Families that changed TV

By Mary McNamara, Television Critic In the beginning there was "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," white middle-class families reflected an advertising ideal as much as a demographic reality. Mom stayed home, Dad worked in the office, the kids got in the sort of trouble that could be solved by a quiet talk at the kitchen table. But even "Ozzie and Harriet" wasn't quite what it seemed -- the TV (and before that the radio) show was a solution to a very modern problem -- bandleader Ozzie Nelson and his singer wife Harriet needed a career shift that would give them regular hours and a way to raise their family. Over the years, TV dealt more overtly with the ever-changing definition of family. With its second family/gay family/nuclear family combo, "Modern Family" (with Eric Stonestreet, above) may be a hat trick, but it is just one of the ground-breakers that TV has seen over the years.
Bob D'Amico / ABC
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