In the spring of 1991, a show premiered on ABC to great reviews. No one watched and it was quickly canceled.
That show was MY LIFE AND TIMES.
From Ron Koslow, the creator of the cult classic BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, the premise had a man named Ben Miller (played by Tom Irwin) in a nursing home in the year 2035. Each half hour episode had him looking back on his life, telling the story of some event that happened in his past, which was our present.
The show opened with his narration:
"I can't say that I seen everything but I've seen a lot.
I've seen footsteps on the moon and seen myself stumble.
I've seen fear and did my darnedest not to be afraid.
I've survived the nineties and braved the millennium.
I've loved and lost and learned to love again.
And I've learned that life is an adventure.
You have to hold on and let it carry you away.
I've let in carry me to me to the year 2035 and I'm here to tell the tale.
I'm Ben Miller and this is my life and times."
He looked back on events that happened during the stock market collapse of the 80’s, the turn of the millennium, and his wedding.
The best episode of the series, and one of the great half hours of television in the 90’s, was the second episode, entitled “Jessie”.
Irwin sees a beautiful woman walking down the street (played by Claudia Christian). They end up having a one night stand, and she disappears. He never sees her again, but never forgets her. He finds her again, while they are in the nursing home, and she tells him what really happened. A beautifully crafted episode that I have never forgotten.
The series aired Tuesday nights at 9:30 PM on April 24, and May 1, 1991 and then was taken off the air. It returned on May 23rd and May 30th, where two episodes were paired back to back, so that all six could be aired and then it was gone and forgotten. It never reran, and it never made it to video.
The cast had better luck on later projects. Tom Irwin would go on to play the father in MY SO-CALLED LIFE. He is always such a likable performer, I never understood why he didn’t become a lot bigger. And his wife was played by Helen Hunt, who soon after would star on MAD ABOUT YOU.