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Season 5
1997-98 Season

Episode 5.1: The Morning After

Maxwell and Fran come back from Niles' sick bed (and their near-tryst) with Fran sure that this time she's finally snagged Maxwell. Maxwell, however, has other ideas and tempts her with the ultimate distraction -- permission to redecorate the kitchen. Fran calls her interior decorator cousin, Sheila (Roseanne), to do the job, but Sheila, fresh from a blistering breakup, sends Fran into a relationship tailspin.

Roseanne guest stars.


Episode 5.2: The First Date

Maxwell invites Fran to be his date at the very exclusive dinner party given by Elton John to celebrate Tantrums and Tiaras, the new film he and his partner, David Furnish, are premiering. Unfortunately, Fran's lurid past catches up with her when she appears in the film verbally abusing Elton. Then, trying to hide her identity, she doesn't make a very good impression as Maxwell's date. Meanwhile, C.C. tries to cope with Maxwell's apparent preference for Fran instead of her.

Elton John guest-stars.


Episode 5.3: The Bobbie Fleckman Story

After winning a radio contest, Brighton gets the chance to be in the new Brian Setzer Orchestra video and have it filmed at the Sheffield house. With rock star Brian Setzer (The Stray Cats) comes his record company's vice president of promotion, Bobbie Flekman (Fran Drescher recreating her character from the feature film Spinal Tap). It's bad enough that Bobbie and her assistant, Clotilde (guest star Lisa Loeb), take over the house, but Fran and C.C. are really upset when Maxwell, who is looking for a rock star for his next Broadway vehicle, is taken with Bobbie.

Series Star Fran Drescher Plays Dual Roles of Fran Fine and Bobbie Fleckman. Lisa Loeb and Brian Setzer guest star.


Episode 5.4: Fransom

Fran, needing to earn some extra money to buy a present for Yetta, moonlights as C.C.'s dogwalker. While performing her new duty, she flirts with a fellow dog walker so intensely that she doesn't notice when he walks off with C.C.'s dog. The dognapper demands a $20,000 ransom, but Fran and Val devise a plan to catch him and retrieve the purloined pooch.


Episode 5.5: The X-Niles

In their ongoing efforts to become Mrs. Maxwell Sheffield, Fran and C.C. decide it's time to get an expert opinion. Dr. Joyce Brothers (guest starring as herself) is brought in to decide which of them would make the best wife for Maxwell - now they just have to make sure he doesn't find out. 
Meanwhile, Niles quits when he "accidentally" discovers Fran's salary, not knowing that she exaggerated the sum to get yet another credit card. Niles is quickly hired by Aunt Freida, (Kazan), but it turns out that she's interested in him for more than just his dustbuster.

Renee Taylor guest stars as Fran's mother Sylvia. Lainie Kazan guest stars as Fran's (fraternal) Aunt Freida.


Episode 5.6: A Decent Proposal

Maxwell wants to talk Chevy Chase into doing a one-man show on Broadway, so he and Fran travel to Atlantic City to meet the legendary comedian. But while Maxwell is trying to woo Chevy, Chevy is busy trying to woo Fran. Delighted at the chance to make Maxwell jealous, Fran encourages Chevy's overtures, only to discover that he thinks she brings him luck at the gambling tables.

Chevy Chase guest-stars as himself.


Episode 5.7: Mommy and Mai

Fran and Van get a surprise visit from Mai-Ling, an orphaned Cambodian girl they have sponsored since birth. Her presence wreaks havoc on the household. Bickering over who is the better "mother," Fran and Val eventually seek the help of a marriage counselor. But when Brighton agrees to marry her so she can obtain a green card, they realize the true nature of Mai's visit.


Episode 5.8: Fair Weather Fran

Fran's fears that she will become a loveless spinster are increased when she meets Sammy (Ray Charles), the fiancé of her twice-married, 86-year-old grandmother, Yetta. To improve her self image, Fran decides to pursue her secret dream of becoming a weathergirl and Sammy suggests she ask his nephew Bryant Gumbel for a job.
A hopeful Fran visits Gumbel (appearing as himself) on the set of Public Eye, only to discover that there is no weather report on the show. Refusing to give up on her dream, Fran tries to give an editorial commentary but ends up sounding more like Roseanne Roseannadanna than Barbara Walters.

Bryant Gumbel and Ray Charles guest-star.


Episode 5.9: Educating Fran

Romantic sparks ignite when Fran meets Maggie's philosophy professor, Steve Goldberg (Hamlin), who seems perfect in every way - he's handsome, Jewish, and a doctor. After several successful dates, including a meeting with his overbearing mother, Fran is convinced that Steve will propose to her. There's only one problem - Steve's fascination with astrology borders on an obsession. And when Steve's psychic advises him never to marry a younger woman, Fran's little white lie about her age comes back to haunt her.

Harry Hamlin guest-stars.


Episode 5.10: From Flushing with Love

When Fran announces that she is going to Niagara Falls for a Fine family vacation, Niles convinces her to take the Sheffield family, hoping that the picturesque setting will encourage Maxwell to propose. The unwitting Maxwell is lured to Niagara, while the entire Fine family awaits his marriage proposal. Fran sets the stage on a romantic cruise with Maxwell -- but instead of a proposal, Fran gets a cold shower.


Episode 5.11: Rash to Judgment

When Fran works up the courage to ask Maxwell to a Michael Bolton concert, she discovers the night of the date that she has an itchy, unsightly rash covering her body. Determined to hide her ugly little secret and have a romantic evening with Maxwell, Fran gets a shot from an inexperienced doctor (Baio), which cures her constant itching. Fran finally gets Maxwell alone and in the mood for love -- until Fran has an allergic reaction and swells up like a balloon. Michael Bolton, guest starring as himself, performs Puccini's "Nessun Dorma."

Michael Bolton and Scott Baio Guest Star.


Episode 5.12: One False Mole and You're Dead?

When Maxwell courts a glamorous star, Margo Lange, (Van Ark) to star in his latest production, Fran accidentally exposes Margo's famous beauty mark as a fake. Maxwell warns Fran not to reveal Margo's secret, but she unknowingly divulges everything to gossip columnist Cindy Adams (playing herself). Adams promptly makes the secret public knowledge and Margo drops out of Maxwell's play. To prevent Maxwell from blowing his top, Fran concocts a crazy plan which will make Margo forgive her and earn them both a fortune.

Joan Van Ark and Gossip Columnist Cindy Adams Guest Star.


Episode 5.13: Call Me Fran

Fran realizes that her relationship with her father bears a striking similarity to her relationship with Maxwell -- both men keep her at arms length emotionally. Encouraged by advice from Dr. Miller (Spalding Gray), Fran insists that Maxwell get over his fear of intimacy and just call her Fran. Meanwhile, Maggie tricks Brighton into being her date for her sorority's "Bring-a-Geek" party.

Series Star Fran Drescher Makes Her Directorial Debut.


Episode 5.14: Not Without My Nanny

When Grace is invited by her friend, the son of a fabulously wealthy sultan, to visit the Middle East, Fran decides to travel with her. Fran and Grace are thrilled to be staying at the beautiful palace of the charming Sultan Hassan (Shaughnessy), until Fran realizes that the overly amorous prince is holding them both prisoner. After their plan to wriggle their way out of the predicament disguised as belly dancers fails, it's up to the heroic Maxwell to save them.

Series Star Charles Shaughnessy Plays Dual Roles of Maxwell and Sultan Hassan.


Episode 5.15: The Engagement

Worried that Maxwell will never propose, Fran is overjoyed to discover that he secretly bought an engagement ring and will soon ask her to be his wife. When Maxwell asks Fran and the Fine family to dinner for a "special occasion," she spreads the word that a marriage proposal will be the main course.

Can you believe it?! He FINALLY asked her to be his bride!


Episode 5.16: The Dinner Party

Fran feels "low rent" after attending her first high society party as Maxwell's fiancée. Hurt to discover that some of Maxwell's snobby friends are making fun of her behind her back, and worried that her low class background will drive away the elite investors in Maxwell's productions, Fran confesses her fears to a sympathetic homeless man, Preston (Martin), whom she meets in Central Park.
Meanwhile, Sylvia tries to convince Maxwell to purchase Fran's engagement ring from Uncle Stanley, a pawn shop owner (Mort Drescher), but Maxwell opts for a slightly more reputable establishment -- Cartier.

Television Personality Dick Martin and Series Star Fran Drescher's Father, Mort Drescher, Guest Star.


Episode 5.17: Homie-Work

After Sammy (Ray Charles) convinces Fran that his nephew Irwin (Coolio) is a brilliant rap artist, she secures Irwin an audition for a starring role in Maxwell's new urban rap musical. Much to her dismay, Fran discovers upon meeting "rapper" Irwin that he is actually a gift wrapper -- and a total nerd. To prevent Maxwell from blowing his top, Fran concocts a make-over scheme to change Irwin from a hopeless dork into a very bad rapper.

Rap Artist Coolio Guest Stars . Ray Charles Returns in His Recurring Role as Sammy.


Episode 5.18: The Reunion Show

Fran and Val attend their high school reunion and see a variety of their old friends, including the popular class clown Ray Barone. When Fran discovers that the female friends who she thought were happily married are now divorced and bitter, she begins to worry about her recent engagement to Maxwell. Fran confronts Maxwell with her concerns about marriage and they get in their first fight as an engaged couple. Will the romance fizzle, or will love win out?

Ray Romano Guest Stars as Ray Barone, (the character he plays in his CBS show, "Everybody Loves Raymond".) This episode represents an actual (real-life) reunion for Ray Romano and Fran Drescher, who attended Hillcrest High School together in Queens, NY.


Episode 5.19: Immaculate Concepcion

When Maxwell's father passes away, he leaves his entire estate to his illegitimate (and until then, unknown) daughter, Concepcion.

Maria Conchita Alonso guest stars as Concepcion.
Episode 5.20: The Pre-Nup

Concerned about not only his own financial security, but the financial security of his brother and sister, Maxwell wants to have Fran sign a pre-nuptial agreement. You can imagine Fran's reaction to *that* idea! and their fight spills over into their visit to their wedding photographer (Whoopi Goldberg). In C.C's absence, Maxwell hires a new temporary assistant (Jessica Tuck), and she's even more insulting to Niles than C.C. usually is!

Renee Taylor guest stars as Fran's mother Sylvia, Ann Guilbert guest stars as Grandma Yetta, and Rachel Chagall guest stars as Fran's best friend, Val. Ray Charles appears as Yetta's fiance, Sammy; Whoopi Goldberg appears as his niece, and Fran's wedding photographer, Edna. Jessica Tuck appears as Maxwell's new temporary assistant. Kathryn Jooster and Gunnar Peterson also appear.


Episode 5.21: The Best Man

Fran is upset when she discovers that Maxwell dated Marla Maples one-and-a-half years prior. But she becomes frantic when Maxwell's brother Nigel (Harry Van Gorkum) arrives to be Maxwell's Best Man, as Fran almost ran off with Nigel once (see episode 4.8), and Fran is afraid Maxwell will find out. And when Maxwell does, their wedding is put in jeopardy.

Renee Taylor guest stars as Fran's mother Sylvia, Ann Guilbert guest stars as Grandma Yetta, and Rachel Chagall guest stars as Fran's best friend, Val. Harry Van Gorkum guest stars as Maxwell's brother Nigel; Yvonne Scio guest stars as Nigel's french girlfriend. Marla Maples appears as herself. Jovan Rameau appears as Yetta's wedding present, the 'breadmaker'.


Episode 5.22: The Wedding

We begin 24 hours before Fran's and Maxwell's wedding day when Fran departs for her parents place with Val so that Maxwell won't see her on the day of the wedding. But a detour to New Jersey and flat tire on Val's car strands Fran, Val and Sylvia. Eventually the three are rescued by Maxwell and the wedding is back on track. That is, until Maxwell's sister Jocelyn opens her mouth about her impending divorce to her former chauffeur (see episode 1.17) shakes Fran's confidence that people from different classes such as Maxwell and Fran can stay married. Will the wedding take place? Or will Fran's cold feet stop the wedding cold?!...

Renee Taylor guest stars as Fran's mother Sylvia, Ann Guilbert guest stars as Grandma Yetta, and Rachel Chagall guest stars as Fran's best friend, Val. Sophie Ward appeared as Maxwell's sister Jocelyn (a role previously played by Twiggy Lawson, see episode 1.17). Bess Armstrong appeared as the ghost of Maxwell's first wife, Sarah. Morty and Sylvia Drescher appeared as Fran's Uncle Stanley and Aunt Rose. Chris Hogan appears as the wedding coordinator. Jamie Renee Smith appears as young Fran. Darryl Hickman, Anna Berger, David Gianopolous, Sue Goodman, Cantur David Benedict also appear, and George M. Hoth is featured.


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