Fox to re-air ‘Married ... With Children’s’ pilot episode

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It’s been 25 years since Bud Bundy crawled up behind his sister, Kelly, and pretended to slit her throat in the first episode of Fox’s first hit sitcom, ‘Married... With Children.’

Back then, Fox was the just-launched fourth-place network. Today it’s the top-rated network, but it’s feeling nostalgic for its low-rent early days. On Sunday, it is airing ‘Fox’s 25th Anniversary Special,’ reuniting the casts of many of its past hits, including ‘Married ... With Children.’ To kick off the evening, the network is re-airing the ‘Married ... With Children’ pilot.

In the first episode, which aired on April 5, 1987, Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill) wasn’t as pathetic as he eventually became, Peg Bundy’s (Katey Sagal) hair wasn’t as big and Kelly Bundy (Christina Applegate) still had a couple of brain cells left.

The series ranked 142nd in the ratings during its first season. It eventually climbed into the top 50 shows on TV before ending its run on June 9, 1997. It aired 259 episodes over 11 seasons.


The episode will air on Fox again April 22. Another milestone episode, ‘The Simpsons’ ’ 500th, will air immediately after, and then the 25th-anniversary special.

In a sitcom rarity, three of the main castmembers have gone on to a major follow-up success after their time on ‘Married ... With Children.’ O’Neill stars on the highly rated ‘Modern Family,’ Sagal is on the critically acclaimed drama ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and Applegate stars in the NBC comedy ‘Up All Night.’ David Faustino, who played young Bud Bundy, has had a less successful acting career but has become an influential figure in the West Coast hip-hop community.


In ‘Up All Night,’ Christina Applegate is married with child

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— Patrick Kevin Day