Back to Home Frequently Asked Questions Message Boards focusing on O&A What others think about the show and this site Tell us what you think Wins, Nominations, & Other Honors Contributions and projects by fans Other useful sites A full list of all episodes Cast appearance by episode A full list of writers and directors Locations and places by episode Stuff that happened - includes timeline by episode Master Timeline B/W Interviews Neat little things about each episode All those little things that aren't quite right Books and such Artists and titles by episode Eli Edward Sammler Grace Brooks Manning Richard Lewis Sammler Lily Brooks Manning Jessie Elizabeth Sammler Zoe Brooks Manning
308 - (TSS)     The Sex Show     11/30/01
When sex becomes awkward for the first time in their relationship, Lily and Rick realize how much work it takes to keep a marriage exciting.

WRITER: Emily Whitesell     DIRECTOR: Dan Lerner
Go to SPOILERS for this episode
 Brooks-Manning Lily    Grace    Zoe
 Sammler Rick    Eli    Jessie
 Ex's Karen
 Other Family Judy   
 Significant Regulars Sam   
Tad - James Lafferty
Katie - Mischa Barton
Steven Slater - Edward Atterton
Mrs. Lovatelli - Maggie Palomo

Lily's house
Karen's house
Booklovers Upton Sinclair
Bar - Judy and Karen go out to meet men

John Adams - David McCullough
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Playpal - magazine

Legends of the Fall, directed by Edward Zwick, produced by Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick

News Channel

Lily: "Sex is incredibly . . ."

Rick: "Sex. I'm in favour of it."

Karen: "In the beginning . . ."
Karen: "The more you have, . . ."

Judy: "I think I'm like a guy about sex. . . ."

Jessie: "Kids talk about sex . . ."

Rick: "Fantasies . . ."
Rick: "It started when we stopped dating. . . ."
Rick: "It's just a picture, really . . ."
Rick: "And it's just this look on her face . . ."

Lily: "Fantasies . . ."
Lily: "And he has this voice . . ."

W.G. Snuffy Walden Production/incidental music




Not currently available


Original Order
This episode was filmed as episode 307, but was pre-empted by a Barbara Walters special.

Sam has an older brother.

Name Game
The teacher is Mrs. Lovatelli. One of Once and Again's producers is Debra Lovatelli.

The men's magazine in the recycling bin was itself recycled from the next-to-last episode of "thirtysomething," where Melissa interviews a TV actress (Brooke Adams) whose nude pictures were featured in the magazine. I noticed this one as Bravo ran the 30S episode (entitled "Melissa in Wonderland," BTW) close to the same time "The Sex Show" had its first run. BTW, the prop magazine was ten years old when "Sex Show" was shot. Also, in the 30S episode, Melissa just found the magazine in the actress' dressing room by dumb luck. She did not know of it beforehand, and the actress was rather ashamed of it.-- AdamBomb1701


Page Turning
When Grace showed the magazine to Eli, there was one picture, then when Eli had the magazine, it was on another page without him turning the page. -- Janarlen

Original episode spoilers

Barb411 Mike Duffy Skip Carrington Gist TV Zap2It
TV Gal Detroit Free Press TV Guide ABC FrankNero

From Barb411 at the ABC Message Board:

I got a sneak peek via satellite last night and this episode was hilarious! You are going to have a bunch of fun watching's very progressive.

Back to top
From Mike Duffy at the Detroit Free Press:

"Once and Again"(10 p.m., WXYZ-TV, Channel 7, ABC). Let's talk about sex. Awkward encounters, tangled emotions and the challenges of sexual intimacy affect the relationships of semi-newlyweds Rick and Lily (Billy Campbell, Sela Ward) and other family members and friends. It's another hour of superbly written, emotionally perceptive storytelling on television's best family drama.

Back to top
From Skip Carrington at TV Guide:

TV Guide's "The Best Show You're Not Watching" has become "The Best Show Almost Nobody's Watching." What happened to Once and Again?

I blame the downfall on the move of the series to a 10 pm/ET time slot on Friday, where it's getting walloped by NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Of course, the ratings through last May, when Once held the Wednesday at 10 spot (up against the original Law & Order), weren't very good either. Still, ABC apparently had enough faith in the family drama to bring it back for a third season. (However, I prefer to believe a fabled rumor that goes like this: Network executives gave Once another go because of regrets over their quick cancellation of My So-Called Life, a critical favorite from 1994 produced by Once creators Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. It's nice to think that the folks making big bucks in the ivory towers have feelings.)

Feelings, maybe. Judgment? Questionable. What programmer in a sane frame of mind would think that a family especially a household with teens the ages of the Manning and the Sammler kids could gather the clan around a TV set on a Friday night? In my high-school days, revelry began right after dinner on Friday and ran up right until parental inflicted curfew. Can't imagine that has changed much.

Interestingly, though, despite the downturn in the Nielsens, this season's teleplays focusing on the teenage characters have consistently been among the series best: honest, poignant and telling storylines that illuminate stages of adolescence. The third-season opener, for example, revolved around the embattled Eli (Shane West), whose bust for marijuana possession explored the complexities of parental responsibility vis--vis Eli's relationships with his mom, dad and stepmom. Other episodes centered on the growing up of intransigent Grace (Julia Whelan), who learned about life and herself from a perceptive creative-writing teacher and acting coach (Eric Stoltz). And then there's shy, introspective Jessie (Evan Rachel Wood), whose prospective date with a 16-year-old hottie generated conflictive feelings in scenes that were warm and touching.

Tonight's show, however, returns attention to the adults. Specifically, it concerns sexual situations that discomfort Lily (Sela Ward) and Rick (Billy Campbell), who begin to feel unresponsive to one another, and situations that excite Lily's sister, Judy (Marin Hinkle), and her inconstant lover, Sam Blue (Steven Weber). The entry isn't on par with the earlier episodes, but selected scenes, which intersperse terse, taut dialogue with Bergmanesque silences, are haunting and evocative.

Being named "The Best Show You're Not Watching" surely helped make hits of Party of Five, Homicide: Life on the Streets, The Practice and 7th Heaven. If Once and Again doesn't make it and that appears to be increasingly likely it'll join Sports Night as the only other Best Show flop. Hey, four out of six ain't bad. In baseball, you'd be batting .666. Skip Carrington

Back to top
From Cheryl Everette at TV Picks:
Once and Again: "The Sex Show"
Friday, Nov. 30
ABC, 10 to 11 p.m. ET

Let's talk about sex. That seems to be the issue concerning Lily, Judy, Karen and even young Jessie (Sela Ward, Marin Hinkle, Susanna Thompson and Evan Rachel Wood). Above all, newlyweds Lily and Rick (Billy Campbell) discover that now that they're married, the thrill is gone. How do they bring back the excitement in the bedroom?

Back to top
10:00 P.M. -ABC-

For the first time, Lily and Rick have some trouble being intimate with each other. They've been married, what, six months?

Back to top
From TV Gal:

This week on "Once and Again," Rick and Lily have their first bedroom problems, while Sam and Judy try to resolve theirs, and I'm afraid that Tad wants to get a little too close to Jesse.

Back to top
From The Detroit Free Press TV Guide:
Once and Again

The work involved in keeping a marriage thriving becomes apparent to Lily (Sela Ward) and Rick (Billy Campbell) in this new episode. They hit their first real stumbling block in intimacy, and neither is quite sure how to talk to the other about it

Back to top
From TV Guide:
Once and Again
The Sex Show
60 min.

Intimacy matters disquiet Rick and Lily, who face a trying period of adjustment, and perplex Judy and Sam (Steven Weber), who reassess their mercurial relationship. Tad: James Lafferty. Katie: Mischa Barton. Steven Slater: Edward Atterton. Judy: Marin Hinkle. Jessie: Evan Rachel Wood. Eli: Shane West.

Cast: Billy Campbell, Sela Ward, Shane West, Evan Rachel Wood, Meredith Deane, Julia Whelan, Susanna Thompson, Marin Hinkle, Steven Weber, James Lafferty, Mischa Barton, Edward Atterton

Rating: TV-PG

Content: Suggestive Dialog, Explicit Sexual Situations

Back to top
From ABC:


'The Sex Show' -- When sex becomes awkward for the first time in their relationship, Lily and Rick realize how much work it takes to keep a marriage exciting, on 'Once and Again,' FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

'Once and Again' stars Sela Ward as Lily Sammler, Billy Campbell as Rick Sammler, Julia Whelan as Grace Manning, Shane West as Eli Sammler, Meredith Deane as Zoe Manning, Evan Rachel Wood as Jessie Sammler, Susanna Thompson as Karen Sammler, Jeffrey Nordling as Jake Manning, Marin Hinkle as Judy Brooks, Steven Weber as Samuel Blue and Ever Carradine as Tiffany Porter.

Guest starring are James Lafferty as Tad, Mischa Barton as Katie, Edward Atterton as Steven Slater and Maggie Palomo as Mrs. Lovatelli.

'The Sex Show' was written by Emily Whitesell and directed by Dan Lerner.

'Once and Again' is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound.

This program carries a TV-PG,D,S parental guideline.

Back to top
From FrankNero at the ABC Board:

"The Sex Show": a lot of talk about sex in this episode. Show opens with Grace finding one of Eli's porno mags in the recycling pile.

This made me scratch my head - would a teenager really put perfectly good porn in the trash?

Surprise twist: someone has a one-night stand, and it's not who you think.

Back to top

Click the season to see Episode Number, Abbreviation, Names
Season 1 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122
Season 2 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222
Season 3 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319
All contents copyright Catherine Challenger, unless otherwise explicitly specified.
E-mail the webmaster about this page.