Jim 1990s

Aired: 1996-1997 (ABC) 1998 (UPN)Clueless

DAD: Mel Horowitz (Michael Lerner, ABC) / (Doug Sheehan, UPN) / Widower

DAD’S JOB: Lawyer

KIDS: Cher (Rachel Blanchard) (16)

WHERE’S MOM?: Dead, from “routine liposuction surgery”


F’sure, it’s the 90’s epitome in TV Single Dad shows. Here’s how ABC Television explained Clueless:

This colorful and fun-filled new series is based on the delightful blockbuster motion picture, Clueless. Join the irrepressible Cher (Rachel Blanchard) as she blithely guides us through the epic intricacies of Beverly Hills teenage life.

Although those around her might have a tendency to disagree, Cher considers herself a responsible person. After all, she takes care of her widowed father, Mel (Michael Lerner), a high-powered attorney, and plans his social calendar as well. And she’s always doling out her unique brand of advice to others.

Fortunately, that leaves lots of time for her greatest passion — shopping. Like every other privileged California teenager, Cher requires a few bare necessities: Designer clothes, cellular phones, manicured nails, beepers — and more importantly, boys.

Accompanying Cher on her way cool escapades are her best friend and fellow shopper, Dionne (Stacey Dash); Cher’s rival, fashion victim Amber(Elisa Donovan); and Dionne’s street-wise boyfriend, Murray (Donald Adeosun Faison). And trying to get the good-natured Cher to deal with the real world — away from the mall — are a few very patient teachers and her idealistic pseudo-stepbrother, Josh (David Lascher).

In 1997, ABC abandoned Clueless and Paramount’s UPN network picked it up as part of its Tuesday-night lineup. Following the tradition of Bewitched, a substitution of Doug Sheehan for Michael Lerner in the Mel/Dad role took place without anybody noticing.

My opinion? This was a funny show. The stories, emphasized with cartoon-like sound bites, rolled along with a continuous stream of topically astute dialog. The scripts were simple but funny, witty, and rapid-fire.

A toot on the Fred MacMurray Memorial Saxophone to Rob Elliott ( for the tipoff on Clueless. Thanks, Rob!

And a snap of the David Hasselhoff Memorial Beach Towel to Carrie Salazar ( for the info on the circumstances surrounding Cher’s mom’s demise. Thanks, Carrie!