“New Years Week” concludes.
On January 1, 1990, CBS aired “The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century,” the one-hour “Designing Women” episode in which Charlene (Jean Smart) gives birth.
The plot: On New Year’s Eve, a very pregnant Charlene dreams she is visited by her “guardian movie star” Dolly Parton, who predicts Charlene’s daughter will be born soon.
This thrills Charlene’s selfish friend Suzanne (Delta Burke), who wants to win a local radio contest; the prize: a new car for the first baby born in Atlanta in 1990.
When Charlene goes into labor, everyone gathers at the hospital, including Suzanne’s older sister Julia (Dixie Carter), streetwise Anthony (Meshach Taylor) and spacey Bernice (Alice Ghostley).
While Charlene is in labor, Julia befriends Miss Minnie (Beah Richards), a 102-year-old woman who delights everyone with her tales of life in the south throughout the 20th century.
Julie, Suzanne, Mary Jo and Anthony are at Miss Minnie’s bedside when she draws her final breath – and they’re also there to welcome Charlene’s daughter Olivia, who is born soon after midnight.
See for yourself: “The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century” is part of the “Designing Women: Season Four” DVD set.
Here’s the prime-time lineup for Monday, January 1, 1990:
8: “Major Dad” (CBS), “21 Jump Street”* (Fox), Orange Bowl (NBC)
8:30: Sugar Bowl (ABC), “Doctor, Doctor” (CBS)
9: “Murphy Brown” (CBS), “Alien Nation”* (Fox)
9:30: “Designing Women” (CBS)
10:30: “Newhart” (CBS)
For the week of December 31, 1989:
Top novel: “Daddy” by Danielle Steel
Top song: “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins
Top movie: “The War of the Roses”
Top TV show: “The Cosby Show,” “Cheers” (NBC)
In the news: Americans expected their lives to improve in the 1990s
Captions: “Designing Women” star Jean Smart, second from left, and “Newhart’s” Julia Duffy on TV Guide’s December 30, 1989, cover (top, photo by Charles William Bush); scenes from the “Designing Women” episode “The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century” (bottom).