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Dharma & Greg is an Americanmarker television situation comedy co-produced by Chuck Lorre Productions, More-Medavoy Productions and 4 to 6 Foot Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television for ABC. It first aired from September 24, 1997, to April 30, 2002, and starred Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson as Dharma and Greg Montgomery, a couple who married instantly on their first date despite being complete opposites. The show's theme song was written and performed by composer Dennis C. Brown.

Created and executive-produced by Dottie Dartland and Chuck Lorre, the comedy incorporated in Dharma & Greg took much of its inspiration from so-called culture-clash "fish out of water" situations. The show earned Elfman a Golden Globe for Best Actress, out of a total of eight nominations, and moreover garnered six Emmy and Satellite Awards nominations respectively.


Jenna Elfman as Dharma Freedom Montgomery, née Finkelstein, Greg's wife and a flower child. She is extremely peppy and ditzy, but she also seems to be more compassionate and forgiving than most people. Dharma encourages Greg to seek happiness, rather than fret about practical issues like money. Due to being homeschooled by her parents, she has a limited understanding of Western culture and is very naïve when it comes to trusting strangers. She is named after the concept of dharma in Indian philosophy. Once, a Native American friend of her father's gave her the name "Crazy Man's Daughter."

According to Chuck Lorre's eleventh vanity card (see below), he and Dottie Dartland originally conceived Dharma & Greg as "a series revolving around a woman whose personality is not a neurotic product of societal and parental conditioning, but of her own free-flowing, compassionate mind."

Thomas Gibson as lawyer Gregory "Greg" Clifford Montgomery, Dharma's husband. He is an upright, uptight, decent, though sometimes surprisingly open-minded, man. Greg's life was hopelessly banal before he met Dharma and married her on their first date. Since then, he has played straight man to the antics of his eccentric wife. Though his and Dharma's relationship has been rocky at times, Greg has never been shown to regret their marriage. He is an alumnus of the famous Phillips Exeter Academymarker, Harvard Universitymarker, and Stanford Law School.

Susan Sullivan as Katherine "Kitty" Montgomery In the beginning of the first season Kitty was generally represented as a manipulative, controlling woman who only had higher aspirations for her son. As an elite socialite, Kitty was initially quite displeased to have Dharma and her parents join the family, but over the course of the series, Kitty broadens her limited country club world to becoming part of a larger family and becomes a major part of Dharma's life.

Mitch Ryan as Edward Montgomery, Greg's eccentric father. His philosophy for dealing with women involves remaining as uninvolved as possible. Head of Montgomery Industries (though he keeps going to work only because he can see little tugboats out the window) and at odds with Dharma's father, who calls him "Ed" and whom he calls "Finkelstein." Ed is often seen drinking martinis and Scotch.

Mimi Kennedy as Abigail Kathleen "Abby" O'Neil, Dharma's free spirited, caring mother, who encourages her daughter and son-in-law to produce children; "Feel free to have sex anywhere." Although they have a grown daughter and later a son, she and Dharma's father are not married. Unlike her "lifemate" Larry, she immediately accepted Greg, though she still constantly annoys and conflicts with his parents. She is a militant vegan, which is a never-ending source of trouble.

Alan Rachins as Myron Lawrence "Larry" Finkelstein, Dharma's father. He is a stereotypical sixties radical who frequently rants about various conspiracies. He also thinks he's wanted by the FBI, but when Greg discovers he's not, his family goes to great lengths to prove to him that he still is because, oddly, this is a source of great pride to him. Despite this, he manages to get along with Edward, often when both are sick of dealing with Kitty. It is often alluded to that Larry is a chronic user of marijuana, though never shown. In the pilot episode Abby introduces his usual cluelessness with "he blew out his short term memory back in 1972".

Shae D'Lyn as Jane Deaux, Dharma's friend. She considers all men more or less evil; over the course of the show, her hair went from black, to red, to blonde. She married Pete Cavanaugh in Season 2, and divorced him after 6 weeks. She and Dharma met when Dharma was calling strangers to meet new friends. D'Lyn left at the end of the fourth season, though she had one "guest appearance" in season five.

Joel Murray as Peter James "Pete" Cavanaugh, Greg's friend and colleague at the Justice Department. He's a particularly bad, lazy lawyer and was married to Jane for a time. His entire life can be summed up by the interior of his apartment: a massage chair surrounded by empty take-out containers, next to this is a small refrigerator and a stack of porno tapes. A high-class entertainment center is in front of this. It is said he wears adult diapers to football games. Greg once said of his friend: "Pete went to law school in Barbadosmarker; he failed the Bar seven times. The last time because he threw up on the exam." Pete marries Jane in the second season because neither of them wants to be alone on Valentine's Day

Susan Chuang as Susan Wong, One of Dharma's friends from the Co-Op, she is seen as Marcie's counterpart. Susan also pulls a "Dharma & Greg" with a lawyer hired by Kitty in a community garden spat (Her wedding, along with Dharma's accident, was the Season 4 finale). Chaung joined the main cast in season five, she also played a different character in the episode "Looking for the Goodbars".

Helen Greenberg as Marcie, One of Dharma's Co-Op friends; nasal-voiced receptionist, whose vocabulary primarily consists of the words "I'm sorry." Greenberg joined the main cast in season five, she also played a different character in the episode "Drop Dead Gorgeous".

Other characters

  • Celia (Lillian Hurst) — Kitty and Edward's Hispanic maid. She is given constant support from Larry, who views her as "oppressed." When Kitty and Edward are out of town, Celia and her family move into the Montgomerys' mansion and invite their friends over, pretending it's their house. (appears in 16 episodes)
  • Marlene (Yeardley Smith) — Greg's legal secretary who he fired and then re-hired. She is snide, rude, and a bad secretary in general, though a better "lawyer" than Pete. (appears in 17 episodes)
  • George (Floyd Westerman) — an elderly American Indian, who came to live with Dharma and Greg in the episode "Indian Summer"; he died at the end of the episode, but his ghost sometimes appears to Dharma to offer her advice. (appears in 4 episodes)
  • Charlie (Kevin Sorbo) — a university professor going through a divorce who falls in love with Dharma. His affections, particularly a love letter and offering to drive Dharma home on a rainy day, cause Dharma and Greg to briefly separate in a story arc that alienated many viewers of the show. (appears in 4 episodes)
  • Young Greg (Mathew Weiss) - Greg as a young boy (appears only in pilot). Falls in love with Dharma instantaneously when the two swap glances for the first time while barely missing each other on the subway--years before they finally meet and marry on their first date.
  • Young Dharma (Megan Butala) - Dharma as a young girl (appears only in pilot). Megan is Jenna Elfman's niece (her brother's daughter), as told by Elfman herself in the audio commentary to the pilot episode from the DVD release.
  • Stinky — Dharma's and Greg's dog; a long-haired mutt.
  • Nunzio (Bud 1997–1998, Butch 1998–1999, Twiggy 2000–2001) — Stinky's dog, a Welsh Corgi; Dharma's gift to Stinky on his Bar Mitzvah.


Ratings and cancellation

The series was a top-20 fixture in the US during its first three seasons, first airing Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., then at 8:00. It was moved to Tuesdays at 9pm during its third season where it experienced a dramatic ratings lift thanks to a lead-in of the then red-hot Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. As ratings for that series waned in 2000/2001, Dharma & Greg suffered a similar fate, compounded by NBC moving Frasier into the same time slot. As Millionaire fell even further and was moved off the night in the fall of 2001, ABC tried to rebuild a Tuesday night comedy block consisting of Dharma & Greg, What About Joan?, Bob Patterson and Spin City. The move was ill-fated, however, with Joan lasting just two seasons and Patterson lasting five episodes. Dharma & Greg and Spin City shared the 8pm timeslot for the rest of the season, despite ever-declining ratings. The final episode aired on April 30, 2002 to just 6.8 million viewers, compared to the 20 million the series had peaked at just two years previously.

DVD releases

20th Century Fox has released the first season of Dharma & Greg on DVD in Region 1. Season 1 & 2 have been released in Region 2 and 4.
DVD Name Ep # Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete 1st Season 23 June 13, 2006 June 20, 2007 January 11, 2007
The Complete 2nd Season 24 N/A April 1, 2008 January 22, 2008

Season 2 was released in Australia as a Region 4 PAL on January 22, 2008, with a picture of Dharma and Greg dancing on the cover. It is available in Japan as a Region 2 NTSC format with a picture of them sitting down for the cover art. In the spring of 2008, the second season was released in Europe (Netherlands) as a Region 2 PAL as well. All countries have different covers, and all are using the "dance shot".

In other media

Dharma & Greg was frequently parodied on the animated comedy Family Guy, with characters directly insulting the show's quality in addition to parodies of the show itself that the characters watch on television.

Vanity cards

At the end of each episode, a message appeared on the screen for a brief moment, so that it is readable only to those who record the program (using a VCR or DVR, for example) and pause it. These "vanity cards" were written by producer and show co-creator Chuck Lorre, and express his personal views on a variety of subjects. These vanity cards are also seen at the end of episodes of CBS' Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, also Chuck Lorre productions.


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