From watching an incredible weight loss journey to getting a breathtaking makeover, following the process of other people going after their dreams or just living their drama-filled lives on television, we have watched while family TV evolves right before our eyes as the years roll by. Gone are the days when such TV shows focus on portraying the picture-perfect family, we are now in an era where what matters the most is the content audiences would find more entertaining. While most of these shows have kept us entertained, only a few of the famous TV families out there today possess the charisma to carry their audiences along, making them feel like they grew up together.
More than a few decades have passed since the inception of the family TV which was mostly portrayed in sitcoms. Now, reality TV shows involving real-life issues in some famous TV families are quickly taking over the scene to the delight of several viewers. Audiences have come to love and look forward to the 411 in the glamorous and lavish lifestyle often portrayed in some of the shows.
From the old to the modern, let’s quickly reminisce about some of the famous TV families we have grown to love and learn from since the 1970s. You might be shocked to find one or two that depicts your own family or lifestyle. Enjoy the read!
Famous TV Families
The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)
Though the show ended since 1974, it is still remembered as one of the pioneers that set the pace for other family shows and of course, we learned a thing or two from the bunch. This American sitcom portrays the life of the Bradys, a large blended family where six children – three from each of their parents’ previous relationship, come together to start a new home. The show was created by Sherwood Schwartz and aired on ABC. While it started in September 1969, the last episode was aired on March 8, 1974.
To date, the Brady Bunch is considered as an American cultural icon and was among the shows that ushered in a new era in family sitcoms. The show, however, was not much of a critical or rating success.
The Simpsons (1989 to date)
The longest running in the history of American sitcoms, The Simpsons series have churned out 639 episodes and still has more in the pipeline. Created by Matt Groening, the show is an animated sitcom where the working-class life is ridiculed. The family consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is still entertaining audiences even though not as much as its heydays. It has also pulled through severe criticisms. For instance, President George H.W. Bush condemned the show for lagging behind in core family values in 1992.
The Huxtables (The Cosby Show) (1984-1992)
Starring the now-shamed stand-up comedian and actor, Bill Cosby, The Huxtables made family TV fun. The upper-middle-class African-American family headed by Cliff was a commercial hit, dominating as the most rated show on television for five consecutive seasons. The Cosby Show is one of two shows in the history of the Nielsen ratings to achieve the feat. Furthermore, when it’s not on top of the list, the show would be seen somewhere in the top 20, making it one of the greatest in the history of TV family and of course, among the famous TV families to date.
Modern Family (2009 to date)
Modern Family was the breath of fresh air we all needed at a time when shows like American Idol and other dramas threatened to take over television. The American television mockumentary family sitcom debuted in 2009, depicting the complex lives of Jay Pritchett and his family. At first, the show received thumbs up from viewers but the level of popularity it enjoyed back then has waned with time.
It currently boasts a total of 22 Emmy awards won from its 75 nominations. In addition, there are other prestigious awards and recognition tagged to it. The show is popular for its depiction of a gay couple raising a kid as well as some other controversial issues abounding at the time.
Keeping Up With The Kardashians (KUWTK 2007 to present)
Amid negative reviews, the KUWTK reality TV show has thrived for a decade and still going strong with its cast members commandeering the glamorous aura of Hollywood by just living their lives of glitz and glam on TV. The American reality television series has been airing on the E! cable since October 14, 2007. A few years down the line, it is rated the longest-running reality television series in the country.
The main focus on the show is virtually everything about the Kardashian–Jenner blended family. Unlike the sitcoms, the cameras follow the cast members on a daily basis as they live their normal lives, fall in love, breakup, divorce, have children and also build an empire worth millions of dollars. KUWTK is, as at August 5, 2018, on the fifteenth season. Despite the media backlash that has bedeviled the show right from the start, it has maintained a spot as E! network’s most successful shows, getting the participants richer by the minute.
Making the most of its commercial success, the KUWTK series has birthed spin-offs like Kourtney and Kim Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Khloé & Lamar, Kourtney and Khloé Take The Hamptons, Dash Dolls, Rob & Chyna, and Life of Kylie. Hate them or love them, it has become clear that the Kardashian-Jenner clan is here to stay and haters might have to just keep up with them. The family made up of Kris Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Rob Kardashian Kendall Jenner, and Kylie Jenner has become one of the famous TV families of all time.
All In The Family (1971-1979)
Arguably among the most influential in its category, the show which focused on a working-class bigot and his family, tapped into some controversial issues to break boundaries in the 1970s. This was a time when issues like racism, abortion, homosexuality, rape, the liberation of women, and a lot more were somewhat forbidden on TV. Touching these areas made the show popular and led to a spin-off series titled Archie Bunker’s Place.
Roseanne (The Conners 1988–1997)
Premiered on ABC on October 18, 1988, Roseanne has remained one of the best sitcoms for bringing to the table, what other famous TV families didn’t have. It occupied the No. 1 position in the Nielsen ratings from 1989 to 1990 and stayed in the top four for six seasons, out of nine. Other feats were also achieved by the show which went on a hiatus in 1997 but was able to be revived to last from March 27, 2018, to May 22, 2018. The show remarkably portrays gay characters and touches on contraceptives.
Married… With Children (1986–1997)
This American television sitcom is the longest-lasting live-action sitcom that has aired on the Fox network so far. It focused on the Bundy family and their twisted lifestyles in suburban Chicago. The show has 259 episodes fitted into 11 seasons and ranked at number 94 on Entertainment Weekly’s 2008 list of “New TV Classics”.
The Osbournes (2002-2005)
The life of heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne, as well as that of his family, was chronicled on this American reality TV series. The aftermath of its debut on March 5, 2002, was the feat as MTV’s most-viewed series. The final episode aired on March 21, 2005. Ozzy, alongside his wife, manager Sharon, and their children (Jack and Kelly) all played their regular family roles on the show.
Nonetheless, there’s a missing piece in the puzzle. One of the rock star’s children, a daughter named Aimee, declined the offer to appear on the show which she saw as a waste of time and full of antics. As such, she doesn’t mince words in calling them out in public. It got so real that her image was either not present in family pictures used on the show or they just blurred her out. The show detailed Sharon’s battle with cancer and several other major events that happened in the family.
Premiered on September 24, 2014, this American sitcom television series has seen several renewals since its debut – thanks to the rave reviews that it has accumulated right from the beginning. The ABC show is a single-camera comedy which boasts top Hollywood big shots like Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. Audiences loved their portrayal of an upper-middle-class African-American family, thus, opening the floodgates of critical acclaim and awards.
Among the show’s numerous awards and nominations are; one Golden Globe Award in the Best Actress category – carted away by Tracee Ellis Ross, followed by some Emmy and Golden Globe nominations under the Outstanding Comedy Series. The show also got a nod for the TCA Award, for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. This milestones also place it among the famous TV families of all time.
After pulling off four successful seasons, there was nothing standing in the way of a fifth installment. Appropriately, ABC picked it up once again on May 11, 2018, for a renewal. Fans are eagerly looking forward to the series’ fifth season, scheduled to hit the screen on October 16, 2018.