
Early on in my life, my parents would have me stay at my Grandparents if they had somewhere to go. I became familiar with the sitcoms aimed at older people. "The Golden girls" and "Empty Nest" became fixtures for me.

In my opinion, "Empty Nest" was one of my faves during my early childhood. It premired on NBC in 1988, when I was 6 years old. My grandma had me watching it, and I enjoyed it.

Richard Mulligan was good as Harry Weston, a pediatrician living in Miami with his two grown daughters, Barbara and Carol. The show was a great sitcom and was actually very amusing to a little kid. I watched it its entire run, and still remember Richard Mulligan, especially in his passing, as the gravely voiced gentle doctor.

I wish I could find this show somewhere on TV, cause it was a fixture in sitcoms!
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A pure definition of must-see TV!
Catherine_Grace_Zeh22 January 2006
"EMPTY NEST," is my opinion, is a pure definition of must-see TV! I don't think I've seen every episode, but I still enjoyed it. It's hard to say which episode was my favorite. However, I think it was always funny when a mishap occurred in the hospital. I always laugh at that. As a matter of fact, I think just about every single one of LaVerne's (Park Overall) lines was funny. It would have been nice if Barbara (Kristy McNichol) had stayed with the show throughout its entire run. Everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. In conclusion, I hope they bring it back on the air for fans of the show to see.
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Nice Series!
macpherr18 September 1999
Widower Dr. Harry Weston, Richard Mulligan (London Suite), was a pediatrician with two daughters: Carol Weston, who was very neurotic, played by Dinah Manoff (Ordinary People). She was a little neurotic but very funny. Barbara Weston, the young daughter Kristy McNichol (Family) was the cute and sane one in the family. Doctor Weston was a wonderful dad. Dr. Weston's receptionist was Laverne, Park Overall (Undercover Blues) a very southern woman, who was always talking about her home town Hickory. She was adorable. Charley Dietz was the neighbor who was always running out of food and everything else and was always coming over to borrow something and eat their food. When David Leisure (The Brady Bunch Movie) played this part he was also making commercials for Isuzu, and he was a liar in the commercial. To some extent Carley had a bit of that edge and was a complete womanizer. The Westons lived next door to the Golden Girls, and sometimes one of them would come by and make guest appearances. One of them was Estelle Getty (Golden Girls) Sophia Petrillo, the little old lady who took her pocket book everywhere including to bed. As in every family show the Westons had a cute dog. This was a nice series. I have found memories of it.
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Great Show for all types
Rat Man18 January 2003
It's difficult to find great comedy without being to risky for some people. Shows such as Seinfeld, Golden Girls, and Empty Nest can always light a smile on anybody.

I really liked David Leisure's character on this show "Charlie". He would just walk in the neighbors house grab a beer and off he went. He was so stupid and inept, he was funny.

Park Overall and Marsha Warfield added character to the show as well.

It did what TV supposed to do, make you laugh and forget about your problems.

Richard Mulligans passing was a great loss.
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Wonderfully Forgettable
Bolesroor19 September 2008
Backstory: "Golden Girls" was a huge hit on Saturday nights for NBC and programmers wanted to expand on that success to create an entire night of comedy. (If you think "spin-off" is a dirty word you'll probably want to stop reading here.) The second season finale of GG features a married couple (Paul Dooley & Rita Moreno) who had never been on the show before dealing with the future of their marriage now that their children had grown up and moved out. Dooley & Moreno had zero chemistry and the idea of a show based on such a depressing mess must have scared producers sober, so they "re-tooled."

The next season "Empty Nest" premiered right after "Golden Girls" with lightweight goon Richard Mulligan as Harry, a widowed doctor with two adult daughters still living in his home. (NOTE: This is the only part of the series that bothered me: How can you call a show 'Empty Nest' in which both adult daughters live at home? I guess producers liked the premise but found the execution too depressing. The title "Full House" would have made just as much sense.)

Dinah Manoff was the semi-bangable neurotic and Kristy McNicol the semi-bangable tough cookie. Park Overall is Harry's nurse/receptionist with a Southern accent and husky voice. David Leisure plays neighbor Charlie, a variant on his smooth-talking, lying "Joe Isuzu" character. A Golden Girl stops by twice a season to borrow an egg and remind us they live right next door and life goes on...

"Empty Nest" had decent laughs, decent performances... it was a pleasant filler to pass the time. I long for the days when television could afford to be this gentle... today most shows begin with the discovery of a corpse and end with confessions of lurid sex. It's cheap, and common, and inspires less viewer loyalty than a goofy sitcom in which the dog's name appears in the credits. Farewell "Empty Nest"...

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Fun for families!!!!!
sethn17229 August 2006
A spin-off of "The Golden Girls," Touchstone's 1988 series "Empty Nest" took place in Miami also, and it was a funny show that ran on NBC Saturday nights (?) Sorry, it's been a while since seeing this!!!!!

I haven't seen this in years, but here's one thing that I do remember: the dog at the beginning that's licking on the camera always made me smile!!!!! I also do remember that it took place on a beach, too. Anyone else remember this?

I liked this show because it was funny. Like Disney's cartoon shows, Touchstone's early shows were funny and were things that the whole family could enjoy, not like the junk that they put out today. This show was an example of their goodness!!!!!

"Empty Nest" will NEVER leave you feeling empty in your heart!!!!!

10 stars.
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Thank You
michaelglaab26 November 2017
While celebrating a THANKSGIVING holiday I contemplate its purpose and strive to appreciate its significance. Accordingly, I reflect upon the many varied factors that influence beneficially, to varying degrees, the development of an individual's character, his or her personality and outlook. For, we are influenced and/or conditioned by our environment, genes, education, circumstance and the passage of time.

Some influences are transitory and quickly dissipate. Others impact deeply and endure. Included among the diverse factors that tend to influence and shape us all are the products of the entertainment industry. This particular industry ostensibly entertains people and encourages them to purchase commodities, for better or for worse.

The entertainment industry produces a vast cornucopia of products typically presumed to be essentially trivial and inconsequential distractions. However, seemingly insignificant distractions sometimes have unexpected and/or disproportionate impacts. For example, they may educate and refine: civilize. They may soothe, solace and comfort the weary, weak and/or sick. While the impetuous and hasty may be inspired to reflect and consider first - before acting recklessly. Contrariwise, the hesitant and uncertain may be energized and inspired to act decisively. Those who have surrendered pessimistically to the vagaries of life may be encouraged and revitalized thus enabling them to endure, overcome and succeed. The vast potential of the entertainment industry to impact our civilization beneficially merits objective and serious consideration. Therefore, the beneficial contributions to our society by the more idealistic members of that industry truly merit our appreciation and gratitude for they serve to educate, refine and civilize.

As an encouraging example, I cite the Empty Nest television program which consistently maintained high entertainment standards while presenting moral lessons to its audience - in an entertaining manner suitable for family viewing. Obvious preaching and sermonizing were avoided. Nevertheless, moral standards of decency were upheld and affirmed. This amusing, but also instructive, comedy program dealt with a diverse and broad range of topics and situations typically encountered and experienced by families. In addition, it dared to confront and consider a variety of pertinent and relevant topics such as employee/employer relations, the women's liberation movement, health care and its impact upon patients as well as upon medical practitioners, etc. This comedy frequently transitioned seamlessly and almost instantaneously from delightful comedy to insightful drama - and back again. Exceptional practitioners of this were Mr. Richard Mulligan and Ms. Kristy McNichol.

Although Richard Mulligan had ventured boldly into drama with an innovative and striking performance in Little Big Man he had truly excelled in comedy. Similar to Cary Grant, Buster Keaton and Charley Chaplin he had developed a remarkable ability to portray characters struggling successfully in preposterous situations to "do the right thing" with a composed, dignified and upright demeanor. Kristy McNichol, prior to her appearance on Empty Nest, was a youthful but accomplished veteran of several powerfully moving dramatic performances. However, in Empty Nest she demonstrated, similar to Richard Mulligan, amazing comedic sense and timing. With the assistance of their capable fellow performers, both frequently displayed their versatility and immense talents with an almost uncanny ability to alternate quickly between comedy and drama. It is probable that even these stellar performers collaborated synergistically with their fellows to produce quality art. Their achievements serve as object lessons to us all.

In conclusion, I gratefully extend a sincere THANK YOU to ALL OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS JOYOUS CELEBRATION of the intrinsic value and capacity of human beings to endure and surmount obstacles whilst simultaneously improving themselves and learning to interact with their fellow human beings with tolerance, fairness, justice, compassion and understanding.
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Great Memories
Aztec_Camera2 May 2007
Empty Nest was one of my favorite sitcoms growing up, I was exposed to Empty Nest as a preteen quite simply because I was a fan of The Golden Girls. Empty Nest was a sort of quasi-spin off of The Golden Girls. A little piece of trivia but you can actually see the original concept of Empty Nest during Season 2 of The Golden Girls in the episode "Empty Nest". The original concept had veteran character actors Rita Rudner and Paul Dooley playing a couple coping with their children all leaving home. Thank god they didn't go with this original concept as it was dreadful. After poor audience response they re-tooled the show as a showcase for Mulligan, a successful widower doctor with two very different daughters still living at home.

Late in Season 2 the character of Barbara (Kristy McNicol) was written off the show allegedly because McNicol was diagnosed with Severe Bipolar Disorder. Thankfully though we would be reunited with the character of Barbara in the shows series finale. Her departure however was rather unfortunate as she was a good counter to the character of Carol, who was a neurotic psychological mess. Park Overall was the true firecracker of the show. She was easily the funniest character and her scenes seemed to always elevate an episode.

Empty Nest was part of the infamous "Miami Trilogy" which aired for several years on NBC Saturday nights. Empty Nest, The Golden Girls, and Nurses (All shows created by Susan Harris by the way) were all part of the same "universe", so to speak. They all took place in the same Miami, various characters from the shows lived & worked near or with one another and guest spots among characters appearing on the other shows was not uncommon. Even Estelle Getty (The Golden Girls feisty elderly lady Sophia) joined the cast in it's final 2 seasons. However during these last two seasons the show "Jumped The Shark" when main character Dr. Harry Weston left his job at the hospital and started a free clinic in a "not-so-nice" neighborhood with fellow doctor, Marsha Warfield (Of Night Court fame). Empty Nest remains one of my favorite sitcoms from that era. I have heard mixed things about a possible DVD release. Despite the show lasting 7 seasons and consistently being in the Nielsen Top 10 a DVD release is probably unlikely any time in the near future considering the show has become all but forgotten. I won't forget though.
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Empty Nest: a lovely comedy series for the whole family
maymad7 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
In spite of being a "spinoff" ( which most of the time are worse than their predecessors), this series is a real gem. A unique ensemble of great actors that deal with situations with loving and caring attitude without ever being crass.. now THAT is something else in Hollywood's TV Land!!! Starting with the late great Richard Mulligan, who was a wonderful comedic talent (lest not forget his great physical comedy aspect), followed VERY closely by the great Park Overall who always manages to have the FUNNIEST lines and delivery in the series, I will never get tired of watching its reruns .. (BTW , what's up with it NOT being available on DVD??? HELLOOO??) The cast is rounded off by Kristy McNichol, who , despite of her personal problems that forced her out of the series, plays a GREAT ROLE, and David Leisure, who plays the sleazy neighbor and is the perfect foil to the rest of the cast (later in the series Estelle Getty and Marsha Warfield would contribute to the "naughtiness") and Dinah Manoff's character , who is just annoying, make this a great entertainment, far from being "sterile" it hits the point of humanity and love that is rarely seen on TV. This was my late mother's favorite series, so I may be a bit biased, but I did not appreciate it until many years after her passing...
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family sitcom Father, two daughters ( at home) and the dog who steals the show.
bernice-822 May 2007
Empty Nest has always been my favorite sitcom. I called Disney several times and a few friends have also called them but it is not on the list ( they have planned for the next 12 months.)

they give no reason for not releasing it on DVD. Say get more people to write. Unfortunately people give up after a while.

I had some on tape which were stolen and now only have a few--- Dreyfus and puppies is one.

it is frustrating as cannot understand why not released on DVD. Any ideas? A sweet sitcom with no angry or unkind plots. Good family viewing.
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I always liked this show...
JennLynn22 August 1999
This show always was one of the better ones. Right up in my top 20. At times, Carol's character got annoying, but there are people like that. And her sisters, Barbara and Emily, had great portrayers. Park Overall as Lavern was a great part of the show. Too bad it got thrown off primetime!
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