|The Engagement (Pilot)|
|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air date||September 14, 1985|
|Written by||Susan Harris|
|Directed by||Jay Sandrich|
|N/A||Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding?|
In the series pilot, Blanche announces that her latest boyfriend, Harry, has proposed marriage. Hearing this, Rose worries over where she will live and later, worries that there is something off about Harry. Meanwhile, Dorothy is more than exuberant over Blanche's plans, but most also contend with her mother, Sophia who arrives after her retirement home, Shady Pines, burns down.
Guest Cast Edit
- Police Officer - Meshach Taylor
- Minister - F. William Parker
- Harry - Frank Aletter
- Coco - Charles Levin
- Production code - 001
- Nielsen Ratings - 25,000,000 viewers (1st place for the week).
- Rue McClanahan doesn't have a Southern accent in this episode, because prior to filming, director Jay Sandrich told her he didn't want to hear it. After the show was picked up from the pilot episode, McClanahan went to producers and offered to play Blanche as a modified Mae West-style character. The producers asked her why she wasn't doing it with a Southern accent. At that point, the character of Blanche Devereaux was fully realized, complete with Southern accent.
- According to Betty White, she was nervous about switching the roles because she understood Blanche, but did not get who Rose was. She said Susan Harris gave her character in a nutshell, and from then on, she is eternally grateful to Jay Sandrich whose idea it was to switch roles.
- The beginning of this episode takes place on September 4, 1985 - according to Season 6's "Never Yell Fire in a Crowded Retirement Home: Part I." On the front door of Blanche's home, there is an exclamation point type looking engravement, which remains there for the rest of the series.
- Meshach Taylor, who plays the policeman in this pilot episode, is better known for his long-term role as Anthony Bouvier on Designing Women which ran on CBS from 1985-1986.
- First mention of Stanley Zbornak.
- For an unknown reason, this episode is titled "The Pilot" instead of "The Engagement" on the complete first season DVD Set.
- The house's layout is different in this episode. The direction to Blanche's room is what will become the direction to the lanai in the remainder of the series.
Dorothy: "I taught a class today. The finest school in Dade County. Two girls had shaved heads, and three boys had green hair".
Coco: "They're expressing themselves".
Dorothy: "Well I expressed myself. I told them they had to leave, they were too ugly to look at. Now the parents are mad. A father came in in a three-piece suit and defended Tiffany, a bald girl with a nose-ring".
(Dorothy opens the front door)
Sophia: "Hi there?"
Dorothy: "Ma! Ma, what's the matter?"
Sophia: "Everything's fine. No one died. The home burned down".
Rose: "Sit down, Sophia. You must be exhausted".
Sophia: "Why? I rode in the cab, I didn't push it".
Blanche: "Sophia, honey, it's good to see you".
Sophia: "Who are you?"
Blanche: "It's me, Blanche".
Sophia: "You look like a prostitute!"
Rose: "Sophia, the things you say! She didn't mean that Blanche".
Sophia: "Of course I mean it. Look at her, my cab driver would fall in love".
Sophia: [Late at night, Sophia walks into the living room] Oh its you!
Rose: Sophia, did we wake you?
Sophia: I heard voices, I thought there were robbers, so I hid my jewels. Now I can't remember where.
Dorothy: Ma, you don't have any jewels!
Sophia: Thank God because I can't find them.
- In the pilot Blanche tells her date Harry that Sophia's home just burned down. Blanche was not in the room when Sophia shared this piece of information, and thus would have no way of knowing it.