Who could have imagined the late 1990s would have been the end of the Family Sitcom. We are in an age where “Reality” TV, hour-long dramas and docu-dramas dominate all the networks. While I would normally place all the blame on the networks for taking the easy road–it actually costs much less to shoot “Reality” TV than Sitcoms–the public is equally to blame for so readily buying into it. Those of my generation are the last to have grown up watching sitcoms. While sure you can watch the classics on Cable/Satellite and Netflix/Hulu, the fact of the matter is that’s still the past.
At the same time I’m well aware times have changed since I was in high school: 9/11, Social Media, The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Barack Obama becomes President, ISIS, etc. (American) Values have changed as well like it or not. There’s also the internet and You Tube. Networks have tried to launch family sitcoms but none have had the following shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Brady Bunch and Saved by the Bell in addition to the shows pictured above and many others had. They’re called classics for a reason 😄
The sitcoms were also where many child actors who weren’t in the movie biz got their start in show business. Many people forget The Jamie Foxx Show (1997-2000) was when Jamie Foxx became a household name. Yes, he was known as a comedian who did stand-up work but this was the show where he went mainstream. A few years later folks found out he could sing, too in the Ray Bio-Pic xD
Random fun facts: Katy Segal, who played Peggy Bundy on Married with Children voiced Leela on Futurama. John Stamos, who played Uncle Jessie on Full House had a recurring role on the last 3 and a half seasons of the NBC Hospital Drama ER. Most famously, Extra’s Mario Lopez played A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell. Alfonzo Ribiero, who played Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air has appeared on various reality TV shows in recent years as a celebrity contestant. John Witherspoon, who played Pops on the Wayans Brothers voiced Grandad on The Boondocks. Finally LeVar Burton, who played Kunta Kente in Roots and hosted Reading Rainbow is bringing Reading Rainbow back for a new generation.
We will never have anything like this again anytime soon. It really is a shame the networks are convinced “Reality” TV, Mocumentary and Docudramas are all people care about right now. Nothing could be further from the truth.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, Full House is the latest classic sitcom to join the “New Gen” Bandwagon. Fresh off the heels of Girl Meets World (sequel to Boy Meets World) comes Fuller House, which of course is the sequel to Full House. It was announced a few weeks ago Netflix will carry Fuller House On Demand and may start airing episodes as early as this fall (!). The first season will be 13 episodes long.
The basic plot’s the same as the original: D.J.’s husband suddenly dies, leaving her to raise two children and another she’s expecting on her own. Her longtime best friend Kimmy Gibbler and her sister Stephanie move in to help her raise her sons and new arrival. Sound familiar? The rest of the original cast will make guest appearances as well.
Should be interesting.
A random fun fact: This has become a bit more known since the series ended in 1995 but the original premise for Full House called for Joey and Jessie (Played by Dave Coulier and John Stamos) to be gay and Danny Tanner (played by Bob Saget) to be revealed as having been in the closet about being gay himself so it would be three gay men raising three girls. The producers didn’t think the network would ok it so they scrapped the idea. The irony being the idea probably wouldn’t work now either since folks insist on being offended >.>;
It is also interesting to note half of the original cast stayed in show business since the original series ended. Candace Cameron, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber went back to private life. The story goes all three agreed to sign on to the new show when the whole cast got together for the original show’s reunion party earlier this year. Stamos pitched the idea a few years earlier but they needed everyone on board to make it work so…yeah. As you already know, Bob Saget hosted America’s Funnies Home Videos (before You Tube was thought of!) while also doing Full House. Dave Coulier returned to standup comedy after the show ended but also did theater work. Stamos himself…well, I already told you earlier.
As for the Olsen Twins…well, Google says hi. ‘Nuff said.