Designing Women

Watch Designing Women

  • TV-PG
  • 1986
  • 7 Seasons
  • 7.2  (6,978)

Designing Women is a popular CBS sitcom that aired from 1986 to 1993. The show revolves around the lives, loves, and careers of four strong-willed women who work together in the same interior design firm in Atlanta. These women are Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter), her sister Suzanne Sugarbaker (Delta Burke), Mary Jo Shively (Annie Potts), and Charlene Frazier Stillfield (Jean Smart). All four women come from different backgrounds and have different personalities, but they share a deep bond of friendship, loyalty, and mutual respect.

The show is known for its witty and intelligent dialogue, its sharp social commentary, and its strong and relatable female characters. The main characters are all accomplished professionals who are passionate about their work and their personal lives. They have their quirks and flaws, but they are also fiercely independent, confident, and unapologetically themselves. They are not afraid to speak their minds, stand up for themselves, and challenge the status quo. They are also supportive and caring towards each other, and they often offer each other advice, guidance, and emotional support.

The lead character, Julia Sugarbaker, is a refined and sophisticated woman who exudes southern charm and elegance. She is the owner and head designer of the Sugarbaker interior design firm and is known for her impeccable taste and attention to detail. She is also a proud feminist and a social activist who is not afraid to speak out against injustice and inequality. Julia is often the voice of reason and wisdom among the group and is respected by all her colleagues.

Suzanne Sugarbaker, Julia's younger sister, is the beauty queen of the group. She is a former Miss Georgia World and is used to getting what she wants with her charm and charisma. However, she is also a talented designer who brings her own unique style and flair to the firm. Suzanne is the resident diva of the group and often clashes with Julia, but deep down, she loves and respects her sister and her colleagues.

Mary Jo Shively is the pragmatic and level-headed member of the group. She is a divorced mother of two children who is trying to balance her career and her personal life. Despite her practicality, Mary Jo is also a romantic at heart and often finds herself embroiled in romantic entanglements with the wrong men. She is the one who often keeps the group grounded and offers a fresh perspective on their problems.

Finally, Charlene Frazier Stillfield is the youngest member of the group and the most vulnerable. She is a naive and innocent woman from a small town in Mississippi who has come to Atlanta to start a new life. Charlene is often the butt of the group's jokes, but she is also loved and protected by her colleagues. She is the heart of the group and often provides comic relief with her quirky southern wisdom.

Together, these four women make up the heart and soul of Designing Women. They deal with a variety of issues such as sexism, relationships, family drama, and social justice. They are not afraid to tackle controversial issues and provide their own unique perspective on them. The show is also famous for its witty one-liners, its snappy comebacks, and its memorable monologues. Designing Women is a classic sitcom that has stood the test of time and continues to be loved by audiences worldwide.

Designing Women is a series that is currently running and has 7 seasons (165 episodes). The series first aired on September 29, 1986.

Designing Women
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Gone With a Whim (2)
22. Gone With a Whim (2)
May 24, 1993
The women struggle to save Sugarbaker's from a hostile takeover.
Gone With a Whim (1)
21. Gone With a Whim (1)
May 24, 1993
Sugarbaker's takes an unpleasant job to save the firm from bankruptcy.
The Lying Game
20. The Lying Game
May 7, 1993
When Carlene discovers she is dating a man who is a cross-dresser, she then tries spending the day in male drag to understand what it's like.
The Woman Who Came to Sugarbakers
19. The Woman Who Came to Sugarbakers
April 30, 1993
Following instructions she received from her deceased husband during a seance, Mrs. Beecham, an overbearing old schoolmistress of Julia's, comes to live with her.
It's Not So Easy Being Green
18. It's Not So Easy Being Green
April 2, 1993
Anthony can't control his jealousy when Etienne's smart successful, good-looking college friend, Punch, comes to visit.
Shovel Off to Buffalo
17. Shovel Off to Buffalo
March 12, 1993
When Elvis' face mysteriously "appears" on Mary Jo's snow shovel, she develops healing power.
Sex, Lies and Bad Hair Days
16. Sex, Lies and Bad Hair Days
March 5, 1993
Julia decides that a date with a kind, caring, sensitive man would be the perfect birthday present for the somewhat depressed B.J., but finding Mr. Right in two days proves to be more difficult that she imagined.
Nude Julia, New York Morning
15. Nude Julia, New York Morning
February 12, 1993
Julia attends the opening of her old art teacher Nigel's exhibition and finds herself on exhibition when he unveils his masterpiece, a nude "portrait" of her for which she never posed.
Wedding Redux
14. Wedding Redux
February 5, 1993
Anthony and Etienne decide to renew their vows; Mary Jo worries when Quint asks to go away for the weekend&with a girl!
Oh Dog, Poor Dog
13. Oh Dog, Poor Dog
January 22, 1993
Bernice, recovering from minor eye surgery at Sugarbaker's, overhears Mary Jo tell Julia her heart--wrenching decision to have the dog put to sleep -- and assumes they are talking about her.
The Odyssey
12. The Odyssey
January 15, 1993
B.J. arranges to fly the Sugarbaker Design firm clan to the presidential inauguration on her private jet, but when bad weather grounds the plane.
Too Dumb to Date
11. Too Dumb to Date
January 8, 1993
Anthony and the ladies can't understand why Mary Jo is wasting her time with someone dumber than mud... until they get a better look at him, Atlanta's incredibly handsome top male model.
Trial and Error
10. Trial and Error
December 11, 1992
Law school student Anthony agrees to take the witness stand to help Mary Jo in a court battle and winds up her reluctant legal advisor.
The Vision Thing
9. The Vision Thing
December 4, 1992
The ladies throw a Las Vegas-style wedding shower for Anthony and Etienne, who is driving her new husband crazy with her overwhelming efforts to become the perfect wife.
Love Letters
8. Love Letters
November 20, 1992
When B.J. examines her departed husband's safety deposit box, she finds passionate love letters from a strange woman.
Fools Rush In (2)
7. Fools Rush In (2)
November 13, 1992
Anthony plans to extricate himself from his hasty nuptials, with schemes that range from the practical to the ridiculous. When his attempts to get free meet more resistance than he expected, B.J. hatches a plan to pay her off.
Viva Las Vegas (1)
6. Viva Las Vegas (1)
November 6, 1992
Anthony goes to Las Vegas to forget his broken engagement to Vanessa and winds up married to a gorgeous showgirl from the Folies Bergiere.
Screaming Passages
5. Screaming Passages
October 30, 1992
When Julia learns that she is going through the change of life, she prepares herself and her friends for a hormonal action/adventure.
On the Road Again
4. On the Road Again
October 23, 1992
Mary Jo agrees to drive with Julia to Nashville to meet her new beau, but Bernice tags along, turning their vision of a "Thelma and Louise" trip into hell on wheels.
Mary Jo vs. the Terminator
3. Mary Jo vs. the Terminator
October 16, 1992
Mary Jo, sick and tired of Julia's bossiness, finally explodes and tells her off, hours before the two are to appear together in a charity fashion show.
Sex and the Single Woman
2. Sex and the Single Woman
October 2, 1992
When her ex-husband, Dwayne Dobber, pops into town, Carlene spends the night with him -- in Anthony's bed. Carlene feels terrible when she realizes that she doesn't love Dwayne anymore, but she doesn't know how to tell him.
Of Human Bondage
1. Of Human Bondage
September 25, 1992
On the brink of being forced out of business Anthony and the women of Sugarbaker's meet a wealthy Southern widow, B.J. Poteet, and she makes an offer to Julia that will determine Sugarbaker's future.
Where to Watch Designing Women
Designing Women is available for streaming on the CBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Designing Women on demand at Amazon Prime, Hulu and Tubi TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 29, 1986
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (6,978)