Family TV: Kid-tested, parent-approved
A look back at TV shows that brought family into focus.
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'Step by Step' (1991-1998)( Spike Nannarello / CBS )
Who are they: Frank Lambert (Patrick Duffy) is a construction worker and a single father of three kids: J.T., Alicia "Al" and Brendan. Carol Foster (Suzanne Somers), a beautician, also has three children: Dana, Karen and Mark. In a '90s twist on the "Brady Bunch" formula, Frank and Carol run into each other on a Jamaican vacation and spontaneously get married. They and their children (who appeared to have known and hated each other) have to learn to live together and love each other in the middle-class suburbia of Port Washington, Wisc.
What the kids like: Watching two very different groups of kids from the Foster and Lambert clan clashing with a constant barrage of pranks and one-liners and somehow always managing to look smarter than Cody, Frank's nephew, who lived in a van outside the family's house.
What parents couldn't get enough of: Watching Frank Lambert's unyielding attempts to try to get his wife Carol in bed. Basically, if he wasn't working, bungling a construction project in the backyard or untangling a kid fight in his kitchen, he was trying to get his wife upstairs for some "alone time."