Family

The show featured Sada Thompson and James Broderick as Kate and Doug Lawrence, a happily married middle-class couple living in Pasadena, California. Doug is an independent lawyer, and Kate was a housewife (she would eventually go back to school herself). They had three children: Nancy (portrayed by Elayne Heilveil in the original mini-series and later by Meredith Baxter Birney), Willie (Gary Frank), and Letitia, nicknamed "Buddy" (Kristy McNichol). (There was another son, Timothy, who had died five years previous to the series' beginning.) The show raised the profile of all of its featured actors during its run and, in particular, catapulted McNichol to stardom. The show attempted to depict the "average" family, warts and all. Storylines were very topical, and the show was one of the first to feature shows that have recently been termed as "very special episodes." In the first episode, Nancy walked in on her husband Jeff (John Rubinstein) making love to one of her friends. During the second season she and Jeff divorced, but Jeff would continue to appear regularly as an active father, as well as finding himself involved in more of the Lawrence family's affairs. Other topical storylines included Kate having to deal with the possibility that she had breast cancer, as well as Buddy dealing with advances from boys. In the later seasons, there were instances in which Buddy had to decide whether or not to have sex; she always chose to wait, most notably in an episode with guest star Leif Garrett, who was a teen idol at the time. Another topical episode dealt with Buddy's friendship with a teacher who was revealed to be a lesbian. Family also dealt with alcoholism (Doug's sister; Buddy's old friend) as well as adoption, when the family adopted a girl named Annie Cooper (Quinn Cummings). One episode in 1979 (directed by actress Joanne Woodward) guest-starred Henry Fonda as a visiting elderly relative who was beginning to experience senility and memory loss.

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Season From To Episodes
All Seasons
Specials 2
Season 1 March 1976 April 1976 6
Season 2 October 1976 May 1977 22
Season 3 September 1977 May 1978 23
Season 4 September 1978 May 1979 22
Season 5 November 1979 June 1980 13
Unassigned Episodes 0
Season From To Episodes
Unassigned Episodes 88
Absolute ordering places all episodes in a single ordered season. This is generally used for anime.
Season From To Episodes
Season 1 0
Unassigned Episodes 88
Name Number of Episodes Dates
David Jacobs 7 02/08/1977 - 02/14/1978
Carol Evan McKeand 6 03/30/1976 - 06/04/1980
Hindi Brooks 5 10/06/1976 - 01/31/1978
Liz Coe 4 12/07/1978 - 06/11/1980
Emily Shoemaker 3 11/30/1976 - 01/11/1979
Diana Gould 3 02/22/1977 - 02/07/1978
Michael Barlow 2 12/21/1976 - 01/04/1977
Leonora Thuna 2 12/07/1976 - 01/11/1977
Paul Huson 2 05/02/1978 - 01/18/1979
Barbara Elaine Smith 2 11/22/1977 - 01/24/1978
Lawrence Konner 2 10/19/1976 - 11/30/1976
Daniel Lipman 2 03/08/1979 - 02/04/1980
Channing Gibson 2 10/19/1978 - 03/30/1979
Sally Robinson 2 11/20/1979 - 01/28/1980
Nigel Evan McKeand 2 03/30/1976 - 04/06/1976
Ron Cowen 2 03/08/1979 - 02/04/1980
Jack Morton 1 02/21/1978
Susan Miller 1 10/26/1976
Anne Howard Bailey 1 01/18/1977
Gordon Glasco 1 04/13/1976
Elizabeth Clark 1 11/09/1976
Bethel Leslie 1 12/28/1976
Fred Segal 1 03/23/1976
Gina Frederica Goldman 1 03/17/1980
Oliver Hailey 1 05/03/1977
Margaret J. Schibi 1 03/30/1979
Joan Taylor 1 12/24/1979
Paul Wolff 1 12/21/1978
Leah Appet 1 01/03/1978
Hilma Wolitzer 1 09/27/1977
Gerry Day 1 12/28/1976
Luciano Comici 1 11/15/1977
Armyan Bernstein 1 03/16/1976
Gregory S. Dinallo 1 11/08/1977
Loraine Despres 1 01/25/1979
Richard Kramer 1 05/09/1978
Geroge Leffets 1 11/23/1976
Carmen Culver 1 05/16/1978
Walter Koenig 1 11/09/1978
Audrey Davis Levin 1 10/04/1977
Carolyn See 1 01/11/1979
Vicki Zlotnick 1 02/15/1977
Jay Presson Allen 1 03/09/1976
Robert Hamilton 1 12/13/1977
Tim Maschler 1 11/29/1977
Elizabeth Hailey 1 05/03/1977
George Lefferts 1 11/16/1976
Randa Haines 1 01/03/1978
April Smith 1 01/14/1980
Jackie Joseph 1 01/11/1979
Name Number of Episodes Dates
Richard Kinon 5 10/19/1976 - 12/24/1979
Edward Zwick 4 03/15/1979 - 06/25/1980
Edward Parone 4 02/14/1978 - 03/10/1980
Marshall Herskovitz 4 02/15/1977 - 02/04/1980
Glenn Jordan 3 03/16/1976 - 11/23/1976
James Broderick 3 03/17/1980 - 06/25/1980
Randal Kleiser 2 03/23/1976 - 03/30/1976
Stuart Millar 2 01/03/1978 - 05/09/1978
Linda Weintraub 2 11/16/1976 - 11/23/1976
James Sheldon 1 01/17/1978
Kim Friedman 1 03/01/1979
Peter Levin 1 11/09/1978
Joanne Woodward 1 11/20/1979
Peter Werner 1 05/03/1977
John Erman 1 04/13/1976
Gerald S. O'Loughlin 1 12/21/1976
Alf Kjellin 1 10/25/1977
Robert Hartford-Davis 1 02/22/1977

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