Family Ties is an American sitcom that aired on the NBC and ran from September 24, 1982, to May 14, 1989. It was created by Gary David Goldberg and it stars Michael J. Fox, Meredith Baxter, Tina Yothers, Michael Gross, Justine Bateman, and Brian Bonsall.
It ran for seven amazing seasons, the series is about former liberal hippie couple Elyse and Steven Keaton and their story about raising their four kids and one of them is the young Reagan-loving Republican Alex Keaton who is played by Michael J. Fox. Even if it’s a comedy sitcom, Family Ties also tackled sensitive issues such as incest, death, and alcoholism.
If you used to be a fan of this television show and you miss it, or you want to know more about it, here are some fun facts about Family Ties.
- Family Ties is Michael J. Fox’s shot to fame. His role as Alex became popular worldwide especially in Canada, Michael’s homeland. Canada gave Michael J. Fox several awards while he was doing the show.
- While other shows try to cover up an actor’s real-life pregnancy, the producers of Family Ties decided to include Meredith Baxter’s into the show. Her pregnancy inspired the writers to add another member to the Keaton family and that was Andy.
- Producer Gary David Goldberg originally wanted to cast Matthew Broderick as Alex P. Keaton, but Broderick turned down the offer because he did not want to move to Los Angeles.
- Family Ties had several famous guest appearances by actors like Geena Davis, Corey Feldman, Christina Applegate, Crispin Glover, River Phoenix, and Tom Hanks.
- Michael J. Fox met his wife, Tracy Pollan, on the set of Family Ties. Even if their characters Alex and Ellen broke up in the show, the two enjoyed a longer relationship off-set. They are now happily married for thirty years.
- The show’s memorable sign-off tag features Gary David Goldberg’s black Labrador in front of the Louvre in Paris.
- Michael J. Fox was almost fired from the show because his face was not fit for a lunchbox. Then-president of NBC, Brandon Tartikoff, wanted to fire Fox after the show’s pilot aired. He said that he loved the show but he wanted the producers to get rid of Fox because he cannot picture his face on a lunchbox. Eventually, when Back to the Future and Family Ties became a success, Fox sent Tartikoff a lunchbox with his picture on it and since then, they turned out to be good friends.
- During the early days of the show, Michael J. Fox was just starting his career and he did not have that much money so used to hitch a ride from Brentwood to Hollywood just to get to the set of Family Ties.
- On an interview in 1994, Scott Valentine admitted that he was paid too much for the show. He said that he often felt bad earning a lot of money by simply grunting on television.
- Family Ties and Back to the Future was filmed simultaneously. Fox said that during these times, he only had about three hours of sleep every night in order to keep up with both of his projects at the same time.
- Marc Price, the actor who played Alex’s nerdy friend, continued his passion for making people laugh. After Family Ties ended, he became a stand-up comedian. He was even featured on the show Last Comic Standing in 2006.
- The cast of Family Ties had a mini-reunion in 2015 when Michael J. Fox asked them to join him in a photo shoot to show the people what the cast of Family Ties looked like after 26 years.
- Back when Family Ties was popular, Republicans and Democrats had something in common, and that is they both adored Alex Keaton. Republicans made Michael J. Fox a poster boy for the movement and the Democrats praised Fox for his incredible role.
- Ronald Reagan himself loved the show so much that he wanted to do a cameo on the show.
Those are the fun facts we gathered for you about Family Ties. Which one is your favorite?