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SoapDope

Family (1976-1980)

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I decided to start a thread for this drama, even though it might not be considered a soap. I was looking at the first season a few weeks ago and always wondered why they replaced Elayne Heilveil in the role of Nancy ? I thought she was fine, especially in the Pilot. I have read Elayne was fired because they thought she wasn't coming across the way they had hoped, then also someone claimed she didn't want to sign on for a weekly series. There was another actress recast in the role, but when they hired Meredith Baxter, she had to go back a retape scenes. Cheryl Ladd also was being considered, but I don't think she filmed anything. Aaron Spelling kept her in mind and then cast her on Charlie's Angels when Farrah left in 1977. 

 

I think Brianne Leary from Chips looked similar to Elayne Heilveil and wonder what she would have been like as Nancy. I think she is younger than EH. Brianne is on the right.

 

1e.jpg   brianne-leary-13.jpg

Edited by SoapDope

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It was set in Pasadena.

 

I own the first two seasons on DVD (patiently awaiting the rest...) and absolutely love it. The whole cast is great, but Sada Thompson was so effortless as Kate, always walking that fine line between maternal and domineering with the children, especially wayward Nancy. There's an awesome clip on YouTube, I think it's titled "Kate has Nancy's number," and it's a fantastic showcase of the relationship between the two characters.

 

They also did one of my favorite early LGBT stories on TV in the second season when Willie's friend Zeke comes out and stays with the Lawrences for a while.

 

It's such a good, quiet show, though, and I'd love to catch at least one run-through of the entire series on Me-TV or INSP or whatever. One of the holiday episodes will air on Me this year on Christmas Day, though, so that's something.

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On 11/18/2016 at 9:00 PM, All My Shadows said:

It was set in Pasadena.

 

I own the first two seasons on DVD (patiently awaiting the rest...) and absolutely love it. The whole cast is great, but Sada Thompson was so effortless as Kate, always walking that fine line between maternal and domineering with the children, especially wayward Nancy. There's an awesome clip on YouTube, I think it's titled "Kate has Nancy's number," and it's a fantastic showcase of the relationship between the two characters.

 

They also did one of my favorite early LGBT stories on TV in the second season when Willie's friend Zeke comes out and stays with the Lawrences for a while.

 

It's such a good, quiet show, though, and I'd love to catch at least one run-through of the entire series on Me-TV or INSP or whatever. One of the holiday episodes will air on Me this year on Christmas Day, though, so that's something.

 

I loved, loved, loved this series and would definitely classify it as a primetime soap. I was so excited when the first two seasons were released on DVD, but alas, sales were not great and it looks like the studio has totally abandoned any plans for additional releases. Episodes from seasons 3-5 are scarce, and many are not available anywhere on the net or among die-hard collectors. Some people search for the Holy Grail; I am hunting down the complete set of FAMILY on disc! :)

 

That episode about Zeke was truly memorable and quite groundbreaking for its time. I'm glad we at least have that among the episodes on the official season two release.

 

Yep: FAMILY and ST. ELSEWHERE, the only two classic series I am desperate to find!

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I've only gotten into the first season (still early episodes - I really liked the first Nancy I have to admit). The episode with the wonderful Mildred Natwick as the dying grandmother was extremely moving and really spoke to me, especially her relationship with Willie. That they left her dying scenes offcamera and had her live out her last days at her farm with Willie only added more loss to the material, more than overwrought scenes of tears and last words would have. 

 

There's something very honest about TV drama from the late '70s and early '80s that I don't think we've seen since. 

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That's one of my favorite episodes as well. The show really lived up to its name - they did a great job of just addressing so many "family" issues and relationships.

 

Willie is one of my favorite TV characters of all time simply for the timelessness of GF's portrayal. The kid who's grown up in a pretty strict environment who must now make his own decisions about his own life but can't because he doesn't know how to handle autonomy. A sweet, good-natured guy, but he has no clue what it means to be an adult. Oh, to be able to see how his characterization changes in the later episodes.

 

I always forget that "Rites of Friendship" was co-written by Bethel Leslie.

Edited by All My Shadows

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A reminder that the final season's Christmas episode, "Tis the Season," will air on MeTV today at 3:00PM (central). I don't have a DVR and probably won't be able to watch, so hopefully someone puts it on YT.

 

*** Actually, I just checked, and the episode IS on YouTube already, but it's not a very clear copy. Hope we can get a nice, pristine copy from today's airing. I'm kinda mad they decided to air it on Christmas Day and not earlier on so that more people could watch. Really, I'm just pissed that they scaled back their holiday offerings after two great years of a nightly Christmas marathon. They could've easily aired all four of Family's holiday episodes.

Or, you know, they could just air the show regularly.

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11 minutes ago, amybrickwallace said:

Why can't Sony release the rest of the series on DVD by on demand? I'd love to see the rest of the series.

Glad to see you posting again. I agree. The show is being forgotten in time. They also need to air it on one of the retro channels to get new generations of viewers. There is a poster on youtube called vcrcooking or something like that, who has posted episodes from later seasons. 

 

John Rubinstein who plays Jeff looks like singer Leo Sayer, especially in the pilot.....LOL

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Thanks! It's good to be back. I'm glad that I wrote to Sada Thompson before her passing. This was right after the first/second season DVD set had been released, and she wrote back saying how happy she was that the show was being enjoyed again. She and James Broderick were letter perfect as the heads of the Lawrence family. I wonder why Gary Frank never got more acting work after the show. Dinah Manoff was a guest star on the show at one point and acted with Kristy McNichol, a decade or so before being cast as sisters on "Empty Nest".

 

I really wish Sony would sign over the rights to this show on Shout!, who are well-known for picking up shows on DVD whose season by season releases are stalled. Sony is one of the worst, if not THE worst, when it comes to consistently releasing seasons of shows on DVD in a timely manner,

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On ‎3‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 0:57 AM, SoapDope said:

John Rubinstein who plays Jeff looks like singer Leo Sayer, especially in the pilot.....LOL

 

John Rubenstein had the biggest white man 'fro this side of Journey's Neal Schon!!! :lol:

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14 hours ago, amybrickwallace said:

 

John Rubenstein had the biggest white man 'fro this side of Journey's Neal Schon!!! :lol:

LOL......Yes. Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon also had a big fro.

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