The Dumplings (TV series)

The Dumplings

James Coco as Joe Dumpling and Geraldine Brooks as Angela Dumpling in The Dumplings.
Genre Situation comedy
Created by Don Nicholl
Michael Ross
Bernie West
Starring James Coco
Geraldine Brooks
Opening theme "Two By Two, Side by Side", performed by Steve Lawrence
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 11 (1 unaired)
Producer(s) Don Nicholl
Michael Ross
Bernie West
George Sunga
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) T.A.T./ ELP Communications[1]
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network NBC
Audio format Monaural
Original release January 28 (1976-01-28) – March 31, 1976 (1976-03-31)

The Dumplings is an American sitcom starring James Coco and Geraldine Brooks that aired on NBC from January 28 to March 31, 1976.[2][3]



Joe and Angela Dumpling are a very happily married and overweight couple who are very much in love with each other and with life, never have a bad thing to say about one another, and exude good cheer and enthusiasm. They operate Dudley's Take-Out, a luncheonette on the ground floor of a Manhattan skyscraper owned by the Bristol Oil Company. Charles Sweetzer, who works upstairs as executive vice president of Bristol Oil, is a regular customer, as are New York city councilman Frederic Steele, Mr. Sweetzer's secretary Bridget McKenna[3][4][5] (or Norah McKenna, according to some sources[1][2][6]), and Angela's sister Stephanie. Cully is the Dumplings' employee at the luncheonette and works as the cashier. The Dumplings' obesity is a source of much humor as they interact with customers, friends, and family.[1][2][3][4][7]


Norman Lear developed The Dumplings and Don Nicholl, Michael Ross, and Bernie West created and produced it, with George Sunga also serving as a producer.[1][2][4][5] Episode directors were Paul Bogart, Hal Cooper, and Dennis Steinmetz.[5] Nicholl, Ross, and West all wrote for the show, as did Joseph Bonaduce, Bill Davenport, Fred S. Fox, Gary David Goldberg, Seaman Jacobs, Fred Lucky, Barry Sand, and Alan Uger.[4][5]

Angela Dumpling was the final role of Geraldine Brooks' career; she died the following year.

Steve Lawrence sang the show's theme song, "Two By Two, Side By Side."[8]

Broadcast history

NBC broadcast the pilot episode of The Dumplings on October 4, 1975. The Dumplings joined NBC's regular lineup on January 28, 1976, with a rebroadcast of the pilot in the show's regular time slot at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Its tenth and final episode aired on March 31, 1976.[2][3] An eleventh episode was never broadcast.[4]



Season # Episode # Title Plot/Notes Original air date
1 1 Pilot Joe and Angela try to celebrate the anniversary of their first meeting. NBC rebroadcast this episode on January 28, 1976, as the first episode of the weekly series in its regular time slot. October 4, 1975
1 2 "The Ultimatum" The Dumplings' landlord orders them to move their luncheonette out of the building after Joe calls Mr. Steele a thief. February 4, 1976
1 3 "To Drink or Not to Drink" The Dumplings inherit a $900 bottle of wine and must decide whether or not to drink it. February 11, 1976
1 4 "The Parting" Joe and Angela must be apart for the first time in their 15-year marriage. February 18, 1976
1 5 "Gourmet's Delight" A newspaper columnist praises Angela's soup. February 25, 1976
1 6 "Sweetzer's Image" Mr. Sweetzer seeks refuge with the Dumplings after a fight with his wife. March 3, 1976
1 7 "Cully's Sister" Cully's twin sister makes a surprise visit and reveals an even bigger surprise. March 10, 1976
1 8 "The Other Woman" Stephanie becomes hysterical when she sees her boyfriend, Mr. Steele, with another woman. March 17, 1976
1 9 "The Foundling" Angela talks a woman out of committing suicide. March 24, 1976
1 10 "Joe Takes a Fall" Joe is injured in a fall from a broken apartment step. Vernon Weddle guest-stars. March 31, 1976
1 11 "Joe Gets Jugged" Joe is arrested after he accidentally knocks out a policeman. never


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 The Classic TV Archive: The Dumplings (1976)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 McNeil, Alex, Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming From 1948 to the Present, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 242.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present, Sixth Edition, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, pp. 296-297.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 The TV Historian: 70s Sitcom #158 The Dumplings - 1976
  5. 1 2 3 4 IMDb Full Cast and Crew
  6. Terrace, Vincent, Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010, 2d ed., Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2008, p. 292.
  7. IMDb The Dumplimgs
  8. Terrace, Vincent, Television Introductions: Narrated TV Program Openings since 1949, Scarecrow Press, 2013, p. 314.
  9. Dumplimgs Episodes
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