thirtysomething episode guide

originally by eric r. jorgensen, jon conrad & loring s. holden. With some added information by Bob Fahey

At the end of this guide you will find Bob Fahey's list of real world tie-ins to names of people, places and companies on the show.

There were 85 episodes, spread over four seasons:

season 1 1987-1988

1) thirtysomething 9/29/87, 12/22/87, 10/23/90 "thirtysomething" - Series Premiere Hope and Michael Steadman are still adjusting to parenthood while struggling with money problems and best-friend crises. [In this episode only, Janey Steadman is played by Jade and Lauren Mortimer. In this and the Hitchcock episode, Ethan and Brittany Weston are played by Jason and Rachel Nagler.] writer: marshall herskovitz writer: edward zwick director: marshall herskovitz

2) attack of the killer parents 10/6/87, 12/29/87 Hope's anxiety over her parent's (Shirley Knight, George Coe) impending visit taxes everyone's patience. writer: marshall herskovitz writer: edward zwick director: edward zwick

3) housewarming 10/13/87, 8/2/88 While preparing for a housewarming, Michael feels pangs of guilt about leading a yuppie existence, and the carpenter and Hope flirt with each other. Faith Ford is introduced as Janine. Dave Firland: Tom O'Brien. writer: marshall herskovitz writer: edward zwick director: john pasquin

4) couples (or ``level of misery'') 10/27/87, 4/5/88 A night out degenerates into an argument between Nancy and Elliott as their marital woes become apparent. Hostesses: Karen L. Gannon, Chris Rennolds, Annette Marroquin, Patricia Lindley. writer: marshall herskovitz writer: edward zwick director: marshall herskovitz

5) but not for me (or ``saturday night'') 11/3/87, 3/29/88, 3/14/89 Gary and Melissa rekindle their long-dormant love affair; Hope and Michael's ``date'' turns into a disaster. Michael Feinstein appears as himself. Irritants: Lucy Webb, Tim Stack. writer: richard kramer director: tom moore

6) we gather together 11/17/87 Hope and Michael plan a quiet Thanksgiving alone but learn their friends are counting on being invited over. Jeff: Jack Blessing. writer: susan miller writer: richard kramer writer: edward zwick writer: story by susan miller director: mark cullingham

7) nice work if you can get it (or ``yo! it's my arts center!'') 12/1/87, 4/19/88 As a deadline approaches, ad men Michael and Elliott wrestle with a creativity block, Ellyn develops a crush on a business associate. Terry Kinney is introduced as Steve Woodman. Amy: Amy Benedict. Fear, Dread, and Anxiety: Daniel W. Frishman, Tony Cox, Phil Fondacaro. writer: paul haggis writer: story by jean vallely director: claudia weill

8) weaning 12/8/87, 7/26/88 Sensing baby Janey's decreasing dependency on her, depressed Hope decides to go back to work. Rosalind Cash is introduced as Val Shilliday. Cooper: Marg Helgenberger. Amy: Amy Benedict. Alex Miller: Meg Wittner. Larry Richards: Clive Rosengren. writer: liberty godshall director: john pasquin

9) i'll be home for christmas 12/15/87, 6/14/88 Michael and Hope argue about whether their infant's first holiday should be Christmas or Hanukkah. A famous photographer (Andy Aronson: Paul Sand) shows interest in Melissa's work. Melissa age 12: Danielle Rioux. writer: richard kramer director: robert lieberman

10) south by southwest 1/5/88 It's a Hitchcockian nightmare as Gary falls in love; as the romance progresses, he begins receiving a series of threats against his life. Eve: Dana Delaney. Philip Vandamm: Christopher Carroll. writer: paul haggis director: dan lerner

11) therapy episode 8711, 1/12/88, 6/7/88, 4/18/89 Elliott and Nancy seek professional help for their troubled marriage; Michael finds it hard to keep it a secret. Dr. Nicolson: Marshall Herskovitz. writer: susan shilliday director: marshall herskovitz

12) competition 1/19/88, 8/9/88, 3/13/90 Michael's jealousy is aroused when an important client (Werner Breslow: Richard Masur) makes it clear he prefers Elliot. Meanwhile, Hope and Nancy try to come to terms with computers. writer: joseph dougherty director: rob cohen

13) separation 1/26/88, 9/6/88 Elliott temporarily moves in with Michael and Hope after separating from Nancy. writer: susan shilliday director: paul haggis

14) i'm in love... with my gynecologist 2/2/88, 5/24/88 Competing for the attention of the same man jeopardizes the new found friendship between Ellyn and Melissa. Dr. Bob Kramer: Robin Thomas. writer: ann lewis hamilton writer: richard kramer writer: story by ann lewis hamilton director: scott winant

15) business as usual 2/9/88, 6/21/88 Michael's hopes for a joyous reunion with his father (Leo Steadman: Steven Hill) are destroyed when he discovers the real reason for the visit. Linda (Michael's Stepmother): Barbara Rhoades. Dr. Turlow: David Wohl. writer: paul haggis writer: marshall herskovitz director: claudia weill

16) accounts receivable 3/1/88, 6/21/88 A rocky relationship between Michael and his brother Brad (Danton Stone) is further strained when Michael learns the family business is almost bankrupt. Barbara Steadman: Barbara Barrie. Birdie Kravitz: Dena Dietrich. Maury Pressman: Ron Young Mike: Jay Lambert. Young Brad: Jacob Kenner. writer: richard kramer director: edward zwick

17) whose forest is this? episode 8717, 3/15/88, 3/28/89 Nancy and Elliot's separation takes its toll on their son, Elliot prepares for a blind date with a chiropractor (Sharon Berman: Lisa Jane Persky). Includes Ethan's fairytale nightmares, with acknowledgments to Maurice Sendak. The Beast: Irwin Keyes. writer: richard kramer writer: story by kathleen tolan director: peter horton

18) nancy's first date 3/22/88 Melissa's burgeoning romance slows when she learns he doesn't want any more kids. Nancy has her first date since the separation. writer: susan shilliday director: ron lagormarsino

19) undone 4/12/88, 1/24/89 Michael's old girlfriend from college (Chelsea Field) pays a visit. writer: joseph dougherty director: dan lerner

20) tenure 5/3/88 Gary evaluates the fate of his academic career as he undergoes tenure review at the college. Ellyn learns her building is going co-op, leaving her to decide whether to buy her apartment. Dr. Weiss: Allan Miller. Mary: Devon Williams. Roger: Grant Heslov. writer: ann lewis hamilton writer: story by john olive director: ken gilbert

21) born to be mild First Season finale, 5/10/88, 8/23/88 Ellyn and Woodman's weekend is ruined when they are forced to babysit Janey. Dr. Butler: Robert Crow. Robin Leach appears as himself. writer: jerry stahl director: ron lagormarsino

season 2 1988-1989

22) we'll meet again 12/6/88, 5/30/89, 3/6/90 Michael wants to have another baby, Hope finds heirlooms while checking for radon contamination in the attic, including the diary of a woman who lived in the house during World War II. Sally Spangler: Jo Anderson. Roy MacCaulay: Lenny Von Dohlen. writer: richard kramer director: scott winant

23) in re: the marriage of weston 12/13/88, 8/1/89 Having consulted a divorce arbitrator, Elliot and Nancy embark on a new relationship. Jack Bronstein: Lyman Ward. Anna Trautman: Millie Perkins. Derry: David Packer. Adrienne: Rita Wilson. writer: susan shilliday director: paul haggis

24) the mike van dyke show 12/20/88, 6/6/89, 12/19/89 With the arrival of Christmas and Hanukkah, the Steadman home is once again fraught with religious uncertainty. Old Gentleman: Jack Gilford. Dr. Richards: Clyde Kusatsu. Rabbi Markowitz: Craig Berenson. writer: marshall herskovitz writer: edward zwick director: robert lieberman

25) trust me 1/3/89, 8/8/89 Melissa decides she wants to have a baby - and chooses Gary as the father. Gary begins to get involved in community work. David Marshall Grant and Patricia Kalember are introduced as Russell Weller and Susannah Hart. Curtis Caldwell: Courtney Vance. Rosie: Lynne Thigpen. Monty Ovary: Jeff Altman. writer: richard kramer director: steven robman

26) no promises 1/10/89, 8/15/89 Ellyn's shock over her parents' impending divorce threatens her relationship with Woodman. James Warren: Charles Cioffi. Marjorie Warren: Betsy Blair. Young Ellyn: Hayley Carr.

27) politics 1/17/89, 12/25/90 Michael and Elliott manage an offensive candidates' ad campaign; Gary and Susannah dine at the Steadmans. Jerry Kravitz: James Eckhouse.

28) success 1/31/89, 6/13/89 Melissa photographs a famous singer's album cover. With Carly Simon. David Clennon and Richard Cummings, Jr. are introduced as Miles Drentell and Mark Harriton.

29) first day / last day 2/7/89, 6/20/89 With tensions building between Michael and Elliot, flashbacks review their first meeting and how they came to establish their company. Al Pressman: Art La Fleur. Amos Bordon: Nicolas Coster. Cheryl Eastman: Sheila Kelley.

30) about last night 2/14/89 Susannah has surprising news for Gary; Nancy fears she'll never meet her deadline. Jack Bronstein: Lyman Ward. Alex: Charles Noland.

31) elliot's dad 2/28/89, 8/22/89 Elliott hopes a visit from his dad (Eddie Albert) will solve his personal problems. Ruthie Weston Tresh: Meagen Fay. Donald Tresh: Paul Eiding. Matt Enwright: Timothy Carhart. Roberta Sessions: Linda Sorenson. writer: joseph dougherty

32) payment due 3/7/89, 7/14/89 Ellyn's sudden change in behavior shocks her friends and strains her relationship with Woodman. Dave Calloman: Jeff McCracken. Dr. Meyer: Philip Abbott.

33) deliverance 3/21/89 With the women away on a camping trip, Michael and Elliot care for the children and corroborate on their first project since bankruptcy. Mrs. Moore: Peggy Doyle. Carla: Courtney Gebhart.

34) michael writes a story 4/4/89, 7/11/89, 1/2/90 Michael signs up for a creative writing class, only to find Nancy is already a student in the class. Ivy Dunbar: Lorinne Vozoff. Matt Enwright: Timothy Carhart. writer: joseph dougherty

35) new job 4/11/89, 7/18/89 Michael and Hope deal with a devastating loss, while he and Elliott work for DAA, Miles Drentell's agency. Holly Fulger Andra Millian are introduced as Hollis Amato Angel Wasserman.

36) be a good girl 4/25/89, 7/25/89 Melissa's grandmother (Rose: Sylvia Sidney) asks for her help with the family business. Elaine Steadman: Phyllis Newman. Murray Steadman: Herbert Edelman.

37) courting nancy 5/2/89, 9/5/89 Elliott sets out to win Nancy back when she becomes more involved with Matt. Drew: Charles Stratton.

38) best of enemies 5/16/89, 1/29/91 While researching a magazine story, Hope learns that Susannah may have diverted social center funds. writer: joseph dougherty

season 3 1989-1990

39) nancy's mom 9/19/89, 5/8/90 Just as Nancy and Elliott settle into a comfortable dating groove, Nancy's mom (Eleanor Krieger: Elizabeth Hoffman) comes for a visit.

40) love and sex 10/3/89, 1/30/90 Michael and Hope find themselves sexually out of sync, while seeing their babysitter in the raptures of young love. Lauren: Cheryl Pollack. Bernard: Brad Pitt. Danny: Richard Murphy.

41) mr. right episode 8903, 10/10/89 Melissa and Ellyn turn to video dating in their search for the right man. Corey Parker is introduced as Lee Owens. Kelly: Susie Duff.

42) new baby 10/24/89, 6/5/90 Gary tries to keep Susannah's spirits up as she goes into labor. Dr. Silverman: Patricia Heaton. Clara: Andi Chapman. Isabel: Diane Delano.

43) legacy 10/24/89, 6/12/90 A brush with death convinces Michael to draw up a will; career success changes Michael's relationship with Drentell. Elliott and Nancy get back together. Jeffrey Milgrom: Richard Gilliland. Kit: Dan Shor. writer: joseph dougherty

44) strangers 11/7/89 Melissa and Lee's relationship parallels Russell and Peter's. Peter Frechette is introduced as Peter Montefiore.

45) pilgrims 11/21/89 As Thanksgiving nears, Ethan is troubled by Elliott moving back in and by a rash of neighborhood robberies.

46) the burning bush 11/28/89, 1/15/91 Ellyn's contemplation of an affair with a married man leads to recollections of her and Hope's longtime friendship. Hope at 17: Kate Hodge. Ellyn at 17: Kelly Wolf. Ricky Bianca: Tyra Ferrell.

47) new parents 12/5/89 Gary's plan to stay home with Emma is interrupted by a visit from his mother (Georgann Johnson). David Hall: Jeff Perry.

48) michael's campaign 12/12/89, 6/19/90 Michael goes through a power struggle at work. Leo Steadman: Scott Marlowe. John Dunaway: J.D. Souther. writer: joseph dougherty

49) pulling away 1/9/90 Michael gets a promotion at work, and has trouble dealing with Elliot. Page: Tasia Balsam. Congressman Mainway: Bruce Davison. Tony Gilchrist: Stephen Kearney. writer: joseph dougherty

50) another country 1/16/90 After getting her book published, Nancy discovers she has cancer.

51) post op 1/23/90, 7/24/90 Nancy recovers from her cancer surgery, and her sister Deb (Tess Harper) seems to be the only one who understands. Dr. Silverman: Patricia Heaton. Dr. Verney: Chip Zien.

52) once a mermaid 2/6/90, 7/10/90 Ellyn starts dating a married man. Richard Gilliland returns as Jeffrey Milgrom. Valerie Milgrom: Felicity La Fortune. Erich Anderson is introduced as Billy Sidel. Geraldo Rivera appears as himself.

53) father and lovers 2/13/90, 7/4/90 Melissa gets her boyfriend a job with Michael's ad agency, and fears she's turned him into a yuppy monster. Courtney Dunn: Mariska Hargitay. Herb Segal: John Moskiff.

54) her cup runneth over 2/20/90 Jeffrey leaves his wife Valerie (Felicity La Fortune) and moves in with Ellyn. Christie: Mya Akerling. Therapist: Brian Smiar.

55) good sex, bad sex, what sex, no sex 2/27/90, 7/31/90 Sex problems plague Melissa and Lee, Gary and Susannah, and Nancy and Elliot. Stephanie: Patricia Arquette.

56) the other shoe 3/20/90, 8/7/90 Nancy becomes more involved with a new friend from her support group (Katherine Cortez). Gloria: Jane Alden: Arthur: Robert Levine. writer: Joseph Dougherty

57) three year itch 4/3/90 The incinerator campaign ends, but Hope is reluctant to end her relationship with John Dunaway. Michael gets a long-awaited raise. Margaux: Anne De Salvo

58) i'm nobody, who are you? 4/10/90, 8/14/90 Gary refuses Michael's offer of financial help. Emily Dickinson: Mary Beth Hurt. Catherine: Robin Morse.

59) arizona 4/17/90, 8/21/90 Hope and Michael see the problems in their marriage as they visit Hope's parents (George Coe, Shirley Knight). Peggy York: Charlotte Stewart.

60) going limp 5/1/90, 8/28/90, 4/23/91 Elliott is nervous about directing his first commercial. Don DeLise: Charles Rocket.

61) towers of zenith, part 1 (or ``the go-between'') 5/15/90, 9/4/90 Michael is approached by Minnesota Brands to help in a corporate takeover. Bob Spano: Paul Dooley. Gus Hennessy: Marc Levy. writer: Joseph Dougherty

62) towers of zenith, part 2 (or "samurai adman") 5/22/90 Michael and Elliott help the DAA takeover while Miles fights the buyout. Mrs. Arthur: Cassie Yates. Jack Ashley: Robert Symonds. writer: Joseph Dougherty

season 4 1990-1991

63) Prelude to a Bris 9/25/90 Leo Steadman is born, and the question of his bris arises. Dr. Ben Teitleman: Alan King. Rabbi Frankel: Philip Sterling. Dr. Silverman: Patricia Heaton. Barbara Steadman: Barbara Barrie.

64) life class 10/2/90, 7/23/91 Nancy's constantly changing sexual feelings start to affect her marriage; Hope feels overwhelmed by two children. Art: Eric Rose. Dr. Eilerton: Christopher Curry.

65) control 10/9/90 A photography assignment brings Melissa and Miles together; Jeffrey and Ellyn look for an apartment.

66) the distance 10/16/90 Susannah's New York job offer threatens her relationship with Gary; Ellyn's relationship with Jeffrey ends. Kate: Elizabeth Kemp. Judge Allan: Beverly Hope Atkinson. Gail: Lauren Tom. writer: Joseph Dougherty

67) The Haunting of D.A.A. 10/30/90 Michael is troubled by hard times and strange spooks at D.A.A., which combine to give him a new perspective of his position at the company.

68) the guilty party episode 9006, 11/13/90 Hope throws a surprise party for Michael to make up for giving all her attention to the baby; the Japanese arrive. Miles gets loopy on prescription drugs. Electra Rosenbloom: Renee Taylor. Preceptor: Debra Mooney. Ernest Leight: Andrew Lauer.

69) photo opportunity 11/27/90 Family and career demands pull Melissa in opposite directions. Brendan Norris: Joseph Maher. Jill Steadman: Gail Mayron (Melanie Mayron's real sister). Ms. Alexander: Roberta Wallach. Aunt Muriel: Cynthia Frost.

70) never better 12/4/90 After beginning an unlikely relationship with Gary, Ellyn is attracted to a former date (Erich Anderson returns as Billy Sidel). Claire: Jill Novick. Therapist: Frank Diels. writer: Joseph Dougherty

71) guns & roses 12/11/90 Nancy's problems with cancer therapy affects her relationship with her children; Elliot is jealous of award-nominee Michael. As of this episode, Brittany Weston is played by Lindsay Riddell. Ted Brunel: Joseph Brutsman.

72) happy new year 12/18/90, 7/30/91 A New Year's Eve party brings new friendships, the renewal of old ones, and sobering news for Hope. Patsy Klein: May Kay Place. Melody Klein: Heather McComb. Russell, Peter, Mark, Kate, and Angel appear.

73) melissa and men 1/8/91 Melissa has a photo exhibition at a gallery, causing her to reflect on her history with men. Cindy: Noelle Parker. Leonard: Mark Nelson. Melissa at 16: Alexandra Lee.

74) advanced beginners 1/22/91 Billy's old girlfriend (Liberty Godshall) visits and stays with the two of them in Ellyn's apartment. Dr. Rawlins: Bruce Winant. Lina: April Ortiz.

75) sifting the ashes 2/5/91 Nancy's last chemotherapy coincides with Elliot's visit to Baltimore, to see a prospective client and his mother (Eileen Brennan). Tommy McArthur: Jeff Perry. Father Tierney: Richard Brestoff.

76) second look 2/12/91, 8/6/91 A harrowing incident and the results of Nancy's surgery force everyone to re-evaluate themselves.

77) fighting the cold 2/19/91 Everyone tries to deal with the devastating occurrence, as well as the lack of heat in the Steadman house. writer: Joseph Dougherty

78) the difference between men and women 2/26/91 The men plan a bachelor party for Billy. The women schedule one of their own. George: Chris Mulkey. Hostess: Laura Tate.

79) our wedding 4/9/91, 8/13/91 Billy's family and Ellyn experience doubt on the eve of their wedding. Marjorie Warren: Lois Smith. Mrs. Sidel: Rita Zohar. Mr. Sidel: Len Lesser.

80) closing the circle 4/16/91, 8/20/91 Agency crises, his role in the administration of Gary's estate, and a disturbing health report for Peter pull Michael in opposite directions. Catherine: Deborah Offner.

81) out the door 4/30/91 Major changes are in the air at DAA. Verdoving: Reiner Schoene. Terry: Michael Ayr.

82) hopeless 5/7/91 As a volunteer at a homeless shelter, Hope befriends two of its occupants. Alice: L. Scott Caldwell. Jenna: Brooke Fontaine.

83) a stop at willoughby episode 9021, 5/14/91, 8/27/91 Long hours and a demanding client stress Michael to the limit. Rita: Shawn Weatherly. Durstin: Ken Jenkins. Dr. Flick: Dierk Torsek. Randy: Richard Comeau. writer: Joseph Dougherty

84) melissa in wonderland 5/21/91 In Hollywood, Melissa gets caught in the bizarre machinations of television. Bree Ann: Brooke Adams. Warren: Matthew Laurance. Callie: Carrie Hamilton. Debrah: Colleen Camp. Daniel: David Brisbin.

85) california (the final episode) 5/28/91 Michael faces decisions that will affect personal and professional lives. Robert Gould Shaw: David Bowe. Willa: Rosalind Chao. Fiona: Dana Stevens. Laurence: Peter Henry Schroeder.

Real world tie-ins to names of people, places and companies on the show:

Special thanks to Lisa Stevenson, who was the main contributor other than myself.
If you see your name here and would rather not, email me and I'll remove it. Alternatively, if you'd like me to include your email address with your name, let me know.

Susan Shilliday was a writer for the show, and Val Shilliday was a character played by Rosalind Cash, first appearing in Weaning, 12/8/87 (submitted by me)

DAA was apparently named after the mighty firm CAA, and it follows that Miles Drentel was patterned after Michael Ovitz, head dude at CAA who in 1996 was destined to get very rich by getting fired by Disney. There are differences, of course. The name CAA stands for Creative Artists Agency, Los Angeles-based literary and talent representatives. DAA stands for its founders' names (Drentel, Arthur and Ashley), the business is in Philadelphia, and the work is of a different nature. (submitted by me)

Winant Scott was the name of a business mentioned on the show (I forget which episode and whose business) and Scott Winant was supervising producer and sometime director on the show. Further, Bruce Winant played Dr. Rawlins in Advanced Beginners, 1/22/91. (submitted by me)

Robert Gould Shaw was a minor character in the last episode (California - 5/28/91). Hope says, "Again she asks 'who is Robert Gould Shaw'." Robert Gould Shaw was a real life Civil War officer and subsequent character in producer/writer Ed Zwick's Oscar-winning movie "Glory." (submitted by Jan Nicholson)

Bedford Falls - Thirtysomething's makers took their company name from Bedford Falls, the fictional town in the classic movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." The line, "...and dance by the light of the moon," (heard during thirtysomething's end credits) is from the song, "Buffalo Girls," sung in that movie. The house seen in the end credits also is from the movie. You can see the house and hear the song by clicking the link to "My animated Bedford Falls logo" on my main thirtysomething page. Michael and Eliott mention Bedford Falls in thirtysomething's final episode, "California." (submitted by me)

Grendel is Michael and Hope's dog, and it's also the name of a key character (the monster) in Beowulf. That epic is, of course, Gary's favorite book, and he mentions it in several episodes, including "Second Look"-2/12/91. (submitted by Markus Schmitz)

Rabbi Markowitz was a character in the Christmas episode "The Mike van Dyke Show"-12/20/88. His name probably is derived from the name of that episode's writer: Mar(shall) (Hers)kowitz. (submitted by Markus Schmitz)

Bistro Le Parsons III is a restaurant visited by Michael, Hope, Billy and Ellyn in "Hopeless" (5/17/91). This is probably a reference to Lindley Parsons III, executive producer. (submitted by Markus Schmitz, and also mentioned by Lisa Stevenson in her exhaustively detailed episode guide)

Jerry Stahl was a character in the episode "Housewarming"-10/13/87. He was someone from Hope's past, with whom she had an "extended physical encounter." Michael was unhappy about the prospect of meeting Stahl, but to Michael's delight he turned out to be a dweeby guy with a cheesy grin and a nasal voice. In real life Jerry Stahl penned the episode "Born to be Mild"-5/10/88. Stahl was a heroin addict at the time he was writing for thirtysomething, "Alf," "Moonlighting" and other shows. He later wrote a book about himself called "Permanent Midnight." (submitted separately by Andrea Stanfield, someone called RCR, Hal Beardsley and me)

Patsy Klein, a character in the episode 'Happy New Year' (12/18/90), has a name annoyingly similar to that of singer Patsy Kline. That's all. I know it's not much. I watched the episode to see if she says she's "crazy" or that she "falls to pieces," but it just didn't happen. Mary Kay Place, who played Klein, turned up again in the Bedford Falls Company's "My So-Called Life" as Camille Cherski, mother of Sharon Cherski, the former best friend of Angela Chase (the central character on the show). Other actors who crossed over from 30-s to MSCL include: Danton Stone - brother Brad to Michael Steadman, the main male character on 30-s, and brother Neil to Graham Chase, the main male character on MSCL. Paul Dooley as Bob Spano, the Minnesota Brands big boss in "Towers of Zenith" on 30-s, and as Chuck Wood (what a name) on MSCL. Dooley is married to 30-s writer/producer/ director Winnie Holzman. Jeff Perry - David Hall in "New Baby" on 30-s, and really neat, sympathetic teacher Mr. Katimski in episodes 12 and 13 of MSCL. (submitted by me, except for the bit about Dooley being married to Holzman, which I stole from Lisa Stevenson's site)

thirtysomething cameo - Onscreen for maybe half a second, a director's slate in episode 60, "Going Limp," in the 3rd season, reads "THIRTYSOMETHING." It's backwards but easily readable. You can see it in my Pictorial Guide to thirtysomething. See the link on my main 30-s page. (Nathan Olson spotted this and emailed Lisa Stevenson about it, and I shamelessly stole it from her site and used it here)

Kate Hodges, who played the young Hope in the ep "the burning bush" went on to star as Randi Wallace in the series "She-Wolf of London." That series' episode "Little Bookshop of Horrors" opened with a scene of a couple called Hope and Michael discussing business, and the names Elliot and Miles were dropped as well. Hope later went nuts and beheaded Michael. (This provided the impetus for the plot of the episode, running down what had happened.) It obviously was a send-up of "thirtysomething," but it's not clear whether Kate Hodges herself contributed the idea. (this gem contributed by Lisa Stevenson)

Joseph Dougherty, frequent writer/director for the show, "appears" as the voice of Sherman Howard on the answering at the beginning of the second-season episode first day/last day. (Sent by Lynn Wilhite to Lisa Stevenson and shamelessly stolen by me)

Pressman Department stores, where Mr. Pressman rudely interviews Michael and Eliott for jobs in the second-season episode "First Day/Last Day," is most likely a tip of the hat to thirtysomething producer Ellen S. Pressman. (shamelessly stolen from Lisa Stevenson's web site)

W.H. Macy, co-writer of the fourth-season episode "Sifting the Ashes," became much more famous after the demise of thirtysomething in 1991. Switching to his acting cap, William H. Macy was a regular on the TV show "ER" and appeared in many movies, including Fargo, Mystery Men and Magnolia. Check out this page: Also, go to to read what he told Charlie Rose about how he came to write a thirtysomething episode. (submitted by me)

If you know of other potential "insider" items to add to this page, please email me at