Growing up, I would always love watching Designing Women with my mom. I’d pretend to hate it, but in reality I loved not only the time I got to spend with my mom, but the entire show in general.
It was a pretty interesting concept. Four intelligent women who worked at an interior design company created an all-star comedy that dealt with the important issues. But even if you watched every single episode, there are some things you may not have known about Designing Women, including the potential for a reboot.
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, who created the show, wanted accurate portrayals of the sassy Southern women she was writing about. Immediately, Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Dixie Carter, and Jean Smart were on her mind. She had worked with all of the women on shows before, so there was no need for them to audition. They just had to agree.
Even though now the show seems unfathomable without the character of Anthony Bouvier, he was actually only intended to have a single appearance. However, after some improvisation with the cast on set, it was clear that Meshach Taylor had chemistry with the women, so he became a recurring character. He was later bumped up to a series regular.
Dixie Carter was only 47 years old during the first season of the show, but after seeing the pilot she found herself looking older. In between season one and two, Carter decided to have work done.
“If this turns out to be my first big success, after all these years of performing, I couldn’t bear to be identified as ‘the older one,'” she said.
One thing people admired about Designing Women was their courage to tackle the hard issues that other shows wouldn’t. In one episode, which was later nominated for an Emmy, Imogene made ignorant comments about gay people being the only ones to contract HIV/AIDS. Sadly, this scene was based off a real person whom Bloodworth-Thomson had overheard at the hospital.
Her mother had received a blood transfusion that was contaminated and was dying of AIDS, so she was by her side all the time. While she was at the hospital, she heard a woman say “If you ask me, this disease has one thing going for it. It’s killing all the right people.” After that comment, she knew she had to address the misconceptions surrounding the disease.