Any Day Now (TV Series)
Get Any Day Now TV Series essential facts below. View Videos or join the Any Day Now TV Series discussion. Add Any Day Now TV Series to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Any Day Now TV Series
Any Day Now
Created byNancy Miller
Deborah Joy LeVine
StarringAnnie Potts
Lorraine Toussaint
Mae Middleton
Olivia Hack
Shari Dyon Perry
Maya Goodwin
Opening theme"Any Day Now" performed by Lori Perry
ComposerSusan Marder
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes88
Running time60 min (approx)
Production companiesPaid Our Dues Productions
Finnegan/Pinchuk Productions
Spelling Entertainment
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Original networkLifetime
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseAugust 18, 1998 (1998-08-18) -
March 10, 2002 (2002-03-10)

Any Day Now is an American drama series that aired on the Lifetime network from 1998 to 2002. Set in Birmingham, Alabama, Any Day Now explored issues around racism and how they recur over the years - from the 1960's to the current day. The show stars Annie Potts and Lorraine Toussaint, portraying best friends from childhood, as they address topics that come up in their interracial community openly and directly.[1][2]

The show's title is taken from the 1962 Chuck Jackson song "Any Day Now". A version performed by Lori Perry served as the show's theme song.


Any Day Now focuses on the lives and interactions of two female protagonists: Mary Elizabeth "M.E." O'Brien Sims (Potts) and Rene Jackson (Toussaint). The two had grown up as close friends in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement. However, their friendship ended when M.E. became pregnant and chose, despite Rene's disapproval, to keep the child, drop out of college, and marry her boyfriend, Colliar Sims.

More than twenty years later, M.E. and her husband still live in Birmingham, where they struggle to make ends meet. Their oldest son, Bobby, died as a child; but they have two more children, daughter Kelly and son Davis. Rene moved to Washington, D.C., where she was a successful attorney for many years; but, after the death of her father, Rene decides to move back to Birmingham and establish a law practice there.[3] She reunites with M.E., and the two quickly resume their close friendship. In every episode, contemporary storylines are interwoven with a storyline from their shared past.


Each hour-long episode explores a theme contained alternating scenes from two different timelines. The 1960s timeline followed the young version of the girls, who were best friends in Birmingham in the 1960's.[1] Their friendship provides an inside look at the civil rights movement as it affects the residents of Birmingham. Their friendship blossoms despite the discomfort of M.E.'s naively bigoted parents and her openly racist Uncle Jimmy, an avowed member of the Ku Klux Klan. M.E. and Rene's friendship was fostered by M.E.'s loving grandmother and her older brother, Johnny, who was sent to Vietnam, while M.E.'s older sister, Teresa, often threatened to tell their parents that M.E.'s "little colored friend" had been in their house. Colliar Sims (Chris Mulkey), M.E.'s childhood sweetheart and eventual husband, played a large role in this timeline as well. Rene's family included her father, James (John Lafayette), who was a lawyer and an active member of the Civil Rights Movement; her mother, Sarah, also active in the movement; and her older brother Elston, who was the same age as M.E.'s brother Johnny but dodged the draft by fleeing to Canada.

The contemporary timeline showed M.E. and Rene as adults. M.E. is a homemaker with aspirations of becoming a writer, and Rene starts her own law firm in Birmingham.[4] Characters from the 1960s timeline appeared in the contemporary timeline as well, such as Rene's widowed mother, her brother Elston (openly gay, who has a son by a surrogate), who his partner adopts, M.E.'s oft-divorced sister Teresa (Delta Burke), and M.E.'s aging parents, whose views on race had mellowed somewhat over the years, quite in contrast to unrepentantly racist Uncle Jimmy, who still antagonized Rene if given the chance.

The show dealt with issues like modern-day racism, homosexuality, religion, women's rights, rape, natural disaster, alcohol, suicide, and death. During Season 3, M.E.'s daughter Kelly dated an African-American boy, Ajoni (Derrex Brady), and became pregnant by him at age 17, much to Colliar's dismay;[4] Kelly and Ajoni chose to marry and keep the baby, whom they named Emmett. Eventually, M.E. published a book and was invited to teach at the local college. Rene's over-all story arc dealt mainly with her law practice; although she enjoyed great success as a lawyer, eventually focusing her practice on civil rights law, she sometimes regretted that she had never married nor had a family. In the final episode of the show, Rene married Judge Clyde "Turk" Terhune (William Allen Young).

In most episodes there was either a common theme between the scenes presented from each timeline, or a direct connection between the events depicted in the past and how it affected those in the present. This relationship between past and present often explores the effect of past damage on the present day.[1]

The show included real-life topics such as police traffic stops that are unusually fatal for Black people, in the episode "It's a Good Thing I'm Not Black" in which Rene is forced to lie down on the sidewalk after being pulled over. [1]

In the fourth season, the actresses Mae Middleton (M.E.) and Shari Dyon Perry (Rene) were replaced by Olivia Hack and Maya Goodwin, respectively, as the producers wanted the girls to encounter more mature storylines. However, Dan Byrd kept the role of Colliar Sims.

Any Day Now ended after 88 episodes, with Rene's marriage, as well as M.E. and Rene's mothers finally putting an end to their decades-long animosity.

Main cast & crew

  • Annie Potts as Mary Elizabeth "M.E." Sims
  • Lorraine Toussaint as Rene Jackson
  • Shari Dyon Perry as Young Rene Jackson (1998-2001)
  • Mae Middleton as Young M.E. O'Brien (1998-2001)
  • Maya Goodwin as Young Rene Jackson (2001-2002)
  • Olivia Hack as Young M.E. O'Brien (2001-2002)
  • Chris Mulkey as Colliar Sims
  • Derrex Brady as Ajoni Williams
  • Olivia Friedman as Kelly (Sims) Williams
  • John Lafayette as James Jackson
  • Donzaleigh Abernathy as Sara Jackson

Supporting cast

  • Julie St. Claire as Joy (1998-1999)
  • Christopher Winsor as Davis Sims (1998)
  • Calvin Devault as Davis Sims (1999-2002)
  • Christopher Babers as Young Elston Jackson
  • William Converse-Roberts as Matthew O'Brien
  • Nancy Mcloughlin as Catherine O'Brien
  • James Deeds as Johnny O'Brien
  • Elise Shirley as Young Theresa O'Brien
  • Delta Burke as Theresa O'Brien
  • Michael Pavone as Jimmy O'Brien
  • Dan Byrd as Young Colliar Sims
  • Millie Perkins as Grandma Irene Otis
  • Richard Biggs as Bill Moody
  • Bronson Picket as Joe Lozano
  • Tony Barriere as Young Tully
  • Mary-Pat Green as Odessa
  • Taneka Johnson as Lakeisha Reynolds
  • Don McManus as Graham Pearce
  • Alyssa Nichols as April
  • Alexandra Hedison as Rhonda
  • Monique Edwards as Cynthia


Nancy Miller, co-creator, executive producer and showrunner had spent summers during her childhood in Birmingham at a time when there were still segregated fountains. Miller used those past histories in creating the show. Valerie Woods, who started as first executive story editor and later became co-executive producer, was equally committed to creating a show that would examine difficult topics in a useful way.[1][2]

Miller started trying to get Any Day Now in to production starting in 1990, envisioning it as a combination of Wonder Years and Mississippi Burning. CBS agreed at one point, but then cancelled before production began.[2]

The writers' room of Any Day Now was diverse - at least 50 percent of the writers were people of color, almost all of whom were black.[1] The diverse cast members themselves also participate in the creative process. Donzaleigh Abernathy, who plays Rene's mother, is the daughter of Rev. Ralph Abernathy, who was a civil rights leader himself.[2] Lifetime was receptive to the show taking on difficult subject.[4]


Season 1 (1998-1999)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Unfinished Symphony"Jeff BlecknerDeborah Joy LeVine & Nancy MillerAugust 18, 1998 (1998-08-18)
22"Huh?"Oz ScottNancy MillerAugust 25, 1998 (1998-08-25)
33"Eve of Destruction"Joe Ann FogleDee JohnsonSeptember 1, 1998 (1998-09-01)
44"It's Called Depression"Artie MandelbergDeborah Joy LeVine & Nancy MillerSeptember 8, 1998 (1998-09-08)
55"Making Music with the Wrong Man"James HaymanKathleen McGhee-AndersonSeptember 15, 1998 (1998-09-15)
66"No Comment"Joeann FogleSibyl GardnerSeptember 29, 1998 (1998-09-29)
77"Please Don't Tell My Mother"Sharron MillerBob LowryOctober 6, 1998 (1998-10-06)
88"Courage...It Means Heart"Oz ScottValerie WoodsOctober 13, 1998 (1998-10-13)
99"You Shoulda Seen My Daddy"Mel DamskiMark IsraelOctober 20, 1998 (1998-10-20)
1010"Call Him Johnny"Artie MandelbergAnnie BrunnerOctober 27, 1998 (1998-10-27)
1111"It's Who You Sleep With"Jan EliasbergDee Johnson & Valerie WoodsNovember 3, 1998 (1998-11-03)
1212"Salamanders"Michael PavoneSibyl GardnerDecember 1, 1998 (1998-12-01)
1313"I Feel Awful"Artie MandelbergBob Lowry & Nancy MillerDecember 8, 1998 (1998-12-08)
1414"Quit Bein' Such a Scaredy Cat"James HaymanDee JohnsonDecember 15, 1998 (1998-12-15)
1515"Blue"Artie MandelbergKathleen McGhee-AndersonJanuary 5, 1999 (1999-01-05)
1616"It's Your Problem, Not Mine"Bob McCrackenMark IsraelJanuary 12, 1999 (1999-01-12)
1717"Trust Me"Michael ZinbergValerie WoodsJanuary 19, 1999 (1999-01-19)
1818"I Wish You Could Understand"Michael PavoneStar Frohman & Bob LowryJanuary 26, 1999 (1999-01-26)
1919"Chapter One"Jan EliasbergAnnie BrunnerFebruary 9, 1999 (1999-02-09)
2020"I'm Not Emotional"Artie MandelbergSibyl GardnerFebruary 16, 1999 (1999-02-16)
2121"Music from My Life"Arvin BrownBob LowryMarch 2, 1999 (1999-03-02)
2222"It's About the Heart"Artie MandelbergNancy MillerMarch 9, 1999 (1999-03-09)

Season 2 (1999-2000)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
231"You Promise? I Promise"Jan EliasbergMark IsraelAugust 15, 1999 (1999-08-15)
242"You Really Believe in That Stuff?"Artie MandelbergDee Johnson & Valerie WoodsAugust 22, 1999 (1999-08-22)
253"It's a Man's World"Michael ZinbergStar FrohmanSeptember 5, 1999 (1999-09-05)
264"Don't Say Anything"Michael PavoneKathleen McGhee-Anderson & Sibyl GardnerSeptember 12, 1999 (1999-09-12)
275"Heads or Tails"Bob McCrackenDee Johnson & Bob LowrySeptember 19, 1999 (1999-09-19)
286"So This Is Intimacy?"Arite MandelbergNancy MillerSeptember 26, 1999 (1999-09-26)
297"It's Not You, It's Me"Bob McCrackenDee JohnsonOctober 10, 1999 (1999-10-10)
308"Family Is Family"Jo Ann FogleValerie WoodsOctober 17, 1999 (1999-10-17)
"It's Not About the Butter: Parts 1 & 2"Artie MandelbergNancy Miller & Bob LowryOctober 24, 1999 (1999-10-24)
3311"Elephants in the Room"Michael ZinbergSibyl GardnerOctober 31, 1999 (1999-10-31)
3412"That's Our Son, Bobby"Artie MandelbergMark IsraelNovember 28, 1999 (1999-11-28)
3513"Say Something"Elodie KeeneKathleen McGhee-AndersonDecember 5, 1999 (1999-12-05)
3614"Eyes Wide Open"Michael ZinbergMark IsraelDecember 12, 1999 (1999-12-12)
3715"A Parent's Job"Valerie NormanDee Johnson & Valerie WoodsDecember 19, 1999 (1999-12-19)
3816"Homegirl"Janet DavidsonKathleen McGhee-AndersonJanuary 2, 2000 (2000-01-02)
3917"From This Day On"Artie MandelbergNancy MillerJanuary 9, 2000 (2000-01-09)
4018"Hey, Ugly!"Bob McCrackenSibyl GardnerJanuary 16, 2000 (2000-01-16)
4119"Pay Your Dues"Artie MandelbergDayna NorthJanuary 23, 2000 (2000-01-23)
4220"You Think I Am Lying to You?"Joanna KernsDee Johnson & Valerie WoodsJanuary 30, 2000 (2000-01-30)
4321"The Toolshed Behind the Church"Jan EliasbergBob LowryMarch 5, 2000 (2000-03-05)
4422"Who Abandoned Who?"Artie MandelbergMark IsraelMarch 12, 2000 (2000-03-12)

Season 3 (2000-2001)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
451"Nope"Kevin HooksDee Johnson & Bob LowryJuly 23, 2000 (2000-07-23)
462"It's a Good Thing I'm Not Black"Artie MandelbergValerie WoodsJuly 30, 2000 (2000-07-30)
473"Three Hours a Week"Janet DavidsonSibyl GardnerAugust 6, 2000 (2000-08-06)
484"The Dust of Life"Artie MandelbergMark IsraelAugust 13, 2000 (2000-08-13)
495"Three Lucky Ladies on the Line"Joanna KernsBob Lowry & Dayna NorthAugust 20, 2000 (2000-08-20)
506"Nothing Personal"Michael ZinbergSibyl GardnerSeptember 3, 2000 (2000-09-03)
517"Life"Elodie KeeneKathleen McGhee-AndersonSeptember 10, 2000 (2000-09-10)
528"Love Is Love"Janet DavidsonMark IsraelOctober 8, 2000 (2000-10-08)
539"There Are No Rules"Elodie KeeneValerie WoodsOctober 15, 2000 (2000-10-15)
5410"The Outsiders"Michael ZinbergDayna Lynne NorthOctober 29, 2000 (2000-10-29)
5511"It's a Mother-Daughter Thing"Artie MandelbergNancy MillerNovember 5, 2000 (2000-11-05)
5612"Lighten Up, Rene"Janet DavidsonLois JohnsonDecember 3, 2000 (2000-12-03)
5713"Where's the Justice in That?"Joanna KernsDenitria Harris-LawrenceDecember 10, 2000 (2000-12-10)
5814"Five Golden Rings"Artie MandelbergValerie Woods & Dayna Lynne NorthDecember 17, 2000 (2000-12-17)
5915"Life Isn't Fair"Briana LondonBob Lowry & Dayna NorthJanuary 14, 2001 (2001-01-14)
6016"Ten Days? Are You Crazy?"Mark TaylorMark Israel & Dayna NorthJanuary 21, 2001 (2001-01-21)
6117"Tick, Tick, Tick"Valerie NormanNicole Mirante & Nancy MillerFebruary 18, 2001 (2001-02-18)
6218"Don't Tell Me It's Not About Frankie"Janet DavidsonAlexandra Bleckner & Nancy MillerFebruary 25, 2001 (2001-02-25)
6319"What If?"Michael ZinbergMark Israel & Dayna NorthMarch 4, 2001 (2001-03-04)
6420"Children Are the Most Important Thing"Gary A. RandallLois Johnson & Dayna NorthMarch 11, 2001 (2001-03-11)
"It's Not Just a Word"Artie MandelbergNancy Miller, Denitra Harris-Lawrence & Dayna NorthMarch 18, 2001 (2001-03-18)

Season 4 (2001-2002)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
671"Don't Forget to Take Out Your Teeth"Michael ZinbergBob Lowry & Dayna NorthJuly 15, 2001 (2001-07-15)
682"No More Forever"Briana LondonValerie WoodsJuly 22, 2001 (2001-07-22)
693"Everyone Deserves to Be Loved"Artie MandelbergMark Israel & Dayna NorthJuly 29, 2001 (2001-07-29)


Critical reception

Anita Gates, writing for the NY Times at the onset of the series panned the initial episode, stating that it "strains credibility, embraces stereotype and generally falls short of expectations."[3] Lynn Elber, writing for the Associated Press, noted at its premiere that it had taken eight years for 'Any Day Now' to be produced, due to its ground-breaking format of being centered on race as well as the lives of women, and being set in the South.[2]

Howard Rosenberg lauded Any Day Now on airing "It's Not Just a Word," which reflects on the racial slur and its ongoing effect on Black people, calling the episode "Thoughtful, volcanic, important". He praised the show overall for "raking over the still-raw sores of U.S. racism with candor, but also tenderness and humor. He ends his review by saying, ".. if sages of the Academy of Television Arts and Scieces don't grant previously overlooked "Any Day Now" the Emmy attention it deserves this year, they'll have some explaining to do."[4]

Anjali Enjeti praised "Any Day Now" for avoiding white savior plots and racial caricatures, while focusing on impacts of racism rather than white intent, and the commitment of the producers to delve honestly into difficult topics. Enjeti praised the themes of the show including the trauma caused by racism - both internal and systemic - and the privilege to remain silent in the face of oppression. Enjeti concludes, "If there was ever a time to watch a television series's forthright and intrepid depiction of prejudice, hatred, and the long, windy, and sometimes backward road to justice, it's now."[1]

Awards and nominations

Young Artist Awards

All performances were categorized into the "Best Performance in a TV Drama Series" category.

1998–1999[5]All nominees won their own awards
  • Dan Byrd — Supporting Young Actor
  • Shari Dyon Perry — Supporting Young Actress
  • Mae Middleton — Young Actress Age Ten and Under
  • Tony C. Barriere — Guest Starring Young Actor
1999–2000[6] — Neither won an award
  • Supporting Young Actor
    • Dan Byrd
    • Tony C. Barriere
  • Supporting Young Actress
    • Shari Dyon Perry
    • Mae Middleton
    • Olivia Friedman

2000–2001 — (Nominated) Best Family TV Drama Series[7]

Screen Actors Guild Awards

Year Association Category Work Result
1998/99 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Any Day Now Nominated

NAACP Image Awards

Toussaint in 2012
Year Association Category Work Result
1999 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Any Day Now Nominated
2000 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Any Day Now Nominated
2001 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Any Day Now Nominated
2002 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Any Day Now Nominated
2003 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Any Day Now Nominated

Primetime Emmy Awards

2000 Primetime Emmy Awards — (Nominated) Outstanding Costumes for a Series: Mary Anne Aston (Costume Supervisor); Elizabeth P. Palmer (Costume Designer)[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Enjeti, Anjali (January 27, 2017). "How Lifetime's Forgotten TV Series 'Any Day Now' Confronted Racism". Vice. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Elber, Lynn (August 25, 1998). "Tlevision/Technology Column_ 'Any Day Now' took years to find a TV home: Racial theme scared the big networks". Kenosha News. Kenosha, Wisconsin. Associated Press. p. B5.
  3. ^ a b Gates, Anita (August 18, 1998). "Television Review; Little in Common but Friendship". NY Times. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d Rosenberg, Howard (February 2, 2001). "A Bold Look at an Ugly Word on Lifetime's 'Any Day Now'". LA Times. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "Twenty-first Annual Young Artist Awards: 1998–1999." Young Artist Awards, 2000. <>.
  6. ^ "Twenty-Second Annual Young Artist Awards: 1999–2000." Young Artist Awards, 2001. <>.
  7. ^ "Twenty-Third Annual Young Artist Awards: 2000–2001." Young Artist Awards, 2000. <>
  8. ^ "Any Day Now." Emmys, 2000. Web. 20 Feb. 2012 <>.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes