Recently widowed Edie (Linda Lavin) comes to New York to visit daughter, Jill (Patricia Heaton), who's a morning TV talk show producer. While sitting in the audience, Edie insults the guest, a pretentious fashion designer, and finds herself with a job doing a daily commentary on the show.
Since moving to New York, Edie's been bunking with Jill. With her mother really cramping her style and cutting into her alone time with her boyfriend, Matt, Jill sets out on a mission to find Edie an apartment. Edie, however, is reluctant to dive into a new apartment, but she eventually settles on a gorgeous apartment with a friendly, but extremely eccentric neighbor.
Outraged with programming for sweeps week, Edie improvises during her daily commentary and urges viewers to send a message to network programmers by switching channels during sweeps. This outrages WXOR's management, who warn Jill to gain control of Edie -- and have her plug their progamming. Jill confronts her mom, but Edie won't agree to to endorse their shows. Meanwhile, ""Wake Up, New York""'s hosts sink to new degrading lows in an attempt to gain ratings.
Edie overextends herself and wants to help everyone. For starters, there's Diahnn, who's having problems with Reid. Naomi has the flu and Edie tries to comfort her. Ken needs help labeling his catalogues, so it's Edie to the rescue. Even her mother calls seeking advice. But the one person she can't help is Jill, who was planning a Caribbean vacation with Matt, while he was making plans to break up with her.
Edie's been acting mysteriously cheerful, which leads Jill to suspect that she's sleeping with Ken. So when her mother's mood takes a sudden nosedive, Jill does what any child would do -- she confronts Ken, unaware that there's nothing going on between them. In the meantime, Jill herself is depressed that she has to attend a friend's wedding with no date.
Jill and Edie take a psychology class together, in hopes of broadening their horizons and having some fun in the process. But things don't become fun for Jill, who feels inadequate and becomes competitive when her mother becomes a star pupil.
Jill recieves notification that she and Matt have won and RV in a contest they entered as a joke while they were still dating, so they decide to sell the RV and split the cash. Matt arrives at the office with paperwork, and winds up telling Edie that he misses Jill. So when they see each other again, Jill expects a reconciliation, though it's slow to come. Meanwhile, Ken recieves an annoying self-help book from his sister.
When Jill buys furniture for Edie's new apartment, she learns that her mother's tastes have changed.
Jill lies about an invitation to a small party to get away for a weekend.
Edie's first date in New York is at an all-night roller derby.
Edie is afraid of the surgery required to remove a painful bone spur from her foot.
Jill is caught in the middle when Ken takes Edie to a party and befriends another woman.
Matt and Edie con Jill into a mother-daughter double date at his exclusive private club.
Ken breaks a date with Edie and renews his relationship with his ex-wife.
Edie has a hot flash and spontaneously shares her experiences with menopause while co-hosting a live telethon with Dick Cavett.
Edie has a live theater date on the same night as Jill's memorial service for her father.
Edie's childhood fear of dogs resurfaces when she is asked to babysit Jill's new pet.
Edie campaigns for a raise after a male co-worker receives one.
Edie's son comes for a visit.
It's time for a mother-daughter talk about sex.
Edie recieves her collection of books, which a relative was keeping for her, which reminds Matt that he used to want to be a writer. Edie agrees to read some of Matt's short stories and is so taken with his writing, that she encourages him to write a novel. Matt goes all out and quits his job, and urges Jill to move away and take a job at a television studio upstate.
After Keith learns that Jill and Matt went their separate ways, he asks her to dinner. The engagement goes sour, however, when Keith tells her that he lured away Clark Kent, the British rocker Naomi had booked for Wake Up, New York. Meanwhile, Edie is stunned when Jack proposes to her.
Jill's upset when Edie invites some old friends to drop by for a visit.
Edie and her mother come to terms with their unstable relationship.