A hard-nosed, conservative Marine impulsively proposes to the liberal reporter doing a story on him and agrees to help her raise her three teenage daughters.




4   3   2   1  
1993   1992   1991   1990   1989  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »




Complete series cast summary:
Gerald McRaney ...  Major John D. MacGillis 96 episodes, 1989-1993
Shanna Reed Shanna Reed ...  Polly Cooper 96 episodes, 1989-1993
Nicole Dubuc ...  Robin Cooper McGillis 96 episodes, 1989-1993
Chelsea Hertford Chelsea Hertford ...  Casey Cooper McGillis 96 episodes, 1989-1993
Marisa Ryan ...  Elizabeth Cooper McGillis 96 episodes, 1989-1993
Matt Mulhern ...  Lt. Eugene 'Gene' Holowachuk 96 episodes, 1989-1993
Beverly Archer Beverly Archer ...  Gunny Sgt. Alva Bricker 70 episodes, 1990-1993
Jon Cypher ...  Gen. Marcus C. Craig 69 episodes, 1990-1993


Major John MacGillis is a conservative, by-the-book, die-hard Marine. Polly Cooper is a pacifistic, liberal journalist. Nonetheless, when the two meet, there's instant and intense chemistry between them. With the permission of Polly's 3 daughters, the two get married within weeks. Now Polly (and her kids) have to learn how to deal with being a Marine family, while Major MacGillis has to learn how to be a Dad... Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family


Did You Know?


The first season opening credits originally showed young Chelsea Hertford removing Gerald McRaney's Marines cap and putting it on her own head. Soon after, the producers heard from the Marines saying Chelsea's actions were disrespectful. Therefore, for the second season, the credits were changed to show Chelsea starting to reach for the cap but then stopping when Maj. MacGillis looked at her like, "Don't." From the third season on, she doesn't even try. See more »


Casey: It's GI Joe!
See more »


Referenced in Saved by the Bell: Wrestling with the Future (1992) See more »

User Reviews

Majorly Amusing
15 December 2004 | by painter316See all my reviews

For an 80s/early 90s show, Major Dad was amusing. It is only a sitcom; it's not supposed to be taken that seriously. If you enjoyed shows like Coach or Cheers, then you'll enjoy Major Dad. People always talk about how hard it is to make a good military show. I think they never watched an episode of M*A*S*H in their sheltered lives. Likewise, this was fairly successful. It was a show that the family and I could sit around and watch, and that's saying something. Family TV has hit rock bottom unfortunately. So if you're looking for a family favorite, tune into Major Dad. It's not the funniest show you'll ever watch, but it's really cute. Enjoy!

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Release Date:

17 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Major Dad See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(96 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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