Family (1976–1980)
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Pilot: The Best Years 

Nancy walks in on Jeff and finds him with another woman and moves back home. Buddy overhears something Kate says about her children, and runs away.



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Episode cast overview:
Letitia 'Buddy' Lawrence (as Kristie McNichol)
Watchman (as Douglas V. Fowley)
Bill Smiley ...


Nancy walks in on Jeff and finds him with another woman and moves back home. Buddy overhears something Kate says about her children, and runs away.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Family




Release Date:

9 March 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Season One originally aired as a six part miniseries before it was picked up as a regular series, beginning with Season Two. See more »


Letitia 'Buddy' Lawrence: Do you think Daddy's ashamed of me? He thinks I'm stupid.
Willie Lawrence: Uh,Uh. He knows you're stupid. Anybody who'd leave the table before they've had their dessert has got to be stupid!
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Pilot Episode
14 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just finished watching the PILOT episode of FAMILY for the first time since it was aired all those years ago. All those years ago, as an Adolescent boy right around Kristy McNichol's age, I fell in love with her, and watching the episode again brought all those good memories flooding back.

Kristy (or Kristie, as she is credited in the opening credits!) just looked so darn cute, and her acting was brilliant. In one scene, she overhears her Mother and Father fighting and her mother mentions that while pregnant with Buddy, she wasn't sure she wanted to go thru with the pregnancy. The hurt look on Kristy's face at that moment was so real and convincing. I think it was at that point that I bonded with Kristy, because what little kid, at one time or another, hasn't thought that his/her parents really didn't want them? And to hear you parents actually admit something like that (even though deep down you know they really DO love you) is a traumatic experience, and Kristy portrayed that experience wonderfully. Not many child stars could have pulled it off as sincerely.

A little bit later in the plot, just after she is caught by the caretaker, and he is threatening to call the cops on her for breaking the windows of the greenhouse, she has the cutest little pout on her face as she sits there wondering what her next move should be. Seeing it after all these years just re-affirms my admiration for Kristy and her talent. No wonder she won the EMMY AWARD three years in a row.

For me, watching FAMILY is all about KRISTY!! I can't wait to finish watching the first and second season, and hope for the release of the rest of the seasons!!

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