Maria Charles’ NBC Sitcom Pilot

You may know Maria Charles from the ITV sitcom Agony (among many other roles including Never The Twain), which also starred Maureen Lipman. It ran for three series at the end of the 1970s and start of the 1980s, and was written by Len Richmond and Anna Raeburn.

Charles played Lipman’s mother. The two reprised their roles in the mid 1990s, with the sequel show Agony Again, this time written by Carl Gorham, Michael Hatt, and Amanda Swift. The plan was for this new series to be a Radio 4 show, but it ended up on BBC One instead. Here’s the end of one episode.

Agony was adapted for CBS in 1985 as The Lucie Arnaz Show.

Anyway, between these two runs in the UK, Maria Charles found herself in the US making a pilot for NBC. Written by Terry Grossman and Barry Fanaro, Anna was about a woman who returns to her apartment after a long hospital stay to find her son has rented it to someone else. Here’s how it aired, complete with commercials (I still can’t get used to the US habit of having a break the moment after the titles end).

Anna was a re-working of a mid-80s syndicated sitcom called Me And Mrs. C.

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