Family Ties

NBC (ended 1989)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 7 : Ep 26

    Alex Doesn't Live Here Anymore (2)

    Aired 5/14/89

  • S 7 : Ep 25

    Alex Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1)

    Aired 5/14/89

  • S 7 : Ep 24

    Mr. Keaton Takes a Vacation

    Aired 5/7/89

  • S 7 : Ep 23

    Wrap Around the Clock (2)

    Aired 4/23/89

  • S 7 : Ep 22

    Wrap Around the Clock (1)

    Aired 4/23/89

  • Cast & Crew
  • Michael J. Fox

    Alex P. Keaton

  • Michael Gross

    Steven Keaton

  • Meredith Baxter Birney

    Elyse Donnelly Keaton

  • Justine Bateman

    Mallory Keaton

  • Brian Bonsall

    Andrew Keaton - Seasons 5 - 7

  • Photos (1)
  • show Description
  • Family Ties first aired in September of 1982 on NBC and was one of the first of a wave of family comedies that emerged in the 1980's. With a rocky start in the ratings, Family Ties rose to number 2 after it was placed in the prized time-slot right after The Cosby Show and remained there from 1984 until 1987. The series centered around the Keaton family, Steven and his wife Elyse, both flower children of the 1960's. They had four children, Alex, Mallory, Jennifer and Andrew, who was born in 1985. What was unique about Family Ties was that it blended family comedy with politics. The 1960's flower children, Steven and Elyse clashed with the 1980's conservative, Alex. The show, in a way, showed the changing values during the Reagan era. Besides political views, Family Ties covered a number of controversial topics ranging from suicide to racism to drug dependency. Skippy was a neighbor who had a never-ending crush on Mallory. Ellen was Alex's first serious girlfriend. After breaking up with her, he became seriously involved with Lauren, a psychology student and Nick Moore was Mallory's serious boyfriend. First Telecast: September 22, 1982 Last Telecast: September 17, 1989 Episodes: 180 Color Episodes Theme Song: Without Us Written by: Jeff Barry and Tom Scott Sung by: Mindy Sterling and Dennis Tufano (1982) Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams (1982-1989) NBC Broadcast History September 1982-March 1983----Wednesdays----9:30 p.m. March-August 1983----Mondays----8:30 p.m. August-December 1983----Wednesdays----9:30 p.m. January 1984-August 1987----Thursdays----8:30 p.m. August-September 1987----Sundays----8:00 & 8:30 p.m. September 1987-September 1989----Sundays----8:00 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) #5 in the 1984-1985 Season #2 in the 1985-1986 Season #2 in the 1986-1987 Season #17 in the 1987-1988 Seasonmoreless

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    User Score: 3004


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (187)

    • Steven (about Alex): I haven't seen him this excited since Reagan got elected.

    • Steven (to Elyse): Do you think maybe he was switched at birth and the Rockefellers have our kid?

    • Elyse: Alex, maybe you're getting a little carried away here. I mean, if Kimberly doesn't like you or your family for who they are, then maybe she isn't worth caring about at all, don't you think? Alex: Are you going to wear your hair like that, or are you going to put it up?

    • Mallory: (witnessing her parents kissing in the kitchen) You guys have been married for a long time. Haven't you had enough?

    • Alex: How do I look? Steven: Middle-aged. Alex: Dad, recent studies show, that you can predict success by the way a person dresses. Steven: Alex, you're a young man. You shouldn't be worried about success. You should be thinking about hopping on a steam trainer, and going around the world, or putting a pack on your back and heading down to Mexico, South America, or anywhere. Alex: The 1960's are over Dad. Steven: Thanks for the tip.

    • Alex: (wildly jealous about Stephanie's boyfriend) He's eating the groceries that I delivered!

    • Steven: Mallory, reading is one of the great joys of life. When you were young you used to read all the time. What happened? Mallory: I discovered shopping.

    • Alex: I've always thought immaturity was rather childish.

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    Notes (112)

    • This four-part episode was not taped before a live studio audience.

    • This four-part episode was originally a two-hour TV movie.

    • Justine Bateman has shorter hair throughout Season 4.

    • The opening credits feature the family looking at a scrapbook.

    • Matthew Broderick was the first choice to play Alex P. Keaton, but turned it down because of a family crisis; he didn't want to move from New York to California while his father (actor James Broderick) was dying of cancer in the former state.

    • Jeremy Schoenberg lent his voice to THE CHARLIE BROWN AND SNOOPY SHOW, as "Linus Van Pelt." Another regular on that series was Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson...who later soared to fame with the singing groups Wild Orchid and, later, Black-Eyed Peas. (She remains best-known, however, as the longest-staying-ever cast member of KIDS INCORPORATED.)

    • John Putch is the son of All In the Family star Jean Stapleton. ┬áHe will guest star twice more, but as a different character.

    • This episode, Johnny Mathis and Deniese Williams sing the Theme Song.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (88)

    • Steven enters a private country club wearing a flannel shirt and a baseball jacket, and walks right over to Alex's table. It seems highly unlikely that such an exclusive venue would allow him full access, especially as a non-member, dressed in such a way.

    • Steven reveals in this episode that the family car is a Volvo.

    • The song Steven has playing in the living room is a protest song called "Days of Decision" by folk singer Phil Ochs.

    • Elyse suggested to Steven that a romantic evening would include Johnny Mathis records. Johnny Mathis occasionally sings the Theme Song with Deniese Williams.

    • At the Carlton Country Club, a waiter offers Steven an hors d'oeurve called "rumaki," and Steven requests some without liver. Essential ingredients of rumaki include water chestnuts and chicken liver, wrapped in bacon.

    • During the father-son reconciliation scene, Steven compares his unusual relationship with Alex to the relationship he had with his own father, Jake. Grandfather Jake will be introduced and featured in Episode #5, I Never Killed for My Father.

    • In this episode we learn that Jennifer is 9 years old, Alex is 17 years old.

    • The Keatons were married 20 years ago. They will celebrate their 20th anniversary again, five years later, in episode #142, The Anniversary Waltz.

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    Allusions (61)

    • Elyse and Jennifer saw many adoring qualities in Justin. But Jennifer made it clear that "he's no Alan Alda." Alan Alda was the star of M*A*S*H, a long-running show that was in it's finale season when this episode aired.

    • When Steven "confuses" Elyse with Sandra Dee, Elyse calls Steven "Moondoggie," alluding to Sandra Dee's co-star, James Darren who played Moondoggie in the 1959 movie Gidget, and two other Gidget movies. Steven responded by addressing Elyse as "Gidge."

    • As the Keatons prepare for guests to arrive, Elyse is dressed in a '50's style skirt, prompting Steven to "confuse" her with Sandra Dee. Sandra Dee is a '50's movie star - vaguely resembling Meredith Baxter Birney - who is best known for the title role in the 1959 movie Gidget.

    • Alex appears in the nifty fifties party wearing a leather jacket, prompting Steven to call him "Fonzie." Fonzie is Arthur Fonzerelli, a whose leather jacket became legendary in the long-running sit-com Happy Days, which was still popular when this episode aired.

    • Elyse likened negotiating the boys and girls to agree to dance together to the SALT talks. SALT II (the second round of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks/Treaty, 1972-79) featured the United States and the Soviet Union negotiating to discontinue nuclear weapons.

    • The morning after spending the night with Stephanie, Alex is seen wearing a robe, smoking a pipe, and humming the words to Let's Do It, a 1938 song made popular by Cole Porter.

    • The title alludes to the 1971 movie Summer of '42, where a young man falls in love with a woman whose husband has gone to war.

    • In an Allusion within an Allusion, Steven assures Elyse that Jake will like light beer, for Bubba Smith and Dick Butkus like light beer. Bubba Smith and Dick Butkus co-starred in one of Miller Light's "less filling/tastes great" commercials, a series that Steven and Jake will parody a few moments later.

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (32)
  • Seeing for the first time!

    By Sledge290, Sep 17, 2015

  • Ahead of its time

    By edwinacewongkaren, Dec 11, 2013

  • definitely gonna watch this show all over again!

    By MikeLynch, Feb 08, 2013

  • I miss this show!

    By Sian88, Jan 13, 2012

  • perfect

    By futuramarama, Jul 22, 2011

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