Fans of 90s TV can “snap a smile” because the Russo Residence from “Blossom” has just hit the open market! Now I know what fans of the popular series, which aired on NBC from 1991 to 1995, must be thinking. Wow! The pad pictured above certainly doesn’t look like the place Blossom Russo (Mayim Bialik) and his family call home. And they would be right. Unfortunately, the traditional colonial-style residence was extensively renovated after filming and no longer looks like its own sitcom. But if you have an extra $3,999,999, the revamped version can now be yours. The sale marks the first time the place has been up for grabs since its current owners bought it in 1987, long before “Blossom” hit the airwaves.
Conceived by executive producer Don Reo, the teen-centric situational comedy focused on the trials and tribulations of spunky high schooler Blossom, her single dad, hip musician Nick (Ted Wass), and her two older brothers. , Anthony (Michael Stoyanov), recovering drug addict, and the adorable idiot Joey (Joey Lawrence). Reo was inspired to create the show after attending a party at the home of his friend, singer/songwriter Dion DiMucci of Dion and the Belmonts fame. In his 2009 book “Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales,” Reo writes, “In the summer of 1989, I went to Florida to celebrate Dion DiMucci’s fiftieth birthday. . . While there, I noticed how Dion and his wife, Susan, interacted with their three daughters. Their behavior was normal. Normal except for the fact that the father in this scenario was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This gave me the beginning of an idea for a show, a family sitcom, in which the father would be more connected than those who were then on television. Reo tied the premise to a concept he had toyed with, centering on a main Holden Caulfield character named Richie, who had a younger sister named Blossom. After pitching the idea to NBC, network executives implored him to rewrite the series, canceling Richie’s character and making Blossom the focus instead.
At the time, a prime time show carried by a young girl was quite unprecedented. On top of that, weekly storylines tackled issues such as menstruation, single parenthood, and teenage sexuality, all of which are commonplace on the small screen today but were groundbreaking in the early 90s. Pilot scene in which Blossom discusses the female reproductive system with guest star Phylicia Rashad was nearly cut due to sensor reluctance. As noted in a 1991 Chicago Tribune article, “This is TV sitcom ground that Gidget and Lucy wouldn’t recognize!” However, the innovative series resonated with audiences, instantly becoming must-have programming for teens and turning the whimsically fashionable Blossom into a modern role model for young viewers.
And the Russo House was at the center of it all.