Family Ties (1982–1989)

TV Series  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Family
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Chronicles liberal ex-hippies Steven and Elyse Keaton, their conservative son Alex, daughters Mallory and Jennifer, and later, youngest child Andrew.

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7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1989   1988   1987   1986   1985   1984   … See all »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 22 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Elyse Keaton (171 episodes, 1982-1989)
 Steven Keaton (171 episodes, 1982-1989)
 Alex P. Keaton (171 episodes, 1982-1989)
 Mallory Keaton (171 episodes, 1982-1989)
 Jennifer Keaton (171 episodes, 1982-1989)
 Andrew 'Andy' Keaton (74 episodes, 1986-1989)


Steven and Elyse Keaton were two hippies with liberal viewpoints who had married during the 1960s. The young couple had hoped their children would adopt the same values. How wrong they were, especially in the case of oldest son Alex. "Family Ties," which was based in Columbus, Ohio, explored the relationship between Steven (a public television station manager), Elyse (an architect) and their three children, Alex, Mallory and Jennifer. Alex was an avid Reagan devotee and card-carrying Young Republicans Club member who sauntered through the house in a shirt and tie and hung a picture of William F. Buckley over his bed. But as intelligent and over-achieving as Alex was, Mallory was as underachieving and, to say the least, a slacker; she was more concerned with shopping and cute guys. Jennifer was the precocious youngster who just wanted to be a normal kid. Skippy Handleman, one of Alex's best friends, was a geeky next-door neighbor with an unrequited crush on Mallory. During the 1984-... Written by Brian Rathjen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family


TV-G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 September 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enredos de familia  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(180 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


Michael Gross once stated in an interview that he didn't feel that Steven Keaton had much dimension or depth until the character of Nick was added. He cited this addition as a major reason for staying on the show, See more »


Andrew Keaton: Alex is reading me "Robin Hood," where he robs from the poor and gives to the rich.
Steven Keaton: That's not Robin Hood, that's Ronald Reagan.
See more »


Referenced in Nikki: Family Lies (2001) See more »


Without Us
(Theme song)
Lyrics by Jeff Barry
Music by Tom Scott
Performed by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

Doesn't get any better
27 March 2007 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

Re-watching it on DVD I was amazed that Family Ties really stood the test of time. What makes it stand out is the constant high quality of the writing. On the one hand Family Ties always tackles serious issues on a personal level (death, trust, love, sexual harassment) but also on a social/ political level. I find it absolutely amazing that the writers always manage to avoid the trap of becoming sentimental or moralizing but always keep a healthy distance. Politically Family Ties is the great liberal voice of 80s television and from that point of view plays in a different league from its arch rival at the time, The Cosby show. What I also find amazing is that they manage to pack a satisfying story in the fairly short format of less then 30 minutes. The cast of course is perfect. Michael Gross stands out for me because he has the best one-liners in the show and his delivery as naive Steve Keaton is incredibly funny. Michael Fox is Michael Fox (as always) but Meredith Baxter is a great and underrated comedienne (and actually hellishly attractive...). Pity Tina Yothers stopped acting as it is amazing what a quantity and quality of dialogue she delivered at a very young age (though the jury is still out on her real age). And let's not forget Justine Bateman as airhead Mallory but who can act a fine line between comedy and drama (see Give uncle Arthur a kiss.)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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