Alice: The Coffee Is Always Hot At Mel’s Diner

Alice is a classic television show that originally aired in the late 70s and early 80s. The show is a sitcom that follows the life of Alice Hyatt, a widow who moves to Phoenix, Arizona, with her son to start a new life. Alice works as a waitress at Mel’s Diner, where she meets a cast of colorful characters and navigates the ups and downs of life.

the cast of the tv show alice

The show ran for nine seasons from 1976 to 1985, with 202 episodes. The cast included Linda Lavin as Alice, Vic Tayback as Mel, Beth Howland as Vera, and Philip McKeon as Alice’s son, Tommy. The show’s theme song, “There’s a New Girl in Town,” was performed by Linda Lavin and became a hit in its own right.

The show was created by Robert Getchell and is based on the 1974 movie Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, directed by Martin Scorsese.

The show was a hit with audiences and critics alike, earning three Golden Globe nominations and one Emmy nomination.


Alice falls under the comedy-drama genre, which combines elements of both genres. The show’s humor is derived from the characters’ interactions with one another and their daily struggles. The drama comes from the characters’ personal lives and the issues they face, which are often relatable to the audience.

We are listing Alice in the comedy genre, but definitely acknowledge that it was more than a sitcom. The show addressed serious topics such as poverty, domestic violence, and women’s rights. In many ways, it was ahead of its time.

The show’s setting, Mel’s Diner, also adds to the genre. The diner is a central location where the characters gather and interact. The diner serves as a microcosm of society, where people from all walks of life come together and share their stories. Think of it as the Central Perk of the show…

the iconic Mel's Diner sign from the television show ALice

Alice: Number of Episodes

The television show Alice aired from 1976 to 1985 and had a total of 202 episodes.

Here is a breakdown of the number of episodes per season:

Season 124
Season 224
Season 322
Season 424
Season 524
Season 624
Season 722
Season 814

Although the show did not have any official spin-offs, it did have a crossover episode with another popular sitcom, Flo, which followed the life of another waitress who worked at Mel’s Diner. The show also had several memorable quotes, including Alice’s catchphrase, “Kiss my grits!”

The Cast of Alice

The main cast of the show included:

  • Linda Lavin as Alice Hyatt
  • Polly Holliday as Florence Jean “Flo” Castleberry
  • Vic Tayback as Mel Sharples
  • Beth Howland as Vera Louise Gorman
  • Philip McKeon as Tommy Hyatt

The chemistry between the cast members was one of the main reasons for the show’s success. Linda Lavin’s portrayal of Alice Hyatt was widely appreciated, and she won a Golden Globe award for her performance in the show. Polly Holliday’s character, Flo, became so popular that she was given her own spin-off show titled “Flo.”

Photo Credit: The Everett Collection

Other notable actors who appeared in the show include Celia Weston, Diane Ladd, Martha Raye, and Charles Levin. The show also had several guest appearances by famous actors such as Jerry Reed, Bill Macy, and George Burns.

Philip McKeon, who played Tommy, evolved into a teenage heartthrob for his good looks and gorgeous smile. You might recognize that last name from another McKeon who starred in a 1970s hit television show, his sister, Nancy McKeon, from Facts of Life.

Theme Song

The theme song of Alice is an iconic piece of music that has become synonymous with the show. The song, titled “There’s a New Girl in Town,” was written by David Shire and Alan Bergman and performed by Linda Lavin, who played the lead character, Alice Hyatt.

The song is a catchy and upbeat tune that perfectly captures the spirit of the show. Its lyrics tell the story of Alice’s journey from her small hometown to Phoenix, Arizona, where she takes a job as a waitress at a greasy spoon diner. The song’s opening lines, “There’s a new girl in town, and she’s looking good,” perfectly capture Alice’s newfound confidence and determination.

The theme song was so popular that it was released as a single in 1977 and reached number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).

Over the course of the show’s nine seasons, the theme song remained unchanged, becoming a beloved part of the show’s legacy. Even today, fans of the show can’t hear the opening notes of “There’s a New Girl in Town” without feeling a sense of nostalgia for the show’s heyday.

Raise your hand if you have belted out that opening sequence with wild abandon. Everyone here at Television Hits has!


The success of Alice led to a spin-off vehicle for one of its most beloved characters, Flo.


Flo premiered in 1980 and starred Polly Holliday as her character, Flo Castleberry. The show was set in Fort Worth, Texas, where Flo had moved to after leaving Mel’s Diner. Flo worked as a waitress at a bar and grill called The Yellow Rose and lived in an apartment above the establishment. The show only lasted for one season, with a total of 29 episodes.

Alice and Flo from the tv show Alice

Famous Quotes

Alice had many memorable quotes, some of which may bring a nostalgic smile to your face. Here are some of the most famous quotes from the show:

  • “Kiss my grits!” – Flo Castleberry
  • “When you’re up to your hips in alligators, it’s hard to remember to drain the swamp.” – Mel Sharples
  • “You’re a real pip!” – Vera Louise Gorman
  • “I’m not just a waitress. I’m a personality.” – Alice Hyatt