Alice is an American television sitcom that ran from August 31, 1976 to March 19, 1985 on CBS. The series is based on the 1974 film "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore." The show stars Linda Lavin in the title role, a widow who moves with her young son to start life over again, and finds a job working at a roadside diner in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Most of the episodes revolve around events at Mel's Diner, where Alice is employed.
Alice Hyatt (Lavin) is an unemployed widow after her husband, Donald, is killed in a trucking accident, and with her young son Tommy (played by Alfred Lutter in the pilot episode, reprising his role from the movie, but played by Philip McKeon thereafter) heads from their New Jersey home to Los Angeles so that she can pursue a singing career. Her car breaks down on the way in Phoenix (from a presumed engine fire, as seen in the opening credits), and we meet her soon after she has taken a job as a waitress at Mel's Diner, on the outskirts of Phoenix. (The later seasons' exterior shots were of a real diner, named Mel's, still in operation in Phoenix.) Alice works alongside Mel Sharples (Vic Tayback), the grouchy, stingy owner and cook of the greasy spoon, and fellow waitresses and friends, sassy, man-hungry Florence Jean "Flo" Castleberry (Polly Holliday), and neurotic, scatterbrained Vera Louise Gorman (Beth Howland).
Flo's catchphrase, "Kiss my grits!", enjoyed widespread popularity at the time the character appeared on Alice. According to Polly Holliday, the line was originally written as, "Kiss my honeydew!", but did not get any laughs. (In the original film, Flo, as played by Diane Ladd, tells Mel in one scene to, "Kiss me where the sun don't shine.")