Phyllis and Bess moved in with Lars' mother Audrey Dexter (Jane Rose) and stepfather Judge Jonathan Dexter (Henry Jones), and Phyllis took a job as an assistant in a photographic studio. The owner, Julie Erskine, was played by Barbara Colby, who had appeared in a recurring role as a different character on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Colby was murdered after three episodes of Phyllis had been filmed, and the part was assumed by Liz Torres. Much of the first season's humor stemmed from Phyllis' attempts to fit into the job market, after having lived most of her life as the spoiled wife of a rich physician.
During the second and final season, Phyllis would switch jobs and work as an administrative assistant for San Francisco City Supervisor Dan Valenti (Carmine Caridi). Elderly actress Judith Lowry also appeared as Mother Dexter, Jonathan's mother and Phyllis' main nemesis. Accordingly, she was better than everyone when it came to putting Phyllis in her place. In a 1976 episode, Mother Dexter married the similarly aged Arthur Lanson (Burt Mustin); both Lowry and Mustin died within a month of the episode's airing. Bess also found romance with Mark Valenti (Craig Wasson), the nephew of Phyllis' boss, whom she later married. In the final episode, Bess announced that she was pregnant with their first child.