In the pilot, "Mama" Harper (Vicki Lawrence) and Aunt Fran (Rue McClanahan) open the doors of their home to Mama's son, Vinton (Ken Berry) and his kids after a divorce. By the second episode of the series, Vint is rekindling his high school romance with his old sweetheart, Naomi (Dorothy Lyman), and by the third episode Vinton and Naomi are getting hitched, with Naomi moving into Mama's house, too! This could only happen in Mama's Family, the spin-off of the popular skit from The Carol Burnett Show. Carol Burnett (as "Eunice"), Harvey Korman and Betty White were also regulars when the series first premiered on NBC in 1983.
But the network cancelled the series after a 13-episode first season and a 22-episode second season, and it looked like the end for the Harpers in '84. However, *nothing* could keep Mama down; the show returned in first-run syndication during 1986, and went on to last 4 more full seasons. That was done without McClanahan and White, though, since they both left to do a new show called The Golden Girls. Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman moved on, too. Yet the show remained popular, and was nominated 3 times for Emmy Awards based on Ret Turner and Bob Mackie's costume designs...and won the award for that second nom, the 1984 one.
Fans of the show have dearly been seeking DVD news for a long time, and TVShowsOnDVD's registered members have voted to put the show up to #11 on our most-wanted unreleased show list. Now we have great news for you: Warner Brothers is considering Mama's Family for release. Things are looking good, although a release hasn't actually been greenlit yet. It won't be a "TV Favorites" best-of release, either...99% of voters want season sets, and that's exactly what Warner is considering for Mama's Family.
So this is good news all around, but it's not quite official yet. Don't fret, though, because we'll let you know when it is. Our thanks to reader Ryan Pepper for his valuable help with this story. Stay tuned!