I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I came across the short-lived series [[ASIN:B000S6DFNA Flo]] on Amazon's Unbox Videos. This series hasn't seen the light of day since it left CBS in 1981. OK, I think TV Land aired 1 episode many-a-Christmases-ago, but that doesn't really count.
After being the belle of the ball on [[ASIN:B000RVP4VC Alice]] for 5 years, Polly Holliday took the opportunity to spin her character off into her own show. The short first season was a ratings knock-out, finishing in the Nielsen Top 10 for that year. Also, airing after M*A*S*H didn't hurt.
Season Two came with a different (and competitive) time slot (Monday's at 8) and things starting sliding down hill from there. CBS didn't seem really invested enough to find "Flo" a better time slot, instead they flipped it around, back and forth. Even landing on Saturday night's for a short period of time. The death blow to any show searching for an audience, even back in the early 80's.
Cancellation came that spring for "Flo". Bringing with it an end to one of the most engaging sitcom characters to have ever existed, with her war cry "Kiss My Grits" being silenced forever.
I'm sure Holliday wanted nothing to do "Alice" again, even if an offer to return existed. It was widely rumored Linda Lavin was extremely jealous of the popularity of Holliday's "Flo" - and with good reason. Alice paled in Flo's shadow.
Holliday went on to other successes in theatre, TV and movies. But, she'll always be remembered best for playing that red-headed spitfire from Cowtown, Texas. The larger-than-life Florence Jean Castleberry.