Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
The Nanny is an American television sitcom originally broadcast 1993–1999 on CBS, starring Fran Drescher (Happily Divorced) as Fran Fine, a Jewish Queens native who becomes the nanny of three children from the New York/British high society.
Created and executive produced by Drescher and her then-husband Peter Marc Jacobson (What I Like About You, Happily Divorced), The Nanny took much of its inspiration from Drescher’s personal life growing up in Queens, involving names and characteristics based on her relatives and friends. The show earned a Rose d’Or and one Emmy Award, out of a total of twelve nominations, and Drescher was twice nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy. The sitcom has also spawned several foreign adaptations, loosely inspired by the original scripts.
Jewish-American Fran Fine turns up on the doorstep of the British Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy, Days of Our Lives) to sell cosmetics after having been both dumped and fired by her boyfriend and employer Danny Imperialli (portrayed by Jonathan Penner, The Naked Truth). Instead she finds herself the nanny of Maxwell’s three children, Maggie (Nicholle Tom, Beethoven, Masters of Sex), Brighton (Benjamin Salisbury), and Grace (Madeline Zima, Californication, Betas, Heroes). Although Maxwell Sheffield is unhappy about it at first, Fran turns out to be just what he and his family needed. With her off-beat nurturing, no-nonsense honesty, and ‘Queens logic’, she helps turn Maxwell and his children into a healthy, happy family.
While Fran Fine manages the children, the butler Niles (Daniel Davis) manages the household and watches all the events that unfold with Fran as the new nanny. Niles, recognizing Fran’s gift for bringing warmth back to the family, does his best to undermine Maxwell’s business partner C.C. Babcock (Lauren Lane, Hunter) who has her eyes on the very available Maxwell Sheffield. Niles is often seen making witty comments directed towards C.C with C.C often replying with a comment of her own in their ongoing game of one-upmanship.
As the series progresses it becomes increasingly obvious that Maxwell is smitten with Fran even though he won’t admit it and Fran is smitten with him. The show teases the viewers with their closeness and “near misses” as well as with an engagement. Towards the later seasons, they finally marry and expand to their family by having fraternal twins.