- Add Hearts Afire: Season 01 to Queue
Add Hearts Afire: Season 01 to top of Queue
Season one of Hearts Afire takes place in Washington D.C., where transplanted Southerner John Hartman (John Ritter) has relocated as chief of staff to ultra-conservative Senator Strobe Smithers. Recently divorced and the father of two sons, Ben (Justin Burnette) and Elliott (Clark Duke), Hartman has developed a mile-long misogynistic streak, fueled by the calculated bitchery of Mavis Davis (Wendie Jo Sperber), the politically ambitious wife of his best friend and fellow senatorial aide Billy Bob Davis (Billy Bob Thornton), and by the vapidity of Senator Smithers' -- ahem -- secretary, the voluptuous Dee Dee Starr (Beth Broderick). But what has really turned John against the opposite sex is the fact that his wife has left him not for another man, but for another woman! Thus, when liberal journalist Georgie Anne Lahti (Markie Post), broke and jobless after years of circling the globe and filing left-of-center news reports, comes to Smithers' office hoping to sign on as his press secretary, John's first instinct is to boot her out. But despite this, and the vituperative political arguments between the two of them, John agrees to let Georgie Anne have the job, and Georgie Anne, against her better judgment accepts. The reason? John has the hots for Georgie Anne -- and the feeling is mutual! Circumstance dictates that Georgie Anne move into the house occupied by John and his sons, which only intensifies the torrid feelings between the two protagonists. Even the put-down pragmatism of Georgie Anne's childhood nanny Miss Lula (Beah Richards) does little to extinguish the flames, as does John's dismay over the fact that Georgie Anne's dad George (Ed Asner) is an ex-convict who shows no signs of wanting to mend his ways.
As originally conceived, John and Georgie Anne were to remain single, in hopes of stirring up the same "will they or won't they" intrigue that had added spice to such mismatched-couple series as Cheers and Moonlighting. But the executives at CBS were antsy over the unhitched status of the Hearts Afire protagonists, especially since the series was being seen in a relatively early Wednesday-night time slot. Under protest, producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason agreed to make things more "family friendly" by having John and Georgie Anne get married before the first season was over -- and that was only the first of several radical changes in the series' concept. Surprisingly, despite Thomasons' well-known Washington connections, only one political figure appeared during the series' first season -- if "political figure" is the correct phrase to describe "Presidential brother" Roger Clinton! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- John Ritter, Markie Post, (more)