This TV drama, Lifetime's first original dramatic series, explores the relationship of white Mary Elizabeth O'Brian (Annie Potts) and black Rene Jackson (Lorraine Toussaint) who grew up together as good friends in segregated Alabama of the early '60s -- with Mae Middleton portraying Mary Elizabeth as a girl and Shari Dyon Perry in the role of the young Rene. After Mary Elizabeth became pregnant at 19 by her childhood sweetheart Collier Sims (Chris Mulkey), she and Rene drifted apart. With the death of Rene's civil-rights lawyer father, James (Courtney B. Vance), Mary Elizabeth attends the funeral, and their friendship begins anew, even though the two women followed divergent paths: Attorney Rene chose a career over a family, while Mary Elizabeth has several children from her beer-swilling hubby. Intercutting past and present, the series advances on a dual track, contrasting present-day progress with Alabama attitudes during the Civil Rights era. With music by Bob Hilliard, Burt Bacharach, the Temptations, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, the series premiered August 18, 1998 on Lifetime.