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Episode Information
Season 1
Episode 1
Air Date November 3, 1993
Written by

Peter Marc Jacobson Robert Sternin Prudence Fraser

Directed by Lee Shallat Chemel
Production Code 101
Guest Starring
Episode Guide
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Next Smoke Gets in Your Lies

Pilot is the premiere episode of the first season, which originally aired over CBS on November 3, 1993.


Fran Fine is working as a salesgirl at a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens. The shop is operated by Fran's "pre-engagement" boyfriend, Danny Imperiali. However, Danny dumps Fran for their high school friend, Heather Biblow and fires her as he wants to give Fran's sales job to Heather. Fran decides to try selling cosmetics door-to-door. The first house she knocks on is that of British widower and Broadway theater producer, Maxwell Sheffield. Niles, the Sheffield's proper, but quick-tongued butler, mistakes Fran as the new nanny for Maxwell's children: shy teenager Maggie, precocious preteen Brighton, and angst ridden adolescent Grace. The only adult female influence in the Sheffield household is C.C. Babcock, Maxwell's business associate who obviously is attracted to Maxwell, but not his children. Niles' favorite pastime is tormenting C.C.

Although Maxwell quickly realizes Fran is not a nanny, he hires her anyway on a temporary basis as the nanny agency is unable to send anyone else immediately. Fran ends up being not your traditional nanny. She first decides that she will eat meals with the family. Although, the biggest decision she makes is that she and the kids will crash Maxwell's upcoming investor's party at the house. Having the kids at the party ends up being a windfall as the investors love them. However, Fran gets in the doghouse when Maxwell catches Maggie in the embrace of the party waiter, who gives her her first ever kiss. Maxwell and Fran argue specifically about how Maggie should be raised in her formative teenage years. Maxwell promptly fires Fran over this incident. Fran takes solace at her mother's house. Fran's retreat back to Queens is short-lived as Maxwell quickly realizes that Fran may have been right. Perhaps Fran Fine will have a life at the Sheffield household after all.

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