Star of the Family

ABC (ended 1982)


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Star of the Family

Show Summary

With the exception of variety programs (i.e. Sonny and Cher, and Donny and Marie,, shows which combined music with comedy (and/or drama) were few and far between. In 1982, Star of the Family joined Fame, in this area. The basic plotline centered around crusty Leslie "Buddy" Krebs (Brian Dennehy) and his family's reaction when his pretty 16-year-old daughter, Jennie Lee Krebs (Kathy Maisnik), began to receive acclaim for her singing by way of recording offers and concert dates for her pop/country style of music, and to her wardrobe featuring lower-cut tops and higher-cut skirts.

Supporting characters included Buddy's dumb-as-a-doornail 17-year-old son, as well as a trio of boneheads with whom Buddy worked. Buddy was a fire captain whose wife had left him and run off with a bellhop. He was very wary of what effect fame and notoriety -- not to mention Moose -- might have on his daughter. At the firehouse, Buddy had to deal with Leo, who had written his mother claiming to be a cariologist; Frank had a one-track mind (sex); and Max was a tempermental hispanic who spoke little English. Also in the fray was Jennie Lee's imposing manager, also known as "Moose."

Despite the short run of the series, it may have been a bit ahead of its time; it was broadcast three years before teens Debbie Gibson and Tiffany hit the music scene, and a decade and a half before the world of teen pop and country exploded with the likes of LeAnn Rhimes, Mandy Moore and Lila McCann. The premise of mixing music with a sitcom was attempted again in 1984 with the John Stamos vehicle, Dreams,. It fared even worse in the ratings.

Star of the Family's debut was Sept. 30, 1982 and its final episode aired Dec. 23, 1982. It was notched in ABC's 8:30-9:00 Thursday time slot during its entire run. The show was nominated for two honors at the Fourth Annual Young Artist Awards -- Best New Family Television Series and Best Young Actress in a New Television Series (Maisnik). Trophies were not to be, however, as Silver Spoons, and Joanie Loves Chachi,'s Erin Moran won the categories, respectively.