, a wildly popular 80's show about an Ohio family, originally premiered on NBC Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. in 1982. Steve and Elyse Keaton (Michael Gross
, Meredith Baxter-Birney
) were products of the 60's love and peace hippie movement. They were smart and professional; Elyse was an architect and Steve was in public television. Their politics were liberal.
Oddly enough, their offspring included the ultra-conservative Alex (Michael J. Fox
), who was into all things Wall Street and Republican, and Mallory (Justine Bateman
), who was an airhead into designer jeans and boys who were as ditzy as she was. The youngest sibling was Jennifer (Tina Yothers
). Alex emerged as the show's central character, and many of the episodes revolved around him.
Although a comedy, "Family Ties" dealt with some serious topics such as grief, racism, and sickness. One of the show's top rated episodes was about Alex working through the sudden death of a close friend. Once positioned in the plum spot behind The Cosby Show
and in front of Cheers
, "Family Ties" enjoyed a ratings surge. However, in 1988 the show was nearing its end, ranking 17th in the Nielsen ratings, down from #2 the previous year.
Where are they now?
(Jennifer Keaton)- Her recent work includes the lead in a 2004 stage play about the life of porn star Linda Lovelace, and she has appeared on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club
, where she lost 42 pounds. Yothers is married with two children.
(Steve Keaton)- Gross is working on the film "100 Million B.C." and has made appearances on CSI: NY
, How I Met Your Mother
, and Boston Legal
[formerly Baxter-Birney] (Elyse Keaton)- She has appeared in recent episodes of The Closer
, Brothers and Sisters
, and Cold Case
. She has continually worked before and after "Family Ties."
(Mallory Keaton)- Justine's recent work includes Men In Trees
, Arrested Development
and Still Standing
Michael J. Fox
(Alex Keaton)- The most notable Keaton has recently been seen on Boston Legal
. He also voices animated features and has one releasing in December 2008. Fox married "Family Ties" co-star Tracy Pollan
, and the couple have four children. Michael J. Fox, now living with Parkinson's Disease, is a strong advocate for Parkinson's Disease Research. His foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, helps further Parkinson's Disease research through embryonic stem cell studies.
Story by Donna Terrell
Starpulse contributing writer