1st & Ten would set
the stage for all the pay per view original series we have today on
HBO, Starz, Showtime and Cinemax.
& Ten was an
American situation comedy that aired between December 1984 and
January 1991 on the cable television network HBO. Featuring series
regulars Delta Burke and veteran Reid Shelton, it was one of cable's
first attempts to lure the lucrative sitcom audience away from the
"Big Three", by taking advantage of their freedom to
include occasional cursing and nudity.
follows the on-and off-field antics of the fictional American
football team, the California Bulls. The team changed owners
throughout the series' history, with the premise that a woman is in
During the first season Diane
Barrow (Delta Burke) becomes the owner of her ex-husband's team as
part of a divorce settlement, after he has an affair with the team's
tight end. She quickly learns the ups and downs of pro football. In
one episode, she is forced to coach the team herself after the head
coach, Ernie Denardo, is placed in the hospital. She also has
constant battles with her General Manager/husband's nephew, who has
dealings with the local mob, and fights off advances made by her
quarterback played by Geoffrey Scott.
The second season dealt with two
themes: training camp and the playoffs. Barrow was dealing with her
players taking recreational drugs during training camp. During this
season, O. J. Simpson joined the cast as T.D. Parker, a veteran
running back who is forced to make the transition from player to
coach. Two real life football stars made cameo appearances. Marcus
Allen portrayed a rookie who was taking over T.D.'s spot on the
team. And Vince Ferragamo played "Mainstreet" Manneti, a
veteran quarterback. Jason Beghe joined the cast to play Tom Yinessa,
a walk-on quarterback who deals with his overnight celebrity.
Delta Burke left the show mid-way
through the third season, after committing herself to CBS' Designing
Women, which she had begun starring on in 1986, and which was
renewed. Diane loses control of the Bulls to Teddy Schraeder, her
former lover, who manipulates everyone to his own ends. His antics
include having T.D. fire Ernie as coach, Yinessa practice without a
contract, and ignoring the steroids that John Matuszak's character
is using. Legal issues force him to leave the country and turn
control over to his daughter, played by Leah Ayres.
Season 4 was briefly renamed 1st
and Ten: The Bulls Mean Business. Shanna Reed joins the cast
as the team's new female president, representing the new owners, the
Dodds Corporation. Her attempts to innovate include bringing a
female soccer player in to kick, and signing an Olympic sprinter as
wide receiver. Joe Namath has a cameo appearance. Shannon Tweed
would replace her in Season 5, and remain with the show to the end.
The show was renamed 1st and Ten: Do it Again for the
fifth season. The final season was 1st and Ten: In Your Face.