Family was an American drama series that ran for five seasons (197680) on ABC. Created by playwright/screenwriter Jay Presson Allen (a woman), the show boasted both Aaron Spelling and Mike Nichols as executive producers.
The Lawrences are a (mostly) happy, middle-class family living in Pasadena, California. The parents are Doug (James Broderick), a lawyer; and Kate (Sada Thompson), a homemaker who returns to college and becomes a music teacher in Season 4. Living with them are their younger two children: creative but unfocused son Willie (Gary Frank) and somewhat tomboyish younger daughter Letitia, aka "Buddy" (Kristy McNichol). The family dynamic is shaken up when elder daughter Nancy (Elayne Heilveil in the first season, Meredith Baxter thereafter) returns to Pasadena after catching her husband Jeff (John Rubinstein) in bed with another woman.
- Christmas Episode: One each in seasons 2-5. There were also Thanksgiving Episodes in seasons 3-5.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Willie drops out of school and bounces around from job to job, although to an extent this could be a function of youth.
- Framed Face Opening: The opening credits, as was popular in the era it aired.
- Mini Series: The show was originally conceived as one of these before being picked up for a longer run, which is why the first season consists of only six episodes.
- Pilot: "The Best Years"
- Plot-Inciting Infidelity: Jeff's adultery, which causes Nancy to separate from and ultimately divorce him.
- Precocious Crush: One of Kate's students has one on her in the episode "Such a Fine Line".
- Rogue Juror: Deconstructed in the two-part "Jury Duty". Kate convinces the other jurors to acquit a young rape/murder suspect, but experiences doubts afterward.