Davis Rules
Created byDanny Jacobson
Norma Safford Vela
Written byKim C. Friese
Danny Jacobson
Frank Mula
Fredi Towbin
Norma Safford Vela
Directed byJohn Bowab
Ellen Falcon
James Widdoes
StarringRandy Quaid
Jonathan Winters
ComposerMark Mothersbaugh
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes29 (list of episodes)
Executive producersMarcy Carsey
Danny Jacobson
Caryn Mandabach
Tom Werner
Norma Safford Vela
Douglas Wyman
ProducersDale McRaven
Frank Mula
Jon Spector
Fredi Towbin
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production companyCarsey-Werner Productions
Original network
Original releaseJanuary 27, 1991 (1991-01-27) –
May 13, 1992 (1992-05-13)

Davis Rules is an American sitcom broadcast on ABC in 1991 and on CBS in 1992.[1] The series was produced by Carsey-Werner Productions.


The series stars Randy Quaid as Dwight Davis, a widowed elementary school principal who is raising his three sons (Robbie, Charlie, and Ben) with the help of his wacky father Gunny Davis (Jonathan Winters).



Davis Rules was canceled by ABC after less than one season despite having premiered after Super Bowl XXV. ABC retained the rights to the series and planned to use it as a midseason replacement. When the series wasn't used in ABC's lineup, CBS bought the series in November 1991.[2][3]

CBS retooled the series, adding Bonnie Hunt and Giovanni Ribisi (credited as Vonni Ribisi), but canceled it after 16 episodes.[2]


Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113January 27, 1991 (1991-01-27)April 9, 1991 (1991-04-09)
216December 30, 1991 (1991-12-30)May 13, 1992 (1992-05-13)

Season 1 (1991)

Every episode of season 1 was directed by Ellen Falcon.[4]

List of Davis Rules season 1 episodes
No. in
Title [4]Original air dateProd.
code [4]
11"A Man for All Reasons"January 27, 1991 (1991-01-27)101
22"Rules of the Game"January 29, 1991 (1991-01-29)105
33"The Trouble with Women"February 5, 1991 (1991-02-05)106
44"Guys and Dolls"February 12, 1991 (1991-02-12)107
55"Pomahac Day Massacre"February 19, 1991 (1991-02-19)108
66"Yes, I'm The Great Pretender"February 26, 1991 (1991-02-26)109
77"Gimme The Ball"March 5, 1991 (1991-03-05)110
88"Twisted Sister"March 5, 1991 (1991-03-05)112
99"Take This Job and Love It"March 12, 1991 (1991-03-12)102
1010"Sign of the Times"March 19, 1991 (1991-03-19)111
1111"Habla Espanol?"March 26, 1991 (1991-03-26)103
1212"Mission: Improbable"April 2, 1991 (1991-04-02)113
1313"Soap"April 9, 1991 (1991-04-09)104

Season 2 (1991–92)

The first thirteen episodes of season 2 were directed by James Widdoes, while the final three episodes were directed by John Bowab.[4]

List of Davis Rules season 2 episodes
No. in
Title [4]Original air dateProd.
code [4]
141"They're Writing Songs of Love, But Nun for Me"December 30, 1991 (1991-12-30)201
152"A Father Makes All the Difference"January 1, 1992 (1992-01-01)204
163"Writing a Wrong"January 8, 1992 (1992-01-08)202
174"The Moment of Youth"January 15, 1992 (1992-01-15)211
185"Love at First Sighting (Part 1)"January 22, 1992 (1992-01-22)207
196"Love at First Sighting (Part 2)"January 29, 1992 (1992-01-29)208
207"Gunny's Ex"February 5, 1992 (1992-02-05)205
218"Happy as a Clam"February 26, 1992 (1992-02-26)209
229"Someone to Watch Over Them"March 4, 1992 (1992-03-04)212
2310"Bells, Bells, Bells"March 11, 1992 (1992-03-11)206
2411"Strike Down the Band"March 18, 1992 (1992-03-18)210
2512"Everybody Comes to Nick's"March 25, 1992 (1992-03-25)213
2613"A Foggy Day on Puget Sound"April 8, 1992 (1992-04-08)203
2714"Ferry Tale"April 22, 1992 (1992-04-22)214
2815"Brother Can You Spare a Dime"May 6, 1992 (1992-05-06)215
2916"The Girl with Someone Extra"May 13, 1992 (1992-05-13)216

Awards and nominations

Winters won an Emmy for his role as Gunny Davis,[5] while Trevor Bullock and Robin Lynn Heath also won Young Artist Awards for their roles in the series.[6]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
1991 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Jonathan Winters Won
1992 Emmy Award Outstanding Individual Achievement in Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Comedy Series Jo Mayer (Lighting designer)
(for episode "A Foggy Day On Puget Sound")
Young Artist Award Best New Family Television Series Davis Rules Nominated
Best Young Actor Starring in a New Television Series Trevor Bullock Won
Best Young Actor Co-starring in a Television Series Rigoberto Jimenez Nominated
Best Young Actress Guest Starring or Recurring Role in a TV Series Robin Lynn Heath Won


  1. ^ Tim Brooks; Earle Marsh (2003). "Davis Rules (Situation Comedy)". The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present (8th ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. pp. 285–286. ISBN 978-0-345-45542-0.
  2. ^ a b Casey Davidson (February 12, 1993). "Super Bowl Bump". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 19, 2008.
  3. ^ Bill Carter (November 19, 1991). "CBS Buys Show From ABC". The New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d e f From the United States Copyright Office catalog: "Public Catalog - Copyright Catalog (1978 to present) - Basic Search [search: "Davis Rules"]"". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  5. ^ Emmy Database Archived February 15, 2011, at WebCite
  6. ^ Young Artists Awards site Archived March 4, 2011, at WebCite
Preceded by
Grand Slam
Davis Rules
Super Bowl lead-out program
Succeeded by
60 Minutes
48 Hours