Evening Shade

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Evening Shade
Premiere September 21, 1990
Finale May 23, 1994
Creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Network/Provider CBS
Style 30-minute sitcom
Company Mozark Productions,
Burt Reynolds Productions,
MTM Enterprises
Seasons 4
Episodes 101
(List of episodes)
Origin USA

Evening Shade is a sitcom that aired on CBS.

A former pro football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers who quit due to injury, Wood Newton has settled down to a quiet life as the coach of the Evening Shade high school football team - a position that is slightly controversial as the team is notorious for losing every game. He and his wife, Ava, whom he married when she was only 18 (a frequently voiced grievance by her father, Evan Evans, the owner of the local newspaper), are devoted to one another despite the age difference. Ava is an ambitious and successful practicing lawyer who in the first season is elected District Attorney while pregnant with their fourth (unintended) child, Emily. Among Wood's and Ava's closest friends are the somewhat older Harlan Eldridge, the town doctor, and his trusting wife, Merleen, who is always eager to believe the best of people.

The show's plots focus on the various difficulties that Wood faces in living a much different life than he'd ever expected, as well as the obvious family pressures of two jobs and four children. Additional tensions come from Ava's Aunt Frieda, Evan's perennially discontented sister, who especially disapproves when Evan begins dating Fontana Beausoleil, who works as a stripper and who discovers in season two that she is the long-lost daughter Merleen gave up for adoption when she was 15. Evan and Fontana get married in a three-part episode in season two, and have a child in season three. The show also gets mileage out of the incongruity of the decidedly unathletic assistant coach Herman Stiles, the most the school can afford due to budgetary pressures. Herman is well-meaning and intensely eager to learn the job. In the course of the first season he catches the eye of the somewhat prim and proper high school principal, Margaret, and they begin dating.



Actor Character Duration
Main Cast 1 2 3 4
Burt Reynolds Wood Newton * * * *
Marilu Henner Ava Evans Newton * * * *
Michael Jeter Herman Stiles * * * *
Ann Wedgeworth Merleen Elldridge * * * *
Charles Durning Dr. Harlan Elldridge * * * *
Ossie Davis Ponder Blue * * * *
Elizabeth Ashley Freida Evans * * * *
Hal Holbrook Evan Evans * * * *
Jacob Parker Will Newton * * * *
Melissa Martin Molly Newton *
Candace Hutson * * *
Jay R. Ferguson Taylor Newton * * * *
Supporting/Recurring Cast 1 2 3 4
Charlie Dell Nub Oliver * * * *
Burton Gilliam Virgil * * * *


Season  Premiere Finale #
Season One September 21, 1990 May 6, 1991 25
Season Two September 16, 1991 May 18, 1992 25
Season Three September 21, 1992 May 17, 1993 25
Season Four September 20, 1993 May 23, 1994 26


DVD Releases

Title Release Discs
Season Sets  (Region 1)
Season One July 15, 2008 purchase 5

External Links