Raleigh-Durham News & Observer -- October 25, 1999

TV divorces are taboo no more

Here in America, some 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.

Over in the parallel universe that is TV Land, the stats aren't so clear. Nearly four decades after widower Steve Douglas started bring up My Three Sons, death, not decree, still parts many a TV couple. Even Rhoda, whose title character eventually split from her husband, was a spinoff of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which Moore was originally slated to star as a divorced woman, a choice that CBS ultimately found too controversial in 1970.

Not so, apparently, in 1999: Divorce, or its aftermath, is a centerpiece of more than a half-dozen new shows, ranging from so-called "chick shows" like CBS's Judging Amy and Family Law and ABC's Once and Again, to boys-will-be-boys sitcoms like ABC's Oh Grow Up, CBS's Ladies Man, and FOX's Action.

--Ellen Gray

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