- "Go for the Gold Trivia Challenge" - Are You as wise as Sophia or as clueless as Rose?
Having emerged from its first season as the seventh highest-rated program in America -- and one of four NBC sitcoms in the Top Ten -- The Golden Girls waltzed into its second season on NBC's Saturday-night lineup with the greatest of ease. Virtually no changes were made with the basic cast and format: the setting was still the Miami home of flirtatious fiftysomething widow Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan) and her housemate contemporaries, outspoken substitute teacher Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur) and naïve, timid widow Rose Nylund (Betty White). Also sharing the girls' home was Dorothy's peppery mother, Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty), whose lack of "tact cells" (the result of a stroke) had given her carte blanche to say the most outrageous and embarrassing things imaginable. Also carried over from season one were the girls' efforts to make ends meet on their pooled incomes, and to find true romance with a steady stream of eligible middle-aged bachelors. Additionally, Dorothy's unreliable ex-husband, Stan (Herb Edelman), continued in his efforts to re-insinuate himself in his former wife's life. Some of the recurring characters introduced in the first season -- Dorothy's daughter, Kate, Blanche's flamboyant father, "Big Daddy" -- returned to the series, though not played by the same actors as in season one (this season they were played by Deena Freeman and David Wayne, respectively). Of the newer semi-regulars, the foremost was Sophia's estranged sister, Angela, a role that earned an Emmy nomination for guest actress Nancy Walker. Moving up from seventh to fifth place in the ratings (and joining three other popular NBC sitcoms in the Top Five), The Golden Girls also added to its ever-growing list of Emmy awards with honors for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing (Terry Hughes), and Outstanding Lead Actress (Rue McClanahan, winning an award that had gone the previous season to her co-star Betty White). As bonus, the final episode of The Golden Girls' second season performed double duty as the pilot for the soon-to-be equally popular sitcom Empty Nest -- though by the time that series made its official debut in 1988, the entire cast had been changed and the format considerably altered.
Cast & Crew
Bea Arthur - Dorothy Zbornak
Betty White - Rose Nylund
Rue McClanahan - Blanche Devereaux
Estelle Getty - Sophia Petrillo