Follow TV Tropes


Series / thirtysomething

Go To
The main cast.

thirtysomething is a television drama series created by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz that aired for four seasons (198791) on ABC. It details the lives of seven friends in their thirties former '60s counterculture types turned '80s yuppies living in suburban Philadelphia.

The main characters are:

  • Michael Steadman (Ken Olin) - An advertising executive.
  • Hope Murdoch (Mel Harris) - Michael's wife, a freelance journalist raising their newborn daughter, Janey.
  • Elliot Weston (Timothy Busfield) - Michael's advertising partner, who, at the beginning of the series, is having marital problems after an affair with a co-worker.
  • Nancy Weston (Patricia Wettig) - Elliot's wife, an aspiring artist raising their two children, Ethan and Brittany. Nancy battled ovarian cancer during the last two seasons.
  • Melissa Steadman (Melanie Mayron) - Michael's photographer cousin.
  • Gary Shepherd (Peter Horton) - An English professor who was Michael's friend in college and used to date Melissa.
  • Ellyn Warren (Polly Draper) - Hope's girlhood friend, a local politician.
  • Miles Drentell (David Clennon) - Michael and Elliot's Bad Boss, who employed them once their ad agency went bankrupt.
  • Susannah Hart (Patricia Kalember) - Gary's girlfriend and later wife, who eventually bore him a daughter, Emma.

Not to be confused with the Hugh Laurie Britcom Fortysomething.


  • But Not Too Gay: The show got a burst of publicity as being the first program to feature a gay couple in bed together. However, the actors playing the couple were not allowed to touch each other, and the network later refused to rerun the episode due to negative advertising reaction.
  • Creator Cameo: Story editor Liberty Godshall (who started out as an actress before turning to writing) has a supporting role in "Advanced Beginners," which she also wrote.
  • Killed Off for Real: Gary tragically dies in a car accident a few episodes into the final season.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Dating the much younger Lee causes Melissa to feel like this.