The original Nancy, actress Elayne Heilveil , declined an offer to continue in the role after the original six part miniseries was ordered to regular series. For the second season, producers Nigel and Carol Evan McKeand replaced Heilveil with Jane Actman , whose appearance and mannerisms were similar to Heilveil's. Actman completed the first filmed episode of the 1976-77 season; however, she was abruptly replaced by ABC chief Fred Silverman, who actively pursued Meredith Baxter for the part. In her autobiography Untied, Baxter stated that she was reluctant to accept the job because she had two young children at home, but Silverman convinced her with a promise that the role would be recurring, giving her enough time to perform on the series while also raising her children. According to Baxter, Silverman replaced Actman because he felt the family dynamic would be enhanced with a blonde actress as Nancy. Arguably, Baxter became best known in the 1970s for playing Nancy Lawrence , a role which earned her two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress.
The opening credits lists the following title card: "A Mike Nichols Production" Nichols is not listed as an Executive Producer of the show. However, his production company, Icarus Productions, is listed in the show's end credits.