Nestled in the prime time-slot of 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, right after the powerhouse, “The Cosby Show,” “Family Ties” made its debut in 1982 and run until 1989.
When the show started, Michael Gross as Steven Keaton and Meredith Baxter as Elyse Keaton were the stars of the show. But Michael J. Fox, as young Republican, first-born, Alex P. Keaton, rose to meteoric fame (and would go on to star in the “Back to the Future” movie trilogy).
Rounding out the cast were Justine Bateman, sister of Jason Bateman (of “Silver Spoons” and “It’s Your Move”), as Mallory Keaton; Tina Yothers as youngest daughter Jennifer Keaton, and later, Brian Bonsall, as baby brother Andrew “Andy” Keaton.”
Others who would later join the cast were Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed, love interest for Alex P. Keaton. On the show, Alex and Ellen broke up, but in real life, Pollan would become Mrs. Michael J. Fox. Courteney Cox, who would go on to star as Monica in “Friends,” would become the next love interest for Alex. Other regulars included Scott Valentine as Nick Moore, as Mallory’s boyfriend, and Marc Price as Alex’s friend, Erwin “Skippy” Handleman. (I was in college in Massachusetts and Handleman performed a comic routine there while he was starring in the show.
For more details on “Family Ties,” go to imdb.com:
Check out the intro song to “Family Ties” on YouTube.com here: