2016-06-07

Friends til the End

Remember 'TGIF'? Did you ever rush home for 'Must-See TV', maybe for Friends or Cheers, with the family all gathering around the TV to watch their favorite show over the years? We 'grew up' with the characters, and got to know them over time.

Full House

Who didn't wish they had a cool Uncle Jesse? And Michelle was just too sweet. DJ was like the big sister everyone wanted.

 

Full House ran for 8 seasons, with all 6 of the original cast members throughout. Still earning top ratings into its final season, the show was cancelled primarily due to rising production costs.

 

Fun Facts: Danny Tanner was not played by Bob Saget in the never-aired pilot. Jesse and the Rippers reunited in July 2013 on an episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and played some of their popular hits.

Family Ties

A series with political undercurrents, Family Ties featured liberal ex-hippie parents facing the cultural transition into the 1980's with the younger generation embracing traditional conservatism of the Reagan era.

 

Throughout 7 seasons, we see the evolving relationships of the Keaton family, with studious Alex and materialistic Mallory, while Jennifer just wants to be a kid.

 

Fun Fact: Michael J. Fox landed the role of Alex P. Keaton after Matthew Broderick turned it down.

How I Met Your Mother

Nominated for over 20 Emmy Awards in its 9 seasons, How I Met Your Mother is a different kind of sitcom. Producer/Writer team Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are not only the brainchild behind this hilarious hit, but also members of the band that perform the opening theme song. Show writers try to keep the script somewhat family-friendly, given that Future Ted, narrated by Bob Saget, is telling his kids the story of how he met their mother.

 

Fun Fact: The scenes where Future Ted is talking to his two teenage kids at the opening of every episode were actually filmed en masse as the seasons went on and it became obvious the kids were aging too fast to be realistic for the show's timeline.

The Cosby Show

For 8 seasons, the Huxtable family invited us into their home and into their lives. Bill Cosby convinced the executives behind The Cosby Show to allow the parental characters, Dr. and Mrs. Huxtable, to be well-educated and affuent, primarily to allow the program to be educational and address somewhat sensitive topics in a sitcom setting.

 

Fun Fact: Bill Cosby insisted that The Cosby Show be taped in New York City, where the show was set, rather than at a studio in Los Angeles.

Cheers

Cheers, where everybody knows your name. Only 4 of the show's cast were a part of all 11 seasons, but the zany ensemble from all backgrounds were so easy to love that they really did just...fit. The final episode of Cheers was the second-most watched television series finale in history.

 

Fun Facts: The role of Cliff Claven was originally cast as a security guard, but changed at the last minute to be a postal worker. Emma Thompson guest-starred as Frasier's ex-wife.

Frasier

Born from Kelsey Grammer's character on Cheers, Dr. Frasier Crane's marriage to the gothic Lilith dissolves with the rest of his life in Bostom, so he moves to Seattle to start over - as a host of a call-in radio talk show.

 

We were exposed to the lives - and antics - of the Frasier men over the course of 11 seasons, and with the exception of Kirstie Alley, all surviving main regular cast members of Cheers made guest appearances on Frasier.

 

Fun Facts: Lisa Kudrow was originally cast as Roz, Frasier's radio show producer, but due to lack of chemistry in rehearsals, the part was re-cast to Peri Gilpin. Only one episode of Frasier was ever filmed in Seattle, with the remainder filmed in Los Angeles.

Seinfeld

Festivus! So many pop culture references came from Seinfeld - a sitcom that broke television barriers. Seinfeld even stood out from other sitcoms in its postmodern interpretation. The superficial conflicts and minimal emotional connection between the characters in the show only serve to futher aid in making the audience never feel sorry for any of the characters. The series finale was the third most-watched series finale in TV history.

 

Fun Facts: The myriad of phrases made popular by the series are collectively referred to as "Seinlanguage", and include "re-gifter", "yada yada yada", "not that there's anything wrong with that", "spongeworthy", and "no soup for you". NBC offered Jerry Seinfeld more than $100 million to return for a 10th season, but he declined.

Friends

Ah, Friends - the sitcom by which every production team bases the equation for a successful run any more. Based on the lives of six young friends in Manhattan over 10 seasons, the show takes credit for being the first true "ensemble" show - meaning no one character carried more screen time, story time, or became any more pivotal to the show than others.

 

Fun Facts: In the third season, the cast opted for collective negotiations, where the actors were given the salary of the least-paid cast member, resulting in salary reductions for both Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer. Writers did not originally intend for Joey's character to be "dim", but Matt LeBlanc put this spin on the role during his audition, and it stuck. The show was never shot on site in New Yorlk.

Golden Girls

Three widows and a divorcee sharing a sprawling home in Miami - what could go wrong? The antics of these lovely ladies prove that you're always capable of wild and crazy times. From the hilarity of dating professors in the Witness Protection Program, to addressing more serious issues of parenting in an ever-changing world, these four friends last the test of time in their 4 televised seasons.

 

Fun Facts: Estelle Getty was younger than her on-screen daughter Bea Arthur. Rue McClanahan and Betty White were originally castt in each others' roles, but switched at the last minute at the suggestion of the show's director.

Growing Pains

For 7 seasons, we got to watch the awkward evolution of the Seaver family as they transitioned out of their comfort zone as 3 kids of stay-at-home-mom Maggie and shrink-dad Dr. Seaver, to adolescence and young adulthood with mom back at work and dad operating his psychiatry practice out of a home office. And we weren't the only ones to notice Chrissy aged about 5 years in one season!

 

Fun Facts: Tracey Gold was not originally meant to play the part of Carol Seaver, but took over after the pilot. Numerous guest stars include Brad Pitt, Hilary Swank, and Jennie Garth.

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