For six glorious years in the 90s, the story of an ill-equipped but sassy woman from Queens working as the nanny for an affluent Manhattan family ruled television screens around the world.
There was Fran’s disastrous love life, Mr Sheffield’s insatiable need to beat Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Broadway game, Niles’ love of humiliating CC Babcock at every turn, Sylvia Fine’s plastic-covered couches, Grandma Yetta’s nonsensical but incredible ramblings, the coming of age stories of Maggie, Brighton and Gracie. Basically, it was a sitcom that had it all.
That is, until one day, it didn't anymore and people began tuning out in droves.
Speaking to Studio 10 earlier this week, the show's co-creators Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson explained the thing that made The Nanny work for so long was not just its modern take on The Sound of Music-style storyline, but also, the unresolved sexual tension between Fran Fine and Maxwell Sheffield.
For five long seasons, fans wondered if Maxwell would ever reveal his true feelings. If Fran would marry someone else. If they would both miss their true love boat and go their separate ways.
“When a show is built around a love that can’t happen, sexual tension, you have to keep it that way," Jacobson said. "As much as you want the people to get together, as soon as they do, people start tuning out."
He added, “We didn’t want to get them [Fran and Maxwell] together.”
But get together they did and with much fanfare.
In addition to much of season 5 being dedicated to their engagement and wedding, the show produced a double episode wedding special, episodes about the honeymoon and introduced the plot line of Fran being pregnant with twins.
And it was the playing out of this happy ending, Drescher and Jacobson say, that became the writing on the wall and ultimately, lead to its finale in Season 6.
"Once the sexual tension is gone, now she's the wife, there went, you know, the series," Drescher explained.
So, basically, what we all wanted so deeply was what caused our favourite show's demise.
We only have ourselves to blame.
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