The married couple has been the foundation of sitcoms since TV first began, but in recent years as the makeup of American families has changed, the friendly divorced couple has become a sitcom staple as well. Formerly married people can get along remarkably well on sitcoms when forced to raise kids together or work alongside each other, and often end up better friends than they were spouses. Here’s a look at the best sitcom divorced couples.
B-level actress Cybill Sheridan (Cybill Shepherd) has not one but two ex-husbands with whom she gets along remarkably well: Ira (Alan Rosenberg), a neurotic writer, and Jeff (Tom Wopat), a vain fellow actor. Each is the father of one of Cybill’s daughters, and each carries a bit of a torch for Cybill. Despite occasional complications, Cybill and her exes remain friends and involved parents to their sometimes difficult daughters.
Grace & Jimmy, ‘Grace Under Fire’
Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
Even though Grace Under Fire started with main character Grace Kelly (Brett Butler) leaving her alcoholic husband Jimmy (Geoff Pierson) in order to start a new life, over the course of the show’s five seasons Grace and Jimmy achieve a sort of peace, as Jimmy struggles to get sober and turn his life around. Eventually they even become friends, and are able to work together to raise their three kids.
Photo courtesy of CBS
Christine Campbell (Julia Louis-Dreyfus
) doesn’t much appreciate being the “old” version to her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, also named Christine, but she and Richard (Clark Gregg) get along well even so. They get along so well that New Christine has a hard time handling it, and Christine is so involved in her ex’s life that for a time she even dates New Christine’s father. Even though Christine and Richard remain apart, their bond is stronger than ever.
Reba & Brock, ‘Reba’
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Although Reba Nell Hart (Reba McEntire) divorced her husband Brock (Christopher Rich) after he had an affair and got another woman pregnant, she finds herself somehow friends with her ex’s new wife and the occasional caretaker of the ex himself. It just makes sense for the mother of three to be so nurturing, especially since her oldest daughter got pregnant right around the same time Brock’s new wife did. In the end Reba’s various relations all come together in a new kind of family.
Photo courtesy of CBS
It’s right there in the title that Gary (Jay Mohr) is no longer married, but he still spends plenty of time with his ex-wife Allison (Paula Marshall) thanks to their shared custody of their two kids. Gary and Allison disagree on parenting styles and often argue, but they have a mutual respect behind the bickering. Gary is so attached to Allison that his first long-term girlfriend following his divorce left him because he was spending too much time with his ex-wife.
Robert & Neesee, ‘All of Us’All of Us is a show specifically about the new mode of divorced couples remaining friends, following TV reporter Robert James (Duane Martin) and his ex-wife Neesee (LisaRaye McCoy) as they work together to raise their son. Robert is engaged to be married to another woman, but of course he spends plenty of time with Neesee, and later in the show Neesee moves in with Robert for a while in a platonic arrangement, after his engagement falls apart.
Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) married fellow psychiatrist Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth) while he was a character on Cheers, and they had a son before splitting up toward the end of that show’s run. On his own show, Frasier is a single guy living far away from his son (who stayed in Boston when Frasier moved back to Seattle), but as Lilith visits more often, their friendship grows and deepens, and they always make sure to communicate about how best to raise their son.
Photo courtesy of ABC
Divorced mother Jules (Courteney Cox) may feel liberated by her divorce from loutish husband Bobby (Brian Van Holt), and she may be excited to be back on the dating scene, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t friends with her ex, who seems like a lot more fun when she doesn’t have to put up with him all the time. While Jules plays the responsible parent, Bobby goofs off with their teenage son, but their styles complement each other more than they clash.