In this ABC cute-com, which was derived from The Brady Bunch and Jim Henson's previous prime-time outing, Dinosaurs, the Henson company introduced us to a family oriented show consisting of a blended family -- half-aliens and half humans. Each sickeningly sweet episode wrapped with a moral. The aliens, with the exception of mother Cookie, were played by giant Muppets from Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
Aliens in the Family is the story of a big-hearted human dad, Doug Brody, who was abducted by a spacecraft, fell in love with an alien single mom, Cookie, and returned to Earth to marry her and raise their unusual brood of human and alien children. Doug's two human kids, nine-year-old Adam and 14-year-old self-obsessed Heather, are alternately delighted and exasperated by their three extraterrestrial siblings—their brother Spit, 14, who was prone to grossing everyone out; bookish sister Snizzy, 10, who was reminiscent of Velma Dinkley from "Scooby Doo"; and baby brother Bobut, who much like the baby on "Dinosaurs," acts as if he's Emperor of the Universe, and with good reason —- he is. Rounding out the family is Bobut's nanny, Sally Hagen, who is often the target of his imperious wrath, but who knows how to charm him with chocolate pudding. Sugar Pie was Bobut's toy bunny rabbit.
ABC had initially grabbed the rights to what became NBC's hit 3rd Rock From the Sun, but eventually passed in favor of this alien series. Apparently, they didn't have much faith in this either – ABC only ordered 8 episodes of this series, aired two in prime-time and immediately canceled it, finally playing leftover episodes on Saturday mornings later that summer.
Although "Aliens in the Family" and it's lead-in, Muppets Tonight, fared highly among young children, ABC felt that wasn't their target audience, so both series were canceled -- but not before ordering a second season of "Muppets Tonight" which ABC never aired. "Muppets Tonight" eventually made it to the weekend lineup on The Disney Channel, and "Aliens in the Family" found a brief home (again on Saturday mornings) on The Odyssey Channel.
ABC didn't learn their lesson with this show. In 1997, they premiered similarly family oriented You Wish, which only fared slightly better than "Aliens in the Family" -- it made it 7 weeks before it was canceled.
First Telecast: March 15, 1996
First Telecast: August 31, 1996