|Theme music composer||Michael Skloff|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||120 (list of episodes)|
|Camera setup||Single camera|
|Running time||30 min|
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution (2004-2011)|
|Audio format||Stereophonic sound|
|Original release||July 8, 1990 –|
March 27, 1996
Dream On is an American sitcom television series created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane, the team who would create the show Friends. It follows the family life, romantic life, and career of Martin Tupper, a divorced New York City book editor played by Brian Benben. The show distinctively interjected clips from older black-and-white television series to punctuate Tupper's feelings or thoughts. It ran for six seasons on HBO between July 8, 1990, and March 27, 1996.
The show centered on Martin Tupper's (Brian Benben) life in an apartment in New York City with his young son, and relating to his ex-wife, while trying to date other women and succeed as an editor for a small book publisher with Toby, his brassy secretary. Judith, his ex-wife, went on to marry Dr. Richard Stone – the never-seen (until the end of the series), most impossibly successful man on the planet (astronaut, brain surgeon, the fifth Beatle and consultant to the Pope); despite Martin's undying love for Judith, he could never compete with the legendary Dr. Stone.
The opening indicates Martin's mother parked him in front of the TV and he then grew up engrossed in it. It briefly shows a babysitter making out with a boyfriend behind young Martin, hence the association of sex with his memories. The show was notable for its frequent use of clips from old movies and TV shows to express Martin's inner life and feelings, which lent it much of its quirky appeal, reminding viewers about the impact of TV on their consciousness. The show was also significant for being one of the first American sitcoms to use uncensored profanity and nudity.
The show was created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane, who also served as producers. Dream On was executive produced by Kevin Bright and John Landis. Landis also directed several episodes of the series. Dream On first aired on July 8, 1990, on HBO, and was cancelled by HBO in March 1996. One season of the show, with language and nudity edited for broadcast, aired in prime time on the Fox Broadcasting Company in 1995: Sunday at 9:30-10:00 p.m. from January to April and Monday at 9:00-10:00 p.m. from June to July. This bowdlerized version was later made available in syndication.
The static shown on the TV towards the end of the opening credits has since become part of the opening credits or introduction for every show made by HBO.
Main article: List of Dream On episodes
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||14||July 8, 1990||October 7, 1990|
|2||15||July 7, 1991||October 6, 1991|
|3||26||June 6, 1992||November 21, 1992|
|4||25||June 2, 1993||March 30, 1994|
|5||13||June 22, 1994||September 14, 1994|
|6||27||July 19, 1995||March 27, 1996|
The edited version of the series aired in syndication on Comedy Central in the United States.
In Canada, Dream On aired on the cable movie station Superchannel, in late-night timeslots on CBC Television, and later on SexTV: The Channel, The Comedy Network, and with French subtitles on Télé-Québec.
In New Zealand, the edited version screened on TV2, while the unedited version appeared on SKY 1.
The show aired on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom (for the first two series, before the remainder was shown on Sky1 – the majority of the Sky episodes were later shown on ITV4 in a late-night slot around 2006–07), in France, the show aired on Canal Jimmy, in Switzerland on TSR, in Sweden on Canal+, in Germany on RTL2, in Norway on TV3, in Greece on ANT1 (only the first season in 1994 on Saturday afternoons) and on Raisat Cinema, Canale 5, and Rai 4 in Italy. It was also broadcast by Canal+ (as one of its first shows) and Polsat in Poland. Also Canal+ in Spain had it and was one their main titles.
In Israel, the entire show aired on Bip; it is still aired on a regular basis, usually at night as it managed to retain its popularity.
Time magazine called the show "engaging", noting that its use of old clips was "a clever gimmick [that] perks up familiar material" and later called the second season of the "decidedly adult sitcom...better than ever."
The New York Times had mixed opinions about the show. In their first-season review, John J. O'Connor said Dream On was not "different from ordinary network fare...except for, as might be expected, the more freewheeling language and treatments of sex"; by the season's third episode, the show's protagonist is "already becoming just another nice bachelor father, not all that different from the one John Forsythe played on television several decades ago." About a year later, O'Connor said, while the show "has its weak spots, most notably in a pointless tendency to be smarmy" with "clips... that are sometimes less witty than painfully obvious. But Dream On takes unusual chances and has a habit of turning out to be refreshingly original."
|1991||CableACE Award||Editing a Comedy Special or Series/Music Special||John Axness (for "The First Episode")|
|Comedy Series||Kevin Bright, David Crane, Robb Idels, Marta Kauffman, John Landis, Bill Sanders, and Ron Wolotzky|
|Actress in a Comedy Series||Wendie Malick|
|1993||Actress in a Comedy Series||Wendie Malick|
|1994||Editing in a Comedy/Music Special or Series||David Helfand (for "The Son Also Rises")|
|Actress in a Comedy Series||Wendie Malick|
|1995||Actress in a Comedy Series||Wendie Malick|
|1993||Emmy Award||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing in a Comedy Series||Betty Thomas (for "For Peter's Sake")|
|Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series||David Clennon (for "For Peter's Sake")|
|1994||GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series|
|1993||Young Artist Award||Best Young Actor Starring in a Cable Series||Chris Demetral|
Seasons one and two were released on DVD for both regions 1 and 2; seasons three through six have not been released.
A neurotic New Yorker (Brian Benben) copes with divorce, dating and other modern trials, while scenes from old TV shows rattle around in his head. A clever gimmick perks up familiar material in this engaging sitcom series from executive producer John Landis.
Book editor and divorced dad Martin Tupper (Brian Benben) is trying to make sense of the '90s. So why do scenes from – '50s TV shows keep popping into his head? In its second season, this decidedly adult sitcom, which makes deft use of old black-and-white clips, is better than ever.