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Once and again

Once and Again is an ABC network drama series created by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. The show first premiered on September 21, 1999.

One of the unique aspects of "Once and Again" was the "interview" sequences filmed in black and white and interspersed throughout each episode where the characters would reveal their innermost thoughts and memories to the camera.

On April 15, 2002, "Once and Again" ended after three seasons and 63 episodes.


Set in Deerfield, Illinois, the show focused on Lily Manning (Sela Ward), a 40-something suburban soccer mother with two daughters: 14-year-old Grace (Julia Whelan) & 9-year-old Zoe (Meredith Deane), recently separted from her husband, Jake (Jeffrey Nordling).

For support, Lily turns to her more free-spirited younger sister, Judy (Marin Hinkle), with whom she works at their bookstore called My Sister's Bookstore (renamed "Booklovers" later in the series).

In the series' pilot episode, Lily's life changes when she meets Rick Sammler (Billy Campbell) in the principal's office of her eldest daughter's school, Upton Sinclair High School.

Rick is a single father of two: 16-year-old son Eli (Shane West) & 12-year-old daughter Jessie (Evan Rachel Wood) and the co-head of an architectural firm, Sammler/Cassili Associates who has been divorced from his uptight ex-wife Karen (Susanna Thompson) for three years.

Immediately, Lily and Rick share a mutual attraction and begin dating, but their budding relationship causes problems in both of their respective families. In addition to their relationship, the show also focused to a lesser degree on their exes, Jake & Karen and their own struggles to move on in a post-divorce environment.

Tv promo


Main Cast

  • Sela Ward as Lily Manning
  • Billy Campbell as Rick Sammler
  • Susanna Thompson as Karen Sammler
  • Shane West as Eli Sammler
  • Julia Whelan as Grace Manning
  • Jeffrey Nordling as Jake Manning
  • Evan Rachel Wood as Jesse Sammler
  • Meredith Deane as Zoe Manning
  • Todd Field as David Cassilli
  • Marin Hinkle as Judy Brooks
  • Ever Carradine as Tiffany Porter (season 2, episodes 36-44 & 3rd season; recurring previously)
  • Jennifer Crystal Foley as Christie Parker (season 2)
  • Steven Weber as Samuel Blue (season 3)

Recurring Cast

  • Kimberly McCullough as Jennifer
  • Kelly Coffield as Naomi Porter
  • James Eckhouse as Lloyd Lloyd
  • Paul Mazursky as Phil Brooks
  • Bonnie Bartlett as Barbara Brooks
  • Mark Feuerstein as Leo Fisher
  • Alexandra Holden as Cassidy
  • Patrick Dempsey as Aaron Brooks
  • Audrey Marie Anderson as Carla Aldrich
  • Mark Valley as Will Gluck
  • D. B. Sweeney as Graham Rympalski
  • Marco Gould as Spencer Lewicki
  • Eric Stoltz as August Dimitri
  • Paul Dooley as Les Creswell
  • Mischa Barton as Katie Singer
  • Christina Chang as Amanda


For her role of Lily Manning on the show, Sela Ward won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Actress-Drama Series" and a Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress-Drama" in 2000.


Season Episodes Originally aired USA and Canada
First aired Last aired
1 22 September 21, 1999

September 10, 2005

April 24, 2000

February 4, 2006

2 22 October 24, 2000

February 11, 2006

May 2, 2001

July 9, 2006

3 19 September 28, 2001

July 16, 2006

April 15, 2002

November 19, 2006

Season 1 (1999–2000) Corus W Network Canada September 10, 2005 and February 4, 2006[]



No. in


Title Directed by Written by Original air date

USA and Canada

1 001 "Boy Meets Girl" Marshall Herskovitz Marshall Herskovitz September 21, 1999

September 10, 2005

Lily Manning is separated with two daughters, Grace and Zoe. Rick Sammler has been divorced for three years with a teenage boy Eli and a daughter Jessie. They meet by chance one day when Grace is injured during a soccer game at their kids' school. Rick decides to ask Lily out and the two start dating while juggling their family problems. After a few dates, they end up at Lily’s house but are surprised by her children and her ex walking in on them making out on the couch.
2 002 "Let's Spend the Night Together" Marshall Herskovitz Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick September 28, 1999

September 17, 2005

Rick and Lily want to take their relationship to the next level. While out on a lunch, they run into an ex-girlfriend of Rick. Rick is embarrassed and Lily becomes anxious about being intimate for the first time since separating from Jake. Eli asks his father advice about sleeping with his girlfriend Jennifer for the first time. A rumor starts at school about Eli and Grace.
3 003 "The Scarlet Letter Jacket" Dan Lerner Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick October 5, 1999

September 24, 2005

Rick, Karen, Jake and Lily all sign up to help with the school carnival. Lily and Karen are paired together to work a booth but Karen still doesn't know about Lily dating her ex husband. Lily acts awkwardly all day around Karen, while Jake and Rick seem to get along. Eli and Grace also work the popcorn booth together but Grace becomes embarrassed when some girls at school make fun of her for being interested in Eli.
4 004 "Liars and Other Strangers" Ron Lagomarsino Winnie Holzman October 12, 1999

October 1, 2005

Lily and Rick try to find a place to spend time together without the risk of being interrupted by their kids. Judy offers to lend her place and ends up meeting Rick. She expresses her doubts about him to Lily. Eli lies to Karen about his dad being with Lily to protect her feelings.
5 005 "There Be Dragons" Robert Lieberman Liberty Godshall October 19, 1999

October 8, 2005

Rick arranges to have Lily stop by his place when his kids are there in order to introduce her. When Rick cuts himself while cooking, Lily helps handling the situation, which leads to some tension with Jessie. Jessie gets her first period. Jake tries to get back together with LIly, who refuses.
6 006 "A Dream Deferred" Scott Winant Jan Oxenberg October 26, 1999

October 15, 2005

Lily discovers that Jake hasn't paid the mortgage. She is hit with the reality that she has to take care of herself and be more careful about her financial situation and arrangement with Jake. At the bookstore, Judy wants to remodel but her plans are taken over by Lily and Rick. Judy, feeling left out and unable to help her sister, considers moving on from the bookstore.
7 007 "The Ex-Files" Robert Allan Black Winnie Holzman November 2, 1999

October 22, 2005

Rick and Karen both attend Eli's weekend basketball tournament. The situation brings some awkwardness between the two. Grace and Zoey spend the weekend at Jake's and meet a friend of his, Tiffany, who he has a romantic history with. Grace is uncomfortable and calls Lily for help, which leads to a fight with her father.
8 008 "The Past Is Prologue" Patrick R. Norris and Claudia Weill Winnie Holzman November 9, 1999

October 29, 2005

Rick has to work non stop on an important architecture project for his firm. He tries to juggle working and spending time with Lily. The situation triggers memories from their past marriages and how Lily would spend time waiting around on Jake, and Rick would be criticized by Karen for working too much.
9 009 "Outside Hearts" Todd Field Alexa Junge November 16, 1999

November 5, 2005

Lily goes away for a convention and leaves her daughters with Judy. Judy naively lets Grace go to an unsupervised party. Karen and Rick decide to trust Eli with driving to the same party. At the party, things turn bad leaving Grace in shock and Eli trying to be responsible under pressure.
10 010 "Thanksgiving" Claudia Weill Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick November 23, 1999

November 12, 2005

Lily's parents, Phil and Barbara, visit for Thanksgiving. They decide to go see Jake at the restaurant, ignoring Lily's complaints. Lily and Judy discover that Jake still owes money to their parents. Phil empathizes with Jake's situation and tries to convince Lily to give her marriage another chance. Rick spends Thanksgiving alone while Karen invites a coworker, Lloyd, over for dinner.
11 011 "Where There's Smoke" Edward Zwick Michael Weller December 7, 1999

November 19, 2005

A small fire at Lily's house leads to Jake spending more time at her house to fix wiring issues. At Karen's, Eli asks to move into the basement with some help from Rick. Karen has trouble accepting that Eli wants more independence. Lily organizes a dinner to officially introduce Rick to her daughters. Jake has problems at the restaurant which worries Lily and Grace. Jake confides in Lily bringing them closer together.
12 012 "The Gingerbread House" Dan Lerner Pamela Gray and Winnie Holzman December 21, 1999

November 26, 2005

After sleeping with Jake, Lily is uncomfortable around Rick and tries to hide it from him. Rick figures out something is wrong and tries to learn the truth. Grace, who saw her parents together, think Lily and Jake are getting back together.
13 013 "Mediation" Peter Horton Pamela Gray January 24, 2000

December 3, 2005

Rick and Lily each try to deal with their breakup but decides to get back together. Lily and Jake start mediation in their divorce proceedings and Lily worries about having to sell the house. Pushed by Jennifer, Grace starts tutoring Eli. Rick begins working with a difficult new client, Miles Drentell, which puts him at odds with his business partner, David.
14 014 "Sneaky Feelings" Claudia Weill Daniel Paige and Sue Paige January 31, 2000

December 10, 2005

Karen has a new client, Leo Fischer, whom she's attracted to. Eli wants some space from Jennifer and starts to hang out with another girl, Cassidy. Jessie, who likes Jennifer, is uncomfortable with her brother's actions.
15 015 "The Mystery Dance" Dan Lerner Daniel Paige and Sue Paige February 7, 2000

December 17, 2005

Judy goes on a dating spree. At an art gallery, she meets Sam Blue, a sculptor working on a project for Miles Drentell with Rick. Lily and Rick try to mend their relationship but Rick has trouble letting go of her infidelity.
16 016 "Daddy's Girl" Barnet Kellman Liberty Godshall February 14, 2000

December 24, 2005

Jake's restaurant is reopening and Lily's father, Phil, visits them for the occasion. Lily is in financial trouble because Jake maxed out their credit card for the restaurant. She decides to hire a divorce lawyer which escalates the situation with Jake. Grace meets a boy in school that she has a lot in common with.
17 017 "Unfinished Business" Edward Zwick Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick March 6, 2000

December 31, 2005

Lily applies for a job in a magazine. Lily's father, Phil has a car accident with Grace. Recovering from minor injuries at Lily's house, he collapses on the floor. The family gathers in the hospital to face his difficult health predicament.
18 018 "Strangers and Brothers" Marshall Herskovitz Richard Kramer March 13, 2000

January 7, 2006

Aaron, Lily's brother, reunites with the family for their father's funeral. They also have to deal with Phil's will and find out that he put his family in charge of the restaurant over Jake.
19 019 "Cat-in-Hat" Claudia Weill Michael Weller April 3, 2000

January 14, 2006

As Karen and Leo grow closer together, they are forced to define their relationship when Leo invites himself over to Karen's and meets the kids. Eli becomes interested in joining a band and manipulates his parents in order to go see the band in a bar. His lies are discovered when he bumps into Karen at the bar. Jessie gets upset about her karate belt test when she realizes that boys treat her differently because she's better than them.
20 020 "My Brilliant Career" Dan Lerner Jan Oxenberg April 10, 2000

January 21, 2006

Lily starts her new job at the magazine with Chrissy Parker. Overwhelmed by her new responsabilities and her family life, she struggles to find her place and show her skills.

Grace has a date with Jared to go see his father play jazz in a club. After a conversation with Tiffany, Grace understands that she started seeing her father when he was still with Lily.

21 021 "Letting Go" Peter Horton Alexa Junge April 17, 2000

January 28, 2006

Rick and Lily find out that Judy has been seeing Sam even though he's still married. Being out of her bubble with Sam leads to Judy to make decisions about her relationship. Jake tries to mend his relationship with Grace after she discovered he cheated on Lily with Tiffany. When Rick gets sick with pneumonia without her noticing, Lily realizes she's been taking him for granted.
22 022 "A Door, About to Open" Dan Lerner Winnie Holzman April 24, 2000

February 4, 2006

Lily and Rick decide to organize a dinner to officially introduce their kids. It triggers a domino effect of everyone trying to figure out their places in the family. Lily realizes that her friends hang out without her anymore since she started dating Rick. Rick is in a lot of stress at his firm because of the pressure Miles puts on him. Grace is forced to have a difficult conversation with Eli about his girlfriend Cassidy. Judy bonds with Karen when she visits the bookstore.

Season 2 (2000 2001) Corus W Network Canada February 11, 2006 and July 9, 2006[]

Episodes in USA Episodes in Canada Title Directed by Written by Original air date

USA and Canada

23 023 "Wake Up, Little Susie" Marshall Herskovitz Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick October 24, 2000

February 11, 2006

24 025 "BookLovers" Dan Lerner Winnie Holzman October 31, 2000

February 25, 2006

25 024 "I Can't Stand Up (For Falling Down)" Peter Horton Sue Paige & Daniel Paige November 14, 2000

February 18, 2006

26 030 "Feast or Famine" Claudia Weill Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick November 21, 2000

April 1, 2006

27 026 "Ozymandias" 2.0 Michael Engler Joseph Dougherty November 28, 2000

March 4, 2006

28 031 "Food for Thought" Edward Zwick Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick December 5, 2000

April 8, 2006

29 027 "Learner's Permit" Arvin Brown Liberty Godshall December 19, 2000

March 11, 2006

30 028 "Life Out of Balance" James Eckhouse Lynn Siefert January 10, 2001

March 18, 2006

31 029 "Scribbling Rivalry" Dan Lerner Jan Oxenberg January 17, 2001

March 25, 2006

32 032 "Love's Laborer's Lost" Michael Engler Emily Whitesell January 24, 2001

April 15, 2006

33 033 "Thieves Like Us" Claudia Weill Winnie Holzman January 31, 2001

April 23, 2006

34 034 "Suspicion" James Eckhouse Liberty Godshall February 7, 2001

April 30, 2006

35 037 "Edifice Wrecked" Dan Lerner Winnie Holzman February 14, 2001

May 21, 2006

36 035 "The Other End of the Telescope" Robert Berlinger Sue Paige & Daniel Paige March 7, 2001

May 7, 2006

37 038 "Standing Room Only" Arlene Sanford Jan Oxenberg March 14, 2001

May 28, 2006

38 036 "Aaron's Getting Better" James Kramer Richard Kramer March 21, 2001

May 14, 2006

39 039 "Forgive Us Our Trespasses" Dan Lerner Story by : Lynn Siefert

Teleplay by : Lynn Siefert and Winnie Holzman

March 28, 2001

June 4, 2006

40 040 "Best of Enemies" Barnet Kellman Emily Whitesell April 4, 2001

June 11, 2006

41 041 "Armageddon" Part 1 Marshall Herskovitz Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick April 11, 2001

June 18, 2006

42 042 "Won't Someone Please Help George Bailey Tonight?" Dan Lerner Liberty Godshall and Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick April 18, 2001

June 25, 2006

43 043 "Moving On" Ken Collins Sue Paige & Daniel Paige April 25, 2001

July 2, 2006

44 044 "The Second Time Around" Dan Lerner Winnie Holzman May 2, 2001

July 9, 2006

Season 3 (2001 2002) Corus W Network Canada July 16, 2006 and November 19, 2006[]

Episodes in USA Episodes in Canada Title Directed by Written by Original air date

USA and Canada

45 045 "Busted" Dan Lerner Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick September 28, 2001

July 16, 2006

46 046 "The Awful Truth" Michael Engler Winnie Holzman October 5, 2001

July 23, 2006

47 047 "Kind of Blue" Peter Horton Richard Kramer October 12, 2001

July 30, 2006

48 048 "Acting Out" Michael Engler Sue Paige & Daniel Paige October 19, 2001

August 6, 2006

49 049 "Destiny Turns On the Radio" Ken Collins Winnie Holzman November 2, 2001

August 13, 2006

50 050 "Jake and the Women" Mark Piznarski Sue Paige & Daniel Paige November 9, 2001

August 20, 2006

51 051 "Chaos Theory" James Eckhouse Liberty Godshall November 23, 2001

August 27, 2006

52 052 "The Sex Show" Dan Lerner Emily Whitesell November 30, 2001

September 3, 2006

53 053 "Tough Love" Jim Kramer Maggie Friedman December 7, 2001

September 10, 2006

54 054 "Pictures" Dan Lerner Alexa Junge December 14, 2001

September 17, 2006

55 055 "Taking Sides" Mark Piznarski David Schulner January 4, 2002

September 24, 2006

56 056 "Gardenia" Edward Zwick Richard Kramer January 11, 2002

October 1, 2006

57 057 "Falling in Place" Eric Stoltz Sue Paige & Daniel Paige March 4, 2002

Octboer 8, 2006

58 058 "The Gay-Straight Alliance" Patrick Norris Winnie Holzman and Maggie Friedman March 11, 2002

October 15, 2006

59 059 "One Step (Parent) Backward" Elodie Keene David Schulner March 18, 2002

October 22, 2006

60 060 "Aaron's List of Dreams" Dan Lerner Richard Kramer March 25, 2002

October 29, 2006

61 061 "Experience Is the Teacher" Matt Shakman Winnie Holzman and Maggie Friedman April 1, 2002

November 5, 2006

62 062 "Losing You" Jim Kramer Liberty Godshall April 8, 2002

November 12, 2006

63 063 "Chance of a Lifetime" Dan Lerner Sue Paige & Daniel Paige and Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick April 15, 2002

November 19, 2006


The series was filmed at the Century Studio Corporation sound stages in Culver City, California, and also on location in the Los Angeles area.

DVD releases[]

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (formerly Buena Vista Home Entertainment) released Season 1 on November 5, 2002, mere months after the series finale. However, it took three more years and numerous petition drives for season two to be released, which occurred on August 23, 2005. A little over a month later, on September 30, 2005, news broke about the release of the third and final season, which was slated to occur on January 10, 2006. Mock-up photos of the packaging were even released. However, by October 2005 the title was delayed indefinitely with no explanation and was never released.

It was almost two years before another official word was uttered on the subject and in July 2007, it was reported that Buena Vista's license on the program was soon to expire. As a result, a new company could acquire the distribution rights to the title and potentially release the third season.[2]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season 1 22 November 5, 2002
Season 2 22 August 23, 2005
Season 3 19


Season Timeslot (EST/EDT)[3] Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Rank Viewers

(in millions)

18–49 Average
1 Tuesday 10:00 p.m.

(September 21 – December 21, 1999)
Monday 10:00 p.m.
(January 24 – April 24, 2000)

September 21, 1999 April 24, 2000 1999–2000 #51[4] 10.93 7.9/13
2 Tuesday 10:00 p.m.

(October 24 – December 19, 2000)
Wednesday 10:00 p.m.
(January 10 – May 2, 2001)

October 24, 2000 May 2, 2001 2000–2001 #84[5] 8.5 N/A
3 Friday 10:00 p.m.

(September 28, 2001 – January 11, 2002)
Monday 10:00 p.m.
(March 4 – April 15, 2002)

September 28, 2001 April 15, 2002 2001–2002 #107[6] 6.7 N/A


Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Once and Again


  1. ^ 
  2. ^ "Once and Again on DVD, Release Info, News at" Archived 2012-10-21 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved on 30 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Once and Again –", Retrieved on 30 October 2011.
  4. ^ "US-Jahrescharts 1999/2000",, 30 May 2002. Retrieved on 30 October 2011.
  5. ^ "The Bitter End",, 1 June 2001. Retrieved on 30 October 2011.
  6. ^ "How did your favorite show rate?", USA Today, 28 May 2002. Retrieved on 30 October 2011.

External links[edit][]

  • Once and Again on IMDb 
  • Once and Again at