ABC (ended 1992)
Growing Pains was sitcom originally aired on ABC from September 1985 to April 1992. It went through seven very succesful seasons with a total of 166 episodes, each special in its own way. Growing Pains was about a family of five, the Seavers, who lived on Long Island, New York. Jason Seaver was the father, a psychiatrist, who had his practice at home. (From the 1st to the 5th season) Maggie, his wife, was a journalist who worked for the Long Island newspaper in the first three seasons of the sitcom. She got a job as the news anchor for channel 19 news and worked there through the middle of the 5th season when she decided to stay at home. Jason moved his practice out of the house to an office. During the last seasons, she worked at home writing a consumer awareness column for the local newspaper.
Together, Maggie and Jason raised four children. They often worried about "who would stay home with the baby" or would "be there for the kids" and the responsibility was often juggled, even fought over, between the two parents but eventually settled. The youngest, Chrissy, wasn't born until the 4th season and suddenly "grew up" from being a toddler to a five year old between the 5th and 6th seasons. The oldest of the four children was Mike. A dare-devil yet charming, Mike helped Growing Pains ratings shoot sky high and quickly became the 80's pin up boy appearing on cover after cover of teen magazines.
During the 4th season, Mike moved out of the house but not too far...to the loft above the garage. The 2nd oldest was Carol. Carol was the complete opposite of Mike. She was a straight "A" student, (a "nerd" according to her brothers), struggling with social obstacles at school, just like most teenage girls. From wanting a nose job, to dealing with the death of her boyfriend, (Sandy, played by Matthew Perry) to tolerating her roommate at Columbia University, Carol added a lot of comedy as well as a serious side to the show. Next was little Ben. Ben was a clever "con-artist" in the beginning and a little more naive during his teen years, sometimes being his brother's sidekick and other times his worst nightmare.
And of course, Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio-- then only 16 years old-- joined the cast during the final season when the show felt their ratings were dropping. The Seavers, reluctantly at first, took in a homeless boy, Luke Brower. Luke was one of Mike's students at the Community Health Clinic and quickly became one of the Seavers. Luke left with his father, George, during the end of the final season to help him open up a truck stop in Tuscon. The sitcom ended before Luke ever came back; Maggie got a job in Washington D.C. which required the family to move. In the last episode, the Seaver family gathered around a picnic blanket on the floor of their empty living room, remembering all their pastimes.
Theme Song Lyrics
Show me that smile again, (Oh, show me that smile) Don't waste another minute on your cryin', We're nowhere near the end (We're no where near) The best is ready to begin. As long as we've got each other, We got the world spinnin' right in our hands, Baby you and me, we gotta be, The luckiest dreamers who never keep dreaming. As long as we keep on givin' We can take anything that comes our way Baby, rain or shine All the time We got each other Sharin' the laughter and lovemoreless