NEW YORK – Sarah Jessica Parker is only the latest in a string of TV stars to grow ever bigger on the small screen.
The first, of course, was Lucille Ball — whose tender condition the I Love Lucy writers worked into the show.
Back then, the word "pregnancy" was verboten on TV, so Lucy was officially "expecting," and filled out her frilly aprons accordingly.
So impeccable was her timing that "little Ricky" was born on TV the same day she gave birth to her real-life son, Desi.
It seems that TV has two choices — to "do a Lucy" (i.e. write the star's pregnancy into the plot) or simply pretend that nothing is amiss.
Seinfeld, the leader in nothingness, treated Julia Louis-Dreyfus' pregnancy with a nonchalance bordering on outrageous neglect.
In one episode, the infamous "Yada Yada Yada" broadcast of April 24, 1997, Elaine peeled an orange, held strategically in front of her stomach; sat in a chair wearing a fully buttoned coat; loitered in the usual coffee shop, her bulging stomach hidden both by the table and her coffee cup; slouched in a church pew with a shoulder bag draped over her belly, and — in the most ingenious stroke of all — used Kramer's "little person" friend, a bearded dwarf named Mickey, to shield her.
More recently, Jane Leeves' pregnancy had the writers of Frasier scrambling for ways to explain why Daphne — the dotty, still-single home-health aide Leeves plays — was growing bigger by the week.
In one show, both Frasier and his brother, Niles, tactfully suggest Daphne lay off the chocolates.
It remains to be seen just how Sex and the City writers will handle Parker's impending bundle of joy, but perhaps they'll take a leaf from All My Children.
On that soap, a pre-"Regis" Kelly Ripa spent part of her real-life pregnancy as a kidnap victim hidden deep in a cave.
No cunning little midriffs and high-heeled Manolos for her!