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 5
Episode 1: Little Sister Don't Change
First aired: 9/22/1995
Overprotective J.T. is reluctant to allow his friend, Rich, to date Al. Cody thinks he's set Dana up on a date with Brad Pitt. Mark and his friends rebel against their mothers by smoking cigars.
Episode 2: Three Girls and a Baby
First aired: 9/29/1995
Dana couldn't be more mistaken when she thinks caring for Lilly will be a snap while Frank and Carol dine out, whose date night doesn't exactly go as planned, either. An obituary of someone of the same name leaves Cody thinking he might be dead.
Episode 3: Party Animal
First aired: 10/13/1995
Dana takes her new freedom too far when her roommates host a wild party. Frank thinks it's time for Lilly to move into the nursery and out of he and Carol's berdoom. Cody thinks their new neighbor was profiled on America's Most Wanted.
Episode 4: Midnight Caller
First aired: 10/20/1995
J.T. and Dana work a family help phone bank, and soon find themselves confronted by a situation with which they're all too familiar. Cody seems to be the only pacifier that can calm Lilly, leaving Carol feeling like a bad mother.
Episode 5: Maid to Order
First aired: 10/27/1995
Franks decides to hire a maid to make Carol's life easier. Carol, still stinging from losing out on head cheerleader in high school herself, vows to make it a reality for Karen. Cody gets excellent results teaching aerobics to a group of senior citizens.
Episode 6: Don't Ask
First aired: 11/3/1995
Karen gets taken advantage of by a producer who clams he can make her a country music sensation. Cody accidentally ends up with a mail-order Russian bride, who goes to great lengths to stay in America. Frank and Carol talk to the kids about pulling their own weight a bit more. Brendan tries to tell Frank about an upcoming field trip to a Packers game.
Episode 7: Hello, Mister Chips
First aired: 11/10/1995
When she loses yet another job, Frank tells Al she needs to make herself more valuable to her next employer. Carol wants a reluctant Frank to play Tarzan to her Jane for a fundraiser. J.T. bets a local pool player that Mark could beat him.
Episode 8: Roadie
First aired: 11/17/1995
Cody and a popular country singer fall for each other, but can either take on the other's lifestyle to make the relationship last? When Frank finally buys a car for the kids—a '65 Mustang—he has trouble letting them have the keys.
Episode 9: The Wall
First aired: 11/24/1995
Mark starts working out, hoping to avoid standing along the 'loser wall' at the next school dance. Dana's saddened that most of the attendees at the feminist group she's organized are only there to be around Cody. Carol gets Frank to go to a couple health spa.
Episode 10: Baby Come Back
First aired: 12/1/1995
J.T. and Al take Lilly to an audition, but return with the wrong child. Carol forces a bored Frank to attend a beauty products convention with her. Dana and Cody wind up getting stuck in his magic box.
Episode 11: The Fight Before Christmas
First aired: 12/15/1995
Frank sets Al up with his friend's son, but isn't pleased when they hit it off a bit too well. Cody's van doesn't react well to having Christmas lights hooked up to the electrical system. J.T. learns the true meaning of Christmas at a job selling trees.
Episode 12: What's Wrong with This Picture?
First aired: 1/5/1996
Dana agrees to pose nude for a prominent feminist artist who specializes in abtracts. J.T.'s afraid to break off his relationship with the daughter of an alleged mafioso. Frank won't hire an exterminator, insistant he can catch a rat himself.
Episode 13: Beautiful Ladies of Wrestling
First aired: 1/12/1996
J.T. and Frank wrestle some female professionals, hoping to get Super Bowl tickets. A poor grade on a quiz at his new private school starts Mark overstressing about his academic progress. Cody soon realizes his idea to keep camping gear light by making clothing out of food isn't so great.
Episode 14: Torn Between Two Mothers
First aired: 1/26/1996
Frank's mother can't help but give unending, unsolicited advice to Carol on how to raise Lilly. J.T. starts work as the attack target at a woman's self-defense class. Cody takes part in brain experiments.
Episode 15: Snow Bunnies
First aired: 2/2/1996
With Al not allowed to go, Matt lets a known s**t go on a ski trip, leaving Al thinking she's lost him. Cody goes to extremes to try to cure himself of a rash of hiccups. Carol's insistance on reading a horror novel leaves her with nightmares.
Episode 16: Secret Admirer
First aired: 2/9/1996
Cody secretly works to improve Dana's self-esteem after she's dumped right before Valentine's Day. Frank gets a fake Rolex for Carol, who's stunned, thinking he spent a mountain of money on her.
Episode 17: Forever Young
First aired: 2/16/1996
Frank and Carol worry about their age when they're the oldest couple at a parenting class. Dana tries to test Rich and J.T.'s assertion that "buds are thinker than babes." Cody comes up with ideas for greeting cards for obscure holidays and observances.
Episode 18: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
First aired: 2/23/1996
Cody finds out his cheese hat has given him clairvoyance, and can see future lottery numbers. Frank and Carol instantly hate Dana's new psychology major boyfriend. J.T. pretends he's Lilly's father in order to get a date.
Episode 19: Do the Right Thing
First aired: 3/8/1996
J.T. is tempted when a friend gets an advance copy of a test they'll be taking. Carol's aghast when she learns Al plans to get a tattoo.
Episode 20: The Bodyguard Formerly Known as Prince
First aired: 3/15/1996
The girls go to a ski resort, and meet a handsome prince who just wants to be liked as a real person. Rich gets the family involved in a chain letter, but Brendan's the only one to keep it going.
Episode 21: Major Pain
First aired: 4/26/1996
Dana is floored (and suspicious) when a career aptitude test gives J.T. and Rich a much better result than she. Meanwhile, Carol hires someone to work for Frank who's a complete disaster.
Episode 22: We're Going to Disney World (1)
First aired: 5/3/1996
Frank's mother sends the family to Disney World for he and Carol's anniversary.
Episode 23: We're Going to Disney World (2)
First aired: 5/10/1996
Still at Disney World, J.T. tries to redeem himself to Rich. The girls participate in a country music contest.
Episode 24: Men at Work
First aired: 5/17/1996
J.T. and Rich gets jobs at a pulchritudinous restaurant that Dana plans to picket. Frank turns the basement into a rec lounge using old tavern accessories. Flash stays with the family while his apartment is fumigated.