Sparks
GenreSitcom
Created byEd. Weinberger
Directed byWendy Charles Acey
Mark Corry
Stan Daniels
Kim Friedman
Leonard R. Garner Jr.
Bob Moloney
Ed. Weinberger
StarringJames Avery
Robin Givens
Terrence Howard
Miguel A. Núñez Jr.
Arif S. Kinchen
Kym Whitley
Theme music composerBilly Preston
ComposerBilly Preston
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes40
Production
Executive producersRob Dames
Bob Moloney

Lenny Ripps
Ed. Weinberger
ProducersGreg Giangregorio
Bruce Bayley Johnson
Miguel A. Núñez Jr.
Alison Taylor
Running time22–24 minutes
Production companiesThe Weinberger Company
MTM Enterprises
(1996-1997)
(season 1)
20th Century Fox Television
(1997-1998)
(season 2)
DistributorInternational Family Entertainment (Season 1)
20th Television (Season 2)
Release
Original networkUPN
Original releaseAugust 26, 1996 (1996-08-26) –
March 2, 1998 (1998-03-02)
Chronology
RelatedGood News

Sparks is an American sitcom that aired on UPN from August 26, 1996, to March 2, 1998. The series stars James Avery, Robin Givens, Terrence Howard, Miguel A. Núñez Jr., Kym Whitley and Arif S. Kinchen. The sitcom is set in Los Angeles, California, and is about the everyday lives of a family of lawyers running a family-owned law practice. Reruns of the show aired on BET in the late 1990s.

Content

The show stars James Avery as Alonzo Sparks, a lawyer running a family law firm with his sons Maxey (Miguel A. Núñez Jr.) and Greg (Terrence Howard) in inner-city Los Angeles, California.[1][2]

Cast

Main

Recurring

Special guest appearances

Episodes

Season 1: 1996–97

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Pilot"Ed. WeinbergerEd. WeinbergerAugust 26, 1996 (1996-08-26)
22"Palimony Suit"UnknownUnknownSeptember 2, 1996 (1996-09-02)
33"How Papa Got His Groove Back"UnknownUnknownSeptember 9, 1996 (1996-09-09)
44"A Day in the Life"UnknownUnknownSeptember 16, 1996 (1996-09-16)
55"Sid, Lies and Videotape"UnknownUnknownSeptember 23, 1996 (1996-09-23)
66"Penal Envy"UnknownUnknownSeptember 30, 1996 (1996-09-30)
77"No Sweat"UnknownUnknownOctober 14, 1996 (1996-10-14)
88"Pillow Talk"UnknownUnknownNovember 4, 1996 (1996-11-04)
99"One on One"UnknownUnknownNovember 5, 1996 (1996-11-05)
1010"Goode for the Gander"UnknownUnknownNovember 11, 1996 (1996-11-11)
1111"Porky's Revenge"Bob MoloneyEd. WeinbergerNovember 18, 1996 (1996-11-18)
1212"Maxey Gets the Bird"UnknownUnknownNovember 25, 1996 (1996-11-25)
1313"It's the Gospel"UnknownUnknownJanuary 13, 1997 (1997-01-13)
1414"I, Spy"UnknownUnknownJanuary 20, 1997 (1997-01-20)
1515"Won't You Be My Neighbor"UnknownUnknownFebruary 3, 1997 (1997-02-03)
1616"Love Conquers All"UnknownUnknownFebruary 10, 1997 (1997-02-10)
1717"Self Defense"UnknownUnknownFebruary 17, 1997 (1997-02-17)
1818"Hoop Schemes"UnknownUnknownFebruary 24, 1997 (1997-02-24)
1919"The Great Indoors"UnknownUnknownApril 28, 1997 (1997-04-28)
2020"Love in a Cup"Bob MoloneyMark E. CorryMay 5, 1997 (1997-05-05)
2121"Too Hot Not to Cool Down"UnknownUnknownMay 12, 1997 (1997-05-12)
2222"A Day in the Life II"UnknownUnknownMay 19, 1997 (1997-05-19)

Season 2: 1997–98

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
231"To the Maxey"UnknownUnknownAugust 25, 1997 (1997-08-25)
242"Maxey Loses His Spark"UnknownUnknownSeptember 1, 1997 (1997-09-01)
253"Rehearsal of Fortune"UnknownUnknownSeptember 8, 1997 (1997-09-08)
264"Dog Gone"UnknownUnknownSeptember 15, 1997 (1997-09-15)
275"When a Man is a Woman"Stan DanielsLenny Ripps & Rob DamesSeptember 22, 1997 (1997-09-22)
286"Defending Claude"UnknownUnknownSeptember 29, 1997 (1997-09-29)
297"Don't Get Hooked on Me"Kim FreidmanAllison TaylorOctober 13, 1997 (1997-10-13)
308"Bad Reception"UnknownUnknownOctober 27, 1997 (1997-10-27)
319"A Bride for Alonzo"UnknownUnknownNovember 3, 1997 (1997-11-03)
3210"Brotherly Love"UnknownUnknownNovember 10, 1997 (1997-11-10)
3311"Roots III"Bob MoloneyRon Nelson & Mark SteenNovember 17, 1997 (1997-11-17)
3412"It's Good to Be Negative"UnknownUnknownNovember 24, 1997 (1997-11-24)
3513"Silent Night"Stan DanielsLenny Ripps & Rob DamesDecember 16, 1997 (1997-12-16)
3614"Flirting with Disaster"Wendy AceyRon Nelson & Mark SteenJanuary 12, 1998 (1998-01-12)
3715"She's Having My Baby"Wendy AceyGisele Sanchez RochetJanuary 19, 1998 (1998-01-19)
3816"Cain and Abel Sparks"UnknownUnknownFebruary 16, 1998 (1998-02-16)
3917"Till Your Well Runs Dry"UnknownUnknownFebruary 23, 1998 (1998-02-23)
4018"Blind Justice"UnknownUnknownMarch 2, 1998 (1998-03-02)

Reception

Kevin D. Thompson of The Palm Beach Post gave the show a mostly-negative review, criticizing Avery's performances and the "normal cardboard cutout characters".[1] Frederic M. Biddle of the Boston Globe also criticized the performances of the lead actors and thought that Núñez' and Howard's characters were "silently perpetuating stereotypes equating character with Caucasian features".[2]

References

  1. ^ a b "Comic 'Sparks' has life but doesn't catch fire". Palm Beach Post. August 26, 1996. Retrieved May 16, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Frederic M. Biddle (August 26, 1996). "Givens is good, but 'Sparks' fizzles". Boston Globe. Retrieved May 16, 2022.