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Married... with Children
Married... with Children is a sitcom that aired on FOX. Being the first primetime series to air on the network, its 259-episode run makes it FOX's longest running live-action sitcom. The theme song is Love and Marriage, performed by Frank Sinatra from the 1955 TV production Our Town.
Putting the "fun" in "dysfunctional," the series is essentially a satire of the feel-good family sitcoms of the time (Silver Spoons, Family Ties, etc.). It deals with the Bundys, a Chicago family. Al Bundy is a once glorious high school football player turned born-loser shoe salesman, Peg is his hedonistic wife, Bud is his wise but narcissistic son, and Kelly is his beautiful but dense and clueless daughter. Al trods through his day hating his life, from dealing with ugly and obnoxious female customers for menial pay to having to satisfy sex-starved Peg and telling Bud the facts of life the Bundy way. Along the way he screens Kelly's dates with an iron fist.
The Bundy's next door neighbors are Steve and Marcy Rhodes. Marcy is the brash and opinionated spouse and Steve is her cuckolded husband. They usually fall victim to the Bundys' half-baked schemes and along the line something gets destroyed. Many of the show's storylines involve Al's scheme's being foiled by his own cartoonish dim wit and streak of bad luck. His rivalry and loathing for Marcy plays a significant role in most episodes.
After four seasons, David Garrison left the show, so his character of Steve was written off as divorced. He would later guest star in four episodes throughout the series. In the fifth season, Marcy would remarry to Jefferson D'Arcy (Ted McGinley), a white-collar criminal who became Al's sidekick for the rest of the series. In season 7, the show adopted a child named Seven. It was considered the show's "jump the shark" moment and Seven was written out after one season.
The first season was taped at ABC Television Center in Hollywood, then at Sunset Gower Studios from season two to season eight. In 1994, the show moved its taping locale from Fox's Hollywood Studios to the Sony-Columbia locale where the ABC series Full House had taped. Prior to taping their first show at the new locale, the cast of Married...with Children held an exorcism to rid the studio of the Full House spirits.
During the show's 11-season run, 258 of the 259 episodes aired. The 45th episode, I'll See You in Court, didn't air until FX aired the episode in 2002 and has since then been included on DVD and syndication packages.
In 2008, Married... with Children was placed #94 on Entertainment Weekly's "New TV Classics" list. On April 22, 2012, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of FOX, the series premiere re-aired, followed by a reunion with the main cast members.
On September 11, 2014, it was announced that a spinoff centered on Bud Bundy will be in the works.
In 1989, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan resident Terry Rakolta led a boycott on the show after viewing the episode Her Cups Runneth Over. She was offended by the images of the old man wearing women's garter and stockings, the scene where Steve touches the pasties of a mannequin dressed in S&M gear, a homosexual man wearing a tiara, with Al saying "...and they wonder why we call them 'queens'"), and a half-naked woman taking off her bra in front of Al (and her arms covering her bare chest in the next shot). Rakolta began writing letters to FOX, starting a campaign to advertisers, demanding that they boycott the show.
After advertisers started dropping their support for the show and while Rakolta made several talk show appearances demanding the show's cancelation, FOX executives refused to air the "I'll See You in Court" episode. The episode would later become known as the lost episode and was aired on FX on June 18, 2002, with some parts cut.
Rakolta has been referenced twice: once in Rock and Roll Girl, when a newscaster mentioned Bloomfield Hills, and in No Pot to Pease In, when a television show was made about the Bundy family and was later cancelled because Marcy stated that "some woman in Michigan didn't like it".
|Ed O'Neill||Al Bundy||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|Katey Sagal||Margaret "Peggy" Bundy||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|Christina Applegate||Kelly Bundy||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|David Faustino||Bud Franklin Bundy||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|Amanda Bearse||Marcy Rhoades/D'Arcy||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|David Garrison||Steve Rhoades||*||*||*||*||o||o||o|
|Ted McGinley||Jefferson D'Arcy||o||*||*||*||*||*||*|
| Orange/Red/o indicates a recurring or guest role during that season.|
Dark Green indicates top billing during that season.
|Dan Tullis, Jr.||Officer Dan||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|E.E. Bell||Bob Rooney||*||*||*||*|
|Season One||April 5, 1987||June 28, 1987||13|
|Season Two||September 27, 1987||May 1, 1988||22|
|Season Three||November 6, 1988||May 21, 1989||22|
|Season Four||September 3, 1989||May 13, 1990||23|
|Season Five||September 23, 1990||May 19, 1991||25|
|Season Six||September 8, 1991||May 17, 1992||26|
|Season Seven||September 13, 1992||May 23, 1993||26 + 2|
|Season Eight||September 5, 1993||May 22, 1994||26|
|Season Nine||September 4, 1994||May 21, 1995||26 + 2|
|Season Ten||September 17, 1995||May 19, 1996||26 + 1|
|Season Eleven||September 28, 1996||June 9, 1997||24|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
- Characters: A listing of characters in the series
- Crew: A listing of the crew that works on the series