CBS (ended 1998)
Two appealing stars, winsome kids, and a can't miss time slot in the middle of ABC's hit Friday lineup was more important than plot in the early success of this standard issue family sitcom. Frank (Patrick Duffy of Dallas) is a freewheeling, divorced contractor who impetuously marries widowed beautician Carol (Suzanne Somers of Three's Company) when they meet during separate vacations in Jamaica. They flew home to Port Washington, Wisconsin, where they both lived, told their kids-his three and her three - and all the problems of a merged family began. She is orderly and borderline OCD, he is laid back and almost chaotic. The kids eyed each suspiciously. Hers were teenagers Dana (the oldest), as compulsive as her mom, middle sis Karen, a budding fashion plate and young, nerdy Mark. Frank's were teenager J.T. (short for John Thomas), a cool customer, preteen Al, into sports and animals, and carefree Brendan. Working with Carol in her beauty shop next door were her mother Ivy and sister Penny. Cody was Frank's spaced-out 19-year-old nephew, whose nutty schemes and obsessions kept everyone in an uproar but who was really smarter than he seemed.
Show History: SBS was the latest addition to the already successful Friday night lineup on ABC, dubbed "TGIF." Scheduled right after the hit Friday night mainstay, "Family Matters" @ 8:30, it soon became an equally big hit. By the beginning of the 3rd season the series blossomed into the night's "tent pole" position @ 9:00, a position it would retain for a solid three year run.
"The Brady Bunch for the 90's" as it was hailed by critics upon its debut, was pretty much a straight forward "fun around the house" comedy, that ABC thrived on in the late 80's and early 90's. The series was Developed and Produced by the same team (Michael Warren, William Bickley, Robert L. Boyett, and Thomas L. Miller) responsible for many of ABC's hits (including all of T.G.I.F at one point) in that same era.
In the small town of Port Washington, Wisconsin you have newly married couple Frank Lambert and Carol Foster and their 6 kids. Frank (Patrick Duffy) and Carol (Suzanne Sommers) having met only a week before on vacation and impulsively married, now face the monumental task of blending their very different families into one. All kinds of personalities filled the house. On the Lambert side, there was Cody (Sasha Mitchell), the spaced-out but good hearted and lovable nephew of Frank, Al (Christine Lakin), the tomboy daughter, JT (Brandon Call), the joker and oldest son and Brendan (Josh Byrne), the youngest son. On the Foster side was Mark (Christopher Castile), the genius younger brother of the Fosters, Dana (Staci Keanan), the genius older sister and Karen (Angela Watson), the beautiful, popular and full of herself middle sister.
There were many others, notably Rich (Jason Marsden), Dana's short and well-meaning boyfriend, as well as friend of JT's, and Jean-Luc (Bronson Pinchot, "Meego"), the French hairstylist who worked with Carol.moreless