In 1997, Kirstie Alley had just planned for a divorce from her husband Parker, when she received a phone call from NBC. The producers of Friends were ready to start a new sitcom and they jumped at the chance to work with Kirstie. When she agreed to a contract she got 2 million dollars up front and an additional 150 thousand dollars per episode. She played Veronica, The Queen of Romance.
Kirstie and the producers worked together to find the perfect set of characters for the show. This inluded Josh, the sexually confused sidekick of Ronnie; Perry, the ex-thong model; Olive the one who keeps it all together; Leo, the good guy; and Bryce, Ronnie's soon-to-be ex-husband.
The show was safely between Frasier and ER, on the must-see TV line-up on Thursday. It always rated in the top 10, the first season and seemed to be a hit. Critics nit-picked about Kirstie's weight after her divorce finally came through, even though the public loved Kirstie. She won the People's Choice Awards in the first season for her role as Veronica. She was nominated for an Emmy award, also.
Unhappy with the show, NBC revamped it in season 2. Several characters were dropped with no explanation (Pat, Pepper, Virginia, and Bryce), and Alec was brought in, to play a love intrest for Veronica. Through this season, ratings droped slightly, even though it remained in the top 15 most weeks.
Kirstie was living on cloud nine with her younger boyfriend, James, but the show was doomed in 1999. It was banished from must-see TV that season and put on Monday night, which was NBC's worst night for ratings. It played after Suddenly Susan, which was also suffering.
In this third and final season (1999-2000), NBC "retooled" the show, yet again. Kirstie lost weight and changed her hair to blonde, Alec died, a new boss for Ronnie was brought in, and the offices were redecorated. With a hip new theme song and fresh storylines, Veronica's Closet looked like a whole new show. It may have done well if it were on Thursday, but with little promotion it went from being in the top 10 to being number 108 out of 160-something shows.
In May of 2000, Veronica's Closet was on a hiatus, as was Suddenly Susan which went through a similar revamping that year. It came back in June and aired several episodes with no promotion. That didn't last long and it was canceled with several episodes being unaired. NBC even cracked jokes at how they canceled the show on a press tour.
Meanwhile, Kirstie had broken up with her boyfriend and things didn't look good for her. Later that year USA Network, on cable, started airing the show in syndication and the previously unaired episodes were shown that December.