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Family Ties





 

 

Family Ties

Format: Sitcom

Created by: Gary David Goldberg

Starring: Meredith Baxter-Birney, Michael Gross, Michael J. Fox Justine Bateman, Tina Yothers, Brian Bonsall (1986-1989)

Country of origin: United States

No. of seasons: 7

No. of episodes: 180

Production

Running time: approx. 30 minutes (per episode)

Broadcast

Original channel: NBC

Original run: September 22, 1982 May 14, 1989

Family Ties is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC for seven seasons, from 1982 to 1989. The sitcom reflected the move in the United States away from the liberal 1960s and 1970s to the Neoconservatism of the 1980s. This was particularly expressed through the relationship between Young Republican Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) and his hippie parents, Elyse and Steven Keaton (Meredith Baxter-Birney and Michael Gross).

Family Ties was "one of the most-watched shows not just of the moment but in the history of television." President Ronald Reagan once stated that it was his favorite television show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overview Cast of Family Ties from a later season. (From left to right) Justine Bateman, Michael J. Fox , Meredith Baxter, Michael Gross, Brian Bonsall, and Tina YothersThe first season of the show (1982-1983) established its central premise. During the early years of the Reagan administration, Elyse and Steven Keaton (Meredith Baxter-Birney and Michael Gross) are Baby Boomers: liberal Democrats raising their three children Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox), Mallory (Justine Bateman) and Jennifer ("Jen") (Tina Yothers) in suburban Columbus, Ohio. Married in 1964, Elyse, an independent architect, and Steven, a manager in a local public television station, were hippies during the 1960s. According to the episode "A Christmas Story" in Season One, they were influenced by John F. Kennedy and thus participated in the Peace Corps when Alex was born in 1965. Mallory was born while they were students at the University of California, Berkeley in 1967, and Jennifer was born the night Richard Nixon won his second term in 1972.

The humor of the series focused on a real cultural divide during the 1980s when the "the Alex P. Keaton generation was rejecting the counterculture of the 1960s and embracing the wealth and power that came to define the '80s." While the youngest, Jennifer (an athletic tomboy) shares the values of her parents, Alex embraces Reaganomics and consequent conservative values: Alex is a Young Republican who worships President Ronald Reagan and is also a fierce supporter of Richard Nixon and William F. Buckley Jr.; Mallory is a more traditional young woman in contrast to her feminist mother.

 

 

 

 

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Overview continued

In the Museum of Broadcast Communications entry for Family Ties, Michael Saenz argues that,

few shows better demonstrate the resonance between collectively-held fictional imagination and what cultural critic Raymond Williams called "the structure of feeling" of a historical moment than Family Ties. Airing on NBC from 1982 to 1989, this highly successful domestic comedy explored one of the intriguing cultural inversions characterizing the Reagan era: a conservative younger generation aspiring to wealth, business success, and traditional values, serves as inheritor to the politically liberal, presumably activist, culturally experimental generation of adults who had experienced the 1960s. The result was a decade, paradoxical by America's usual post-World War II standards, in which youthful ambition and social renovation became equated with pronounced political conservatism. "When else could a boy with a briefcase become a national hero?" queried Family Ties' creator, Gary David Goldberg, during the show's final year. The show ended in 1989 after Alex graduates from nearby Leland College, leaves home for the first time, and moves to a career on Wall Street. Over a decade later, when Michael J. Fox left his next series Spin City, his final episodes (Goodbye: Part 1 & 2, Season 4, Episodes 25 and 26) made numerous allusions to Family Ties. Michael Gross (Alex's father Steven) is a therapist for Michael Patrick Flaherty (Micheal J. Fox) and there is a reference to an off-screen character named "Mallory." After Flaherty becomes an environmental lobbyist in Washington D.C., he meets a "conservative congressman named Alex P. Keaton."

In a 03 March 2008 article for The New York Times, Gary David Goldberg (the creator of Family Ties) speculated that in the year 2008 Alex P. Keaton would be an Independent rather than a Republican and would vote for Barack Obama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cast and characters Michael J. Fox with Tracy Pollan at the 40th Emmy Awards in August 1988 shortly after they were marriedThe show had been sold to the network using the pitch "hip parents, square kids," and the parents were originally intended to be the main characters. However, the audience reacted so positively to Michael J. Fox's character Alex P. Keaton during the taping of the fourth episode that he became the focus on the show. This happened despite the fact that Fox only received the role after Matthew Broderick turned it down:

At the time, the show's producers felt Fox was simply too short for the gig. To make the point, NBC Entertainment Chief Brandon Tartikoff asked the show's creator Gary David Goldberg if he could imagine Fox's face on a lunchbox. Some years later, after Back to the Future, Fox's face did find its way to lunchboxes--and he was sure to send one to Tartikoff, with a note attached that reportedly read: "Dear Brandon, this is for you to put your crow on. Lots of Love, Michael J. Fox." Rumor has it Tartikoff kept the lunchbox in his office for the rest of his NBC career.

Supporting cast and characters included: neighbor Erwin 'Skippy' Handelman (Marc Price), Mallory's boyfriend artist Nick Moore (Scott Valentine), Alex's feminist/artist girlfriend, Ellen Reed (Tracy Pollan who later became Michael J. Fox's real-life wife), and fourth child Andrew (Brian Bonsall) was eventually added to the cast.

Several Hollywood stars appeared on the show before they were famous:Tom Hanks appeared during the first and second seasons as Elyse's younger brother Ned, Geena Davis portrayed an inept housekeeper, Courteney Cox was Alex's girlfriend Lauren at the end of the series, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus portrayed a lawyer on the two-part episode "Read It and Weep".

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ratings

 

1984-1985: #5

1985-1986: #2

1986-1987: #2

1987-1988: #17

Selected awards

Emmy Awards

1988: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Michael J. Fox)

1987:Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Michael J. Fox);Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series; Outstanding Technical Direction

1986: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Michael J. Fox)

 

Golden Globes

1989:Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series (Michael J. Fox)

 

 



Click here to see a great Family Ties video clip

 

 

 

Reunion

In 1989, Michael Gross appeared on The Pat Sajak Show as a guest to discuss the ending of Family Ties. According to the New York Times:

Mr. Sajak asked Michael Gross of Family Ties what was going to happen to the Keatons in this, their last scheduled season. Mr. Gross: "I hope they die in a plane crash." He later explained that he would not like to see them being brought back for phony reunions.

While there has not been (to date) a "reunion show," the cast did come together for the first time in 18 years on February 7, 2008 for an interview on the Today Show show.

******see the video on this page*********

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DVD releases

CBS DVD has released the first four seasons of Family Ties on DVD in Region 1.

 

DVD Name Release Date Ep#

The Complete First Season February 20, 2007 22

The Second Season October 9, 2007 22

The Third Season February 12, 2008 24

The Fourth Season August 5, 2008 23

The Fifth Season TBA 30

The Sixth Season TBA 28

The Final Season TBA 26

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don't ask for a discount because you won't need one.

 

Real Estate Services

 

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are the right choice whether you're buying or selling property.

 

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Office: (416) 699-9292 Toll Free: 1-866-921-9292 Fax: (416) 699-8576

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Car Repair 

For the best car repair service 
go to Don's Auto Clinic at 

1950 Ellesmere Rd #21 
Scarborough ON, M1H 2V8 

Phone: 416-438-9575 

Make an appointment 
and don't worry about                     what kind of service
you'll get because it's the best.
I've been going there for at least 5 years.
(Zane Ladhani---owner of Zane's Mall of Comedy
www.zanesmall.com

Don't ask for a discount because you won't need one. 


Chinese Food 

Kim Kims Hakka Chinese

 Restaurant www.kimkim.ca 


Chinese Food is great and there are a lot of restaurants
but if you want to go to one of the best chinese food
restaurants in Toronto then go to Kim Kims at 

Kim Kim Hakka Chinese Restaurant 1188 Kennedy Road
Scarborough, ON M1P 2L1 416-757-8300
(Near Kennedy and Lawrence) 

I ususally have the Curry Chicken on Rice
but you'll be happy with whatever you order. 

If you can't handle spicy food tell them when you order. 

Don't ask for a discount because you won't need one. 

Real Estate Services 


One of Toronto's Best Real Estate teams is
the Wright Sisters.

They are the right choice 
whether you're buying or selling property. 


Lindsay & Melanie Wright Sales Representatives 

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd., 
Brokerage 2237 Queen Street East Toronto ON M4E 1G2 

Office: (416) 699-9292 
Toll Free: 1-866-921-9292 Fax: (416) 699-8576

Tell them Zane sent you.