227 is an American situation comedy that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, until May 6, 1990. The series stars Marla Gibbs as a sharp-tongued, inner-city resident gossip and housewife, Mary Jenkins. It was produced by Embassy Television from 1985 to 1986 and by Embassy Communications from 1986 until 1988; then ELP Communications through Columbia Pictures Television produced the series in its final two seasons (1988–1990).
227 followed the lives of people in a middle-class apartment building in Washington, D.C. The show was centered around Mary Jenkins (Marla Gibbs), a nosy, tart-tongued housewife. Her husband, Lester (Hal Williams), had his own construction company, and their daughter, Brenda (Regina King), was boy-crazy yet smart and studious. It was King’s first acting role.
Also cast in 227 was Sandra Clark (Jackée Harry), Mary’s young, sexy building friend who constantly bickered back and forth with her about their respective views on life. Although their relationship was antagonistic at first, Mary and Sandra became good friends as time went on. Also living in the building was Pearl Shay (Helen Martin), a feisty-but-kind-hearted busybody neighbor who was known for snooping and had a sharp sense of humor. Pearl had a grandson named Calvin Dobbs (Curtis Baldwin), whom Brenda had a crush on and would finally date later in the series’ run.
Rose Lee Holloway (Alaina Reed Hall) was the kindhearted best friend to all. She had a daughter named Tiffany (Kia Goodwin), who disappeared after the second season. In the premiere episode, Rose became the unexpected landlord of the building after the building’s stingy slumlord Mr. Calloway (who was constantly mentioned but never seen onscreen) died. Rose stayed on as landlady until the fourth season.
In the first season, both Helen Martin and Curtis Baldwin, who had only been recurring stars, appeared in nearly every episode. In the second season’s opening credits, Martin and Baldwin shared a title card, thus making them official full-time cast members. Martin had her own title card for the third and fifth seasons, while Regina King and Baldwin shared a title card together in those years.