Question: Can you remember the name of a TV show from the early to mid-'90s that featured a Southern family — a single mother and her children? I believe the name of the show was the characters' last name. The oldest daughter used to sit by her bedroom window and talk to the "man in the moon." The mother was played by an actress who reminds me a lot of Park Overall.


Answer: That I can, Carrie. You're thinking of The Torkelsons, which debuted on NBC in September 1991 and became Almost Home before it left the air in July 1993.

Set in Pyramid Corners, Okla., the series focused on young Dorothy Jane Torkelson (Olivia Burnette) and her family, who were a blue-collar clan and forever cash-strapped because the man of the house had bailed on them. Connie Ray played mama Millicent, and Aaron Metchik, Anna Slotky, Lee Norris and Rachel Duncan played Dorothy Jane's siblings. William Schallert played Mr. Hodges, a boarder who rented out the Torkelson basement.

After Season 1's low ratings, however, NBC retooled the show. When it returned in February '93, Millicent had relocated to Seattle, where she was a nanny for single-dad businessman Brian Morgan (Perry King). Two of her kids (Metchik and Slotky) had been wished out of existence, and in their place were King's spoiled kids (Brittany Murphy, Jason Marsden). Not that it mattered. Five months later, the show went the way of Millicent's vanished children.