Girlfriends is an American sitcom that ran on UPN from September 11, 2000 to May 8, 2006 and for The CW from October 1, 2006 to February 11, 2008 for a total of eight seasons and 172 original episodes. When Girlfriends returned in fall 2007 for its eighth season, it became the longest-running live-action sitcom on network television that was on air during that time.
It was one of the highest-rated scripted shows on television among African-American adults 18-34, including its spin-off The Game.
The series ended its eighth and final season on February 11, 2008. It was canceled by The CW on February 13, 2008 after eight seasons.
Broadcast History Edit
The series debuted on UPN on Monday September 11, 2000. After airing for several years on the network at 9/8C on Mondays, The CW moved Girlfriends to Sundays at 8/7C. The ratings plummeted. On October 9, 2006, Girlfriends, along with The CW's other African-American programs, moved back to Mondays. At this point, Girlfriends returned to its original time slot.
While UPN was still airing new episodes of Girlfriends, the network also began airing reruns five days per week. When the show moved to The CW network after UPN merged with The WB network, MyNetwork TV (which was created to take over UPN's former affiliate stations) picked up the rights to air reruns of Girlfriends, although they eventually discontinued this. WE tv, a network with primarily women's programming, later acquired exclusive rights to air the limited-release episodes on Sundays and exercised an option to not allow broadcast television networks re-broadcast rights to these reruns.
The final two episodes recorded before the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike aired back-to-back on Monday, February 11 at 9/8c. However, this was not a 2-part episode. The timeslot was planned to be moved to Sundays due to the writer's strike and the returning of The CW's reality series. On February 13, 2008, it was announced by a The CW representative that a proper series finale would not be done because it would be too expensive, also confirming the show's cancellation. A retrospective episode was to be aired on The CW Network to conclude the eight-year series. However, the characters' storylines would receive no resolutions as the retrospective/series finale did not come to pass. The network offered the actors only half of their usual episodic salary to take part, and the actors collectively turned them down.
Cast and Characters Edit
- Main article: Girlfriends Characters
Main Cast Edit
- Tracee Ellis Ross as Joan Clayton
- Golden Brooks as Maya Denise Wilkes
- Persia White as Lynn Ann Searcy
- Jill Marie Jones as Antoinette "Toni" Marie Childs-Garrett
- Reggie Hayes as William Jerrowme Dent, Esq.
- Keesha Sharp as Monica Charles Brooks-Dent
- Flex Alexander (Season 1) and Kahlil Kain (Season 2-8) as Darnell Leroy Wilkes
Recurring Cast Edit
- Tanner Scott Richards as Jabari Wilkes
- Main article: Girlfriends Episodes
|Season||Episodes||First air date||Last air date||Network|
|Season 1||22||September 11, 2000||May 14, 2001||UPN|
|Season 2||22||September 10, 2001||May 20, 2002|
|Season 3||25||September 23, 2002||May 19, 2003|
|Season 4||24||September 15, 2003||May 24, 2004|
|Season 5||22||September 20, 2004||May 23, 2005|
|Season 6||22||September 19, 2005||May 8, 2006|
|Season 7||22||October 1, 2006||May 7, 2007||The CW|
|Season 8||13||October 1, 2007||February 11, 2008|
Jill Marie Jones Departure Edit
Jill Marie Jones left the show at the end of Season 6. Akil stated, "I would love for her (Jones) to come back, but Jill doesn't want to return. I don't know 100% why she made this decision. She didn't tell me. All she said when we talked was that she felt it was time for her to move on. The door is not closed. We've asked her to come back and have offered different ways for her to return. But I completely wish her well. There's no drama involved."
In a December 2007 interview with Wilson Morales, he asked Jill Marie Jones if she thought the character Toni had run her course. JMJ responded:
- No, I think if Toni came back and when I say no, I say it because there are brilliant writers on ‘Girlfriends’. There is so much more that you can do. For me and my career, my contract was up after six seasons and there's a whole film world that I wanted to experience and that's what I’ve been doing. I think if Toni came back to the show, there would be so much more to write and much more to bring. That's a testament to how great Mara and the rest of the writers are. I wish them all well and I still watch the show.
Though Toni's spot was never truly filled after her departure, Monica became a semi-regular member of Joan's circle of friends after they initially did not care for each other.
A 2006 episode of Girlfriends entitled "The Game" featured guest star Tia Mowry as Joan's cousin Melanie Barnett, an aspiring medical student, who wants to give up her future to follow her professional athlete boyfriend to San Diego. That episode was the launching pad for The Game, a spin-off series, which was canceled by The CW television network. In April 2010, BET announced that it would pick up the series, which aired new episodes until the August 5, 2015 series finale.