Diana Muldaur and Geraldine Fitzgerald in A Year in the Life.
A Year in the Life was a family drama, that explored the lives of Joe Gardner (Richard Kiley), his children and their partners. Diana Muldaur played Alice Foley, Joe's on-again, off-again romantic interest. Adam Arkin, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Oliver, Wendy Phillips and Jayne Atkinson were also inte cast.

A Year in the Life started as a miniseries in 1986. In the miniseries' first episode, Joe Gardner lost his wife, played by Eva Marie Saint. In the second episode, his life took a new turn when he met Alice Foley in a bicycle race. Joe and Alice became a couple in the third and final part of the miniseries.

The three episode drama gained huge popularity among both viewers and critics. NBC decided to launch a one-hour drama series the following year. When the new series started in 1987, Joe learned that his new love interest was totally different from his wife: Alice was an independent woman who liked to live alone and pay for her own dinner when they went out together. When he proposed, she turned him down. He felt humiliated and broke off their relationship, but returned to her a couple of months later.

A Year in the Life was cancelled after only one season. NBC said that they only wanted one quality show (quality costs money), and the choice fell on L.A. Law. A Year in the Life's ratings were falling. Many fans claim that it depended on the change in focus from Alice and Joe to the shows younger couples. Still, A Year in the Life will be remembered as one of the greatest shows of the eighties. Diana Muldaur herself has praised the show as an example of how television was becoming more realistic about women.