Airdate: CBS at Friday 8:00 PM (30 min.)
Status: Ended Premiered: September 20, 1991 Last Aired: June 26, 1998
Show Category: Comedy
Step by Step
Two appealing stars, winsome kids, and a can't miss time slot in the middle of ABC's hit Friday lineup was more important than plot in the early success of this standard issue family sitcom. Frank (Patrick Duffy of Dallas) is a freewheeling, divorced contractor who impetuously marries widowed beautician Carol (Suzanne Somers of Three's Company) when they meet during separate vacations in Jamaica. They flew home to Port Washington, Wisconsin, where they both lived, told their kids-his three and her three - and all the problems of a merged family began. She is orderly and borderline OCD, he is laid back and almost chaotic. The kids eyed each suspiciously. Hers were teenagers Dana (the oldest), as compulsive as her mom, middle sis Karen, a budding fashion plate and young, nerdy Mark. Frank's were teenager J.T. (short for John Thomas), a cool customer, preteen Al, into sports and animals, and carefree Brendan. Working with Carol in her beauty shop next door were her mother Ivy and sister Penny. Cody was Frank's spaced-out 19-year-old nephew, whose nutty schemes and obsessions kept everyone in an uproar but who was really smarter than he seemed.
Show History: SBS was the latest addition to the already successful Friday night lineup on ABC, dubbed "TGIF." Scheduled right after the hit Friday night mainstay, "Family Matters" @ 8:30, it soon became an equally big hit. By the beginning of the 3rd season the series blossomed into the night's "tent pole" position @ 9:00, a position it would retain for a solid three year run.
"The Brady Bunch for the 90's" as it was hailed by critics upon its debut, was pretty much a straight forward "fun around the house" comedy, that ABC thrived on in the late 80's and early 90's. The series was Developed and Produced by the same team (Michael Warren, William Bickley, Robert L. Boyett, and Thomas L. Miller) responsible for many of ABC's hits (including all of T.G.I.F at one point) in that same era.
In the small town of Port Washington, Wisconsin you have newly married couple Frank Lambert and Carol Foster and their 6 kids. Frank (Patrick Duffy) and Carol (Suzanne Sommers) having met only a week before on vacation and impulsively married, now face the monumental task of blending their very different families into one. All kinds of personalities filled the house. On the Lambert side, there was Cody (Sasha Mitchell), the spaced-out but good hearted and lovable nephew of Frank, Al (Christine Lakin), the tomboy daughter, JT (Brandon Call), the joker and oldest son and Brendan (Josh Byrne), the youngest son. On the Foster side was Mark (Christopher Castile), the genius younger brother of the Fosters, Dana (Staci Keanan), the genius older sister and Karen (Angela Watson), the beautiful, popular and full of herself middle sister.
There were many others, notably Rich (Jason Marsden), Dana's short and well-meaning boyfriend, as well as friend of JT's, and Jean-Luc (Bronson Pinchot, "Meego"), the French hairstylist who worked with Carol.
Step By Step Season 1
Episode 1: Pilot
First aired: 9/20/1991
After their parents wed on a whim in Jamaica, Port Washington, Wisconsin's Frank Lambert and Carol Foster's children have to learn to adjust to life with each other.
Episode 2: The Dance
First aired: 9/27/1991
Frank wants to take Carol to an expensive restaurant, but Carol has agreed to be on the committee of Al's dance. After being dumped by a boy, Al stays in the dumps until she's rescued by Mark's science fair pen pal: Steve Urkel. And since Frank can't take Carol out, he shows up at the school dance and finds a way to work in a little romance anyway.
Episode 3: Rules of the House
First aired: 10/4/1991
Carol decides to bring order to the newly-blended house by creating a number of new rules, none of which are to anyone's liking.
Episode 4: First Anniversary
First aired: 10/11/1991
Carol's hurt to discover one month together doesn't mean as much to Frank as she. Meanwhile, Frank's nephew, Cody, arrives in Port Washington.
Episode 5: Frank & Son
First aired: 10/18/1991
J.T. discovers he's more help around the beauty salon than the construction site. Dana and Al team up to complete each other's school assignments.
Episode 6: Pulling Together
First aired: 10/25/1991
Carol thinks the Port Washington Games are perfect to foster family togetherness, but the defending champion Lambert kids feel they'll be hamstrung by the less-athletic Foster kids.
Episode 7: Yo-Yo's Wedding
First aired: 11/1/1991
Frank and Carol decide to have a U.S. wedding at Brendan's birthday party.
Episode 8: Just for Kicks
First aired: 11/8/1991
Dana and her friend, Bernice, sneak out to see a singer at a bar after Frank puts the kibosh on Carol's earlier permission.
Episode 9: Into the Woods
First aired: 11/15/1991
Carol's far out of her element when the family goes on a camping trip.
Episode 10: Mixed Messages
First aired: 11/22/1991
Trouble with phone messages ends up putting Frank's life in danger. Cody hopes his new job is the key to Dana's heart.
Episode 11: A Day in the Life
First aired: 11/29/1991
Carol frets when Frank has America Up Close doing a segment on their blended family, worrying only the ugly side of the family will be shown.
Episode 12: The New Car
First aired: 12/6/1991
Carol needs a new car, and surprises Frank with her negotiation skills, but J.T. surprises both of them even more; Penny dates a too-talkative mortician.
Episode 13: Getting Organized
First aired: 12/13/1991
Carol decides to computerize Frank's business, but finds herself wishing she'd kept his old paper records; Dana and Karen take advantage of J.T. and Cody's belief in UFOs.
Episode 14: Home Alone
First aired: 1/3/1992
Dana's left in charge of the home—with a "no parties" edict—while Frank and Carol escape for a weekend away.
Episode 15: Drive, He Said
First aired: 1/17/1992
Frank can't pass the driving exam that step-daughter Dana can. Al won't quit playing the drums after vowing to her father she won't give up too soon.
Episode 16: Bully for Mark
First aired: 2/7/1992
Mark is forced to do homework for a bully names Max; Dana has to write an article on J.T.'s record-setting track performance.
Episode 17: The Boys in the Band
First aired: 2/14/1992
J.T. and Cody go to extremes to help the girl-band that J.T. manages; Frank has to deal with a mouse in the house
Episode 18: School Daze
First aired: 2/21/1992
Carol finds adding college classes to her already hectic life to be too much to handle.
Episode 19: Country Club
First aired: 2/28/1992
One of Carol's clients has the Foster/Lamberts come to her country club, and while some are uncomfortable being there, each family member has their own unique experience.
Episode 20: Daddy's Girl
First aired: 3/6/1992
When Frank's father comes to visit with his fiancée, he recognizes her as a stripper. Dana forces J.T. to do her chores in exchange for getting him a date with a friend.
Episode 21: He Wanted Wings
First aired: 3/27/1992
About to turn 40, Frank decides to realize his life-long ambition to learn to fly. Cody and J.T. install a new shower head.
Episode 22: Beauty Contest
First aired: 4/24/1992
After Frank joins the Grand Mallards, Carol and Karen enter a mother-daughter beauty contest at the lodge.