“Spin City”: Episode Guide Season 1

EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.01
EPISODE TITLE :: Pilot
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: September 17, 1996
GUEST STARS :: Taylor Stanley as Karen; Victoria Dillard as Janelle
WRITER :: Gary David Goldberg & Bill Lawrence
DIRECTOR :: Tommy Schlamme
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Michael Flaherty and his staff work to find ways to avoid a garbage strike and cover for the mayor’s unintentional slur against the gay community. Meanwhile, Mike comes to terms with the fact that he is in a committed relationship.
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.02
EPISODE TITLE :: The Great Pretender
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: September 24, 1996
GUEST STARS :: Deborah Rush as Helen Winston; Taylor Stanley as Karen; Sylvia Kauders as Roberta; Robert Trumbull as Priest; Jimmy Palumbo as Bartender; Kim Serafin as Lila
WRITER ::
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Mike is name ‘Sexiest Man of the Year’ but has trouble living ‘up’ to his reputation. Meanwhile, the staff contends with the mayor’s troublesome wife.
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.03
EPISODE TITLE :: The Apartment
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 1, 1996
GUEST STARS :: John Scurti as Reporter; Michael Goldfinger as Union Guy #1; Sam Stern as Union Guy #2; Eric Slovin as Man in Hallway; Avery Glymph as Reporter #2; Victoria Dillard as Janelle
WRITER :: Bill Lawrence
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemle
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Mike and the Mayor are working so hard to end the garbage strike that Stuart is left in charge of the office. Meanwhile, despite the fact that they are living together, Mike and Ashley rarely see each other.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Rattling Trash Cans; This episode takes place before the events of “The Great Pretender” as 1.02;
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.04
EPISODE TITLE :: Pride and Prejudice
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 8, 1996
GUEST STARS :: Taylor Stanley as Karen; Gretchen Mol as Gwen; Victoria Dillard as Janelle
WRITER :: Brian Buckner & Sebas tian Jones
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Mike allows a TV program to do a profile on his life, and one of his comments gets him trouble with Ashley. Meanwhile, Carter goes behind Michael’s back to get the Mayor to green-light a controversial project.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Elevated Train
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.05
EPISODE TITLE :: The Rivals
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 15, 1996
GUEST STARS :: Tom Lacy as Abe Garfield; Bray Poor as Yale; Welker White as Maria; Eddie Ikeda as Mr. Fong; Mario Mendoza as Jesus; John Bland as Reporter #1; Kim Yancey-Moore as Reporter #2; Amy Hohn as Reporter #3; Avery Glymph as Reporter #4
WRITER :: Amy Cohen & Michelle Nader
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Cheml
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: The former mayor of New York is always criticizing the current administration, and the attempt at appeasing him makes matters worse. Meanwhile, Michael and Ashley try to avoid their annoying new neighbors and Nikki holds a contest among the men in the office to prove that none of them are father material.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Hoofbeats
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.06
EPISODE TITLE :: A Star is Born
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 22, 1996
GUEST STARS :: John Bedford Lloyd as Dr. Joel Bronstein; Nathan Fillion as Guy; Lisa Louise Langford as Reporter #1; John Bland as Reporter #2; Victoria Dillard as Janelle; Bill Boggs as Talk Show Moderator
WRITER :: Kirk J. Rudell
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: When Mayor Winston’s nominee for the Public Schools Chancellor proves an embarrassment to the administration, James urges Mike to stick with the controversial candidate. Meanwhile, Ashley considers a career in television on a roundtable discussion program.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: School Bell as First Version; Football Sounds as Second Version;
DIFFERENT VERSIONS: There are two primetime versions, one with Ashley Schaffer and one without her. The latter version is the only one aired in syndication.
SCENES CUT IN SECOND VERSION:
Opening Sequence: Ashley fills in on a Sunday talk show.
Press Conference: Ashley asks a question of the prospective school Chancellor.
Hallway Conversation: Ashley and Mike talk of “the doobie line,” and what Ashley will wear for her interview.
Apartment Scene: Ashley and Mike view Ashley’s tryout tape.
Ending Sequence: Ashley and Mike make out off camera after viewing Ashley on TV.
SCENES ADDED IN SECOND VERSION:
Opening Sequence: Nikki and Carter bet on the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.
Press Conference: A Second Reporter asks Ashley’s question.
Hallway Conversation: Mike tells Stuart “the doobie line.”
Focus Group Meeting: Nikki and Carter lust over the same guy.
Guy Callback: The aforementioned “Guy,” is called back so Nikki and Carter can decipher whether he is gay or not.
Ending Sequence: “Guy” admits he’s gay but has no interest in Carter.
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.07
EPISODE TITLE :: Grand Illusion
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 29, 1996
GUEST STARS :: Taylor Stanley as Karen; Jane Cecil as Marge; William Bogart as Priest; Claudia Rocafort as Beautiful Woman; Victoria Dillard as Janelle
WRITER :: Amy Cohen & Michelle Nader
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: In protest of the mayor’s stand on same-sex marriage, Nikki and Carter plan to marry. Meanwhile, Paul is a transformed man when the eye patch he wears after a minor injury gives him unsuspected sex appeal. Ashley considers leaving her tv show and going back to the newspaper.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Church Bells
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.08
EPISODE TITLE :: The High and Mighty
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: November 12, 1996
GUEST STARS :: George Wendt as Dan Donaldson; Taylor Stanley as Karen; Andrew Daly as Payroll Guy
WRITER :: Kirk J. Rudell
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Michael needs a favor from famed real estate developer Dan Donaldson, but the price Mike has to pay may not be worth it. Meanwhile, Paul finds it hard to crow about the city’s lowered crime rate, since he’s just become a victim of a robbery-again. Mike and Ashley can’t agree on what show to watch when they’re in bed.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Subway
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.09
EPISODE TITLE :: Meet Tommy Dugan
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: November 19, 1996
GUEST STARS :: Woody Harrelson as Tommy Dugan; Lisa Louise Langford as Reporter #1; John Bland as Reporter #2; David Carlson as Reporter #3
WRITER :: Tim Hobert
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: An opinionated school janitor becomes “Mayor for a Day” when he wins an essay contest intended for schoolchildren. Meanwhile, the Mayor works to change his image.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: The Press
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.10
EPISODE TITLE :: The Competition
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: November 26, 1996
GUEST STARS :: Ed Koch as Speaker Saul Rosen; J. Smith Cameron as Lisa; Jennifer Garner as Becky; Stephen Colbert as Frank; James E. Tripp as Reporter; Brian Tarantino as Homeless Man #1; William Preston as Older Homeless Man; Soby as Homeless Man #2; Victoria Dillard as Janelle
WRITER ::
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: When the Mayor’s office competes against City Council in an annual Thanksgiving contest, the stakes are high, since the losers must croon a show tune in front of the press. Meanwhile, James has trouble breaking up with a longtime girlfriend visiting from Wisconsin.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Turkeys
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.11
EPISODE TITLE :: Dog Day Afternoon
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: December 10, 1996
GUEST STARS :: Jerry Adler as Howard Gould; Taylor Stanley as Karen; Jas on Antoon as Cab Driver; Robert Mas chio as Bingo’s Partner; Victoria Dillard as Janelle
WRITER :: Jeff Lowell
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Mike tries to appease the disgruntled Police Commissioner by honoring a beloved police dog who has recently died. But things go terribly wrong on the way to the funeral when Paul and Carter lose the canine’s body. Meanwhile, Mike buys an air hockey table for the staff proving Stuart is all bark and no bite.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Dog Barking
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.12
EPISODE TITLE :: Criss Cross
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: December 17, 1996
GUEST STARS :: James Murtaugh as Owen; Taylor Stanley as Karen; Paul Reggio as Bartender; John Scurti as Reporter
WRITER :: Brian Buckner & Sebastian Jones
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Michael substitutes for the Mayor on a political talk show, facing off against Ashley on a hot-button issue. Meanwhile, Paul plays City Hall Santa while battling a terrible bout of the flu that is sweeping the office. Everyone finds themselves going to Carter for romantic advice.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Coughing; This episode features Carla Gugino’s last appearance as Ashley Schaeffer
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.13
EPISODE TITLE :: Bye Bye Love
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 7, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Ken Marino as Dan Fuchs; Eric Kushnick as The Pizza Guy; Tom Riis Farrell as The UPS Guy; Sylvia Kauders as Roberta
WRITER :: Kirk J. Rudell & Bill Lawrence
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: The office rallies to lift Mike’s spirits after his break-up with Ashley, but he resists their best efforts. That is, until he decides he needs a friend and reaches out to Nikki in the middle of her date with the perfect man. Meanwhile, Paul sets a New Year’s resolution to be less gullible.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Light Rain; The reported reason Ashley is quickly written out is because Carla Gugino decided not to renew her contract with the other cast members when the show was granted a further 12 episodes for the season.
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.14
EPISODE TITLE :: Starting Over
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 14, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Courtney Thorne-Smith as Danielle Brinkman; Iralda Polanco as Cleaning Lady; Judy Stadt as Waitress; Victoria Dillard as Janelle; Faith Prince as Claudia
WRITER :: Jeff Lowell
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Michael is uncomfortable with his newly single status when he realizes he’s actually on a date with new assistant district attorney Danielle Brinkman. Meanwhile, Paul meets the president of his fan club, Claudia Sacks, who has arranged the group’s first meeting. Carter and Stuart have a little too much to drink and end up in an awkward situation.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Giggling Women
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.15
EPISODE TITLE :: Gabby’s Song
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 28, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Constance Marie as Gabby Sanchez; Taylor Stanley as Karen; Jared Johansen as George; Tim Shillue as Man in Hall; Faith Prince as Claudia
WRITER :: Jeff Lowell & Tim Hobert
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Mike butts heads with a hard-nosed new chief of staff appointee, Gabby Sanchez, who is unmoved by his best efforts to win her over. Meanwhile, Paul ponders taking his relationship with Claudia to the next level.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Jail Door Slamming Shut
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.16
EPISODE TITLE :: Kiss Me, Stupid
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: February 11, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Luke Perry as Spence Kaymer; Kim Dickens as Veronica; Anney Globbe as Melissa; Faith Prince as Claudia
WRITER ::
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: It’s Valentine’s Day, and Carter’s old flame Spence wants to meet with him. Meanwhile, Mike goes on a date from hell with a beautiful friend of Nikki’s. Paul’s romantic evening with Claudia becomes unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Cupid’s Arrow
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.17
EPISODE TITLE :: An Affair to Remember
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: February 18, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Deborah Rush as Helen Winston; Anne Twomey as Holly Cohen; James E. Tripp as Reporter #1; John Bland as Reporter #2; Shelton L. Palmer as Band Member; Dan Dierdorf as Himself; Patrick Ewing as Himself; Frank Gifford as Himself; William Heredia as Himself; Larry King as Himself; David Letterman as Himself; Al Michaels as Himself; Rosie O’Donnell as Himself; Anthony Rapp as Himself; Daphne Rubin-Vega as Himself; George Stephanopoulos as Himself
WRITER :: Michelle Nader & Amy Cohen
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: For the Mayor’s 50th birthday, Paul is determined to get his “old friend” George Stephanopoulos to attend the event as Mike arranges for birthday wishes from David Letterman, Patrick Ewing, Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Frank Gifford, Rosie O’Donnell, Larry King, and the cas t of Rent. In the midst of the planning, a scandal swirls about the Mayor’s presumed affair with a staffer from the Governor’s office.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Birthday Noise-Makers
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.18
EPISODE TITLE :: Snowbound
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: February 25, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Amanda Peet as Shelley McCrory; Gabriel Macht as Naked Guy; Nick Phelps as Security Guard; Victoria Dillard as Janelle; Faith Prince as Claudia
WRITER :: Brian Buckner & Sebastian Jones
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: A major snowstorm hits Manhattan, causing a chain reaction of mishaps at City Hall. Mike desperately tries to meet his longtime crush on her last night in the city. Meanwhile, Paul accidentally offends the Mayor on the radio, Carter and Stuart are locked in the boiler room and a nudist is on the loose in the Mayor’s office.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Blizzard Sounds
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.19
EPISODE TITLE :: Striptease
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: March 4, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Cynthia Watros as Gayley; John Bland as Reporter #1; Jordan H. Fischer as Reporter #2; Maria Gabriella as Reporter #3; Sylvia Kauders as Roberta; Victoria Dillard as Janelle; Faith Prince as Claudia
WRITER :: Jeff Lowell & Tim Hobert
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Mike discovers that his new girlfriend, Gayley, is paying for law school by moonlighting as a stripper. Meanwhile, Claudia catches Paul in a lie, and Nikki plays mind games with Stuart.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Cheering
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.20
EPISODE TITLE :: Deaf Becomes Her
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: March 18, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Marlee Matlin as Sarah Adelman; Sam Seder as Bogus Temp; Lewis Mardin as Tim; Carole Addobbe as Dinner Guest #1; Frank L. Duffolo as Dinner Guest #2; David Carlson as Reporter; Victoria Dillard as Janelle; Faith Prince as Claudia
WRITER :: Kirk J. Rudell
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: It’s damage control time when the Mayor’s inept new sign-language interpreter inadvertently offends the deaf community, and Michael rushes to appease one of its leaders, Sarah Edelman. Meanwhile, Paul is worried that Claudia wants to move in permanently.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Parrot
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.21
EPISODE TITLE :: Hot in the City
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: April 1, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Daphne Zuniga as Carrie; Kathleen Chalfant as Sister Margaret; J.K. Simmons as Kevin Travis; Charles Landry as Johnny; Steve Garsche as Band P.A.; Victoria Dillard as Janelle
WRITER :: Jay Scherick & David Ronn
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: On the personal front, Mike struggles with his ex-girlfriend, Carrie, who is desperate to bear his child with or without his participation. Meanwhile, at the office, he’s playing peacemaker after the mayor’s ill-chosen words split up a beloved band just before their reunion concert.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Concert Crowd
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.22
EPISODE TITLE :: Bone Free
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: April 29, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Sam Seder as George Rudell; Anna Kathryn Holbrook as Heidi Longley; Rebecca Boyd as Dr. Maria Barrow; Ellen Bethea as Reporter; Victoria Dillard as Janelle
WRITER :: Michelle Nader & Amy Cohen; Michael Craven & Richard Childs
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: The men in the office find love-or rather, lust-is in the air, causing more than a few problems. Meanwhile, Nikki wonders whether her new heartthrob, George, is a struggling writer or an untalented mooch.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Cat Call
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.23
EPISODE TITLE :: The Mayor Who Came to Dinner
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: May 6, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Isaac Mizrahi as Himself; Deborah Rush as Helen Winston; Kathleen Claypool as Mrs. Schnoll; Rachel York as Beautiful Woman; Victoria Dillard as Janelle
WRITER :: Tim Hobert & Kirk J. Rudell
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: The Mayor separates from his wife and moves in with Mike, much to Mike’s chagrin. Meanwhile, designer Isaac Mizrahi helps the Mayor’s office with a charity fashion show and gives Nikki a once-in-a-lifetime chance to strut the runway in one of his creations.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Glass Breaking
DIFFERENT VERSIONS: This episode aired during ABC’s 3-D Week in which all their shows featured special 3-D effects. The effects in this episode all happened during the opening sequence and were cut from any subsequent airings. The effects included:
Janelle delivers the mail
Nikki, Carter, James and Stuart’s impression of “Feeding Time at the Aquarium”
Paul’s tonsils
Mike’s letter opener
Music: “What’s New, Pussycat” – Richard Kind, Michael J. Fox
Music: “I’m Too Sexy” – Michael J. Fox
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EPISODE NUMBER :: 1.24
EPISODE TITLE :: Mayor Over Miami
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: May 13, 1997
GUEST STARS :: Marin Hinkle as Carolyn; Marcia DeBonis as Ticket Agent; John Bland as Reporter; Timothi-Jane Graham as Waitress; Victoria Dillard as Janelle; Faith Prince as Claudia
WRITER :: Brian Buckner & Sebastian Jones
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Despondent over his separation with his wife, the Mayor decides on a whim to take a road trip with Paul, leaving Mike in charge of New York City and scrambling to find out where they went.
TRIVIA: Opening Theme Sound Effect: Gulls and Splashing