Although they end up sharing the same bed, Fran from Flushing (Fran Drescher) and her boss, Maxwell (Charles Shaughnessy), aren’t the strange bedfellows in Monday night’s above-average episode of “The Nanny.” Drescher and Tyne Daly, who guest stars as a nanny, are the odd couple — at least at first blush.Daly as a cop from Queens rings true, but a nanny? Then again, the premise of this primetime “Coffee Talk”– now in its sophomore season — is Fran’s surface unsuitability as a nanny. So this stunt casting is illogical but shrewd (given Daly’s popularity), and the result is pretty funny. Daly, who can almost out-Queens Drescher, plays Mona, a fellow nanny about to retire unfulfilled. Fran frets over the similar trajectory of her life. The central gag has her spending the night in Max’s bed after getting drunk at Mona’s retirement party. Butler Niles (Daniel Davis) lets C.C. (Lauren Lane) discover them; the animosity between Niles and C.C. generates some laughs. As usual the only other jokes that connect grow out of Fran’s character. Show’s so skewed toward adult urban women that others may miss lines. The cross-promotion of asking a group of nannies in the park “Who’s taping Dr. Quinn?” doesn’t negate it’s humor. When Max offers to buy Fran a retirement condo her main concern is whether it’ll have plantation shutters. Things work out for Mona, and Niles implies he’ll keep scheming to get Fran and Max together for real. Dorothy Lyman’s direction is tight. Costumes by Brenda Cooper are essential, and the animated title sequence is cute. With more to do, Shaughnessy is appealing. Daly is energetic and Drescher is a kick. How much mileage can this production team get out of whining “Nanny Fine?” CBS demos will have a lot to do with it, but as Fran observes, her youngest charge is a long way yet from shaving her “pits.” And the children are incidental anyway, so Fran probably won’t be moving into that condo any time soon.
Mon. (8), 8-8:30 p.m., CBS
Taped in Culver City by Sternin/Fraser Ink Inc. in association with TriStar Television. Executive producers, Robert Sternin, Prudence Fraser, Peter Marc Jacobson; co-executive producers, Sally Lapiduss, Pam Eells; producers, Kathy Landsberg, Fran Drescher, Diane Wilke; co-producers, Frank Lombardi, Dana Reston; supervising producers, Eric Cohen, Diane Wilke; director, Dorothy Lyman; writers, Dana Reston, Frank Lombardi.
Camera, Mikel Neiers; editor, Jim McQueen; production designer, Bill Brzeski; art director, Bernard Vyzga; sound, Tamar Johnson, John Bickelhaupt; music, Timothy Thompson.
Cast: Fran Drescher, Charles Shaughnessy, Daniel Davis, Lauren Lane, Nicholle Tom, Benjamin Salisbury, Madeline Zima, Tyne Daly, Adeline Drescher, Irene Olga Lopez.
Data provided by:Nielsen Media Research (Preliminary Results)