Step by Step is an American sitcom television series created by William Bickley and Michael Warren which originated on ABC from September 20, 1991 to August 15, 1997 and moved to CBS from September 19, 1997 to June 26, 1998. It starred Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers as two single parents (each with three children), who spontaneously get married after meeting one another during a vacation, resulting in them becoming the heads of a large blended family.
Step by Step starred Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers as two single parents (each with three children), who spontaneously get married after meeting one another during a vacation, resulting in them becoming the heads of a large blended family. The series aired for seven seasons from September 20, 1991 to August 15, 1997, and was canceled by the network after six seasons, reportedly due to declining ratings. The series was picked up on CBS and aired on that network from September 19, 1997 to June 26, 1998 for its seventh and final season.
Set in a substantially fictionalized version of the city of Port Washington, Wisconsin, Frank Lambert, a divorced contractor with three children, sons J.T. and Brendan and daughter Al, impulsively marries Carol Foster, a widowed beautician who also has three children, daughters Dana and Karen and son Mark. Both were residents of Port Washington, but met while vacationing separately in Jamaica. Their children are surprised and angered when they learn of the marriage. Stories depicted typical situations of a new blended family, their differences causing arguments and resentments between them, but the family eventually growing to tolerate and develop loyalty to one another.
The show lasted for seven seasons, and the main cast changed as the storyline progressed. Frank's nephew Cody was introduced in the fourth episode of the first season and lived in his van in the family's driveway, then left the series in 1996 but returned for the second to last episode of the series. In the forth season finale, Carol gave birth to daughter Lilly. Like many other sitcom babies, Lilly was suddenly aged four years when she appeared in season 6. In 1997, J.T.'s friend Rich moved in with the family after becoming Dana's boyfriend.
Brendan Lambert appeared less and less as the show progressed, especially after Lilly's birth. When the show moved from ABC to CBS, his character disappeared; the series' producers later admitted in a TV Guide interview that despite his absence, the Lamberts would still refer to their "seven children", making Brendan an unseen character for the final season.
- Patrick Duffy as Frank Lambert
- Suzanne Somers as Carol Foster Lambert
- Brandon Call as John Thomas "J.T." Lambert
- Christine Lakin as Alicia "Al" Lambert
- Josh Byrne as Brendan Lambert
- Sasha Mitchell as Cody Lambert
- Staci Keanan as Dana Foster
- Angela Watson as Karen Foster
- Christopher Castile as Mark Foster
- Patrika Darbo as Penny Baker (season 1)
- Peggy Rea as Ivy Baker (season 1)
- Jason Marsden as Rich Halke
- Jeff Juday as Jake "Flash" Gordon (season 5)
- Bronson Pinchot as Jean-Luc Rieupeyroux
- Alexandra Adi as Samantha "Sam" Milano
- Main article: Episode Guide
|Season||Episodes||Network||First air date||Last air date|
|Season 1||22||ABC||September 20, 1991||April 24, 1992|
|Season 2||24||September 18, 1992||May 14, 1993|
|Season 3||24||September 24, 1993||May 20, 1994|
|Season 4||25||September 23, 1994||May 19, 1995|
|Season 5||24||September 22, 1995||May 17, 1996|
|Season 6||24||March 7, 1997||August 15, 1997|
|Season 7||19||CBS||September 19, 1997||June 26, 1998|
The series was created and executive produced by William Bickley and Michael Warren, and developed and executive produced by Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett. It was produced by Bickley-Warren Productions, Miller-Boyett Productions and Lorimar Television (the latter doing so from 1991 to 1993, when Warner Bros. Television assumed production responsibilities for it and Lorimar's other television series after shared corporate parent Time Warner consolidated the two production companies). The casting of Patrick Duffy fulfilled a contractual obligation that Lorimar made to give him a new show after his previous series, Dallas (which was also produced by Lorimar), had ended its run. It was created off of the idea of combining two of the most popular television stars from the 1970s known for their good looks (Duffy and Somers) to star as parents to attract adult viewers, with current teen celebrities (Staci Keanan from My Two Dads and Going Places, Brandon Call from Baywatch and Sasha Mitchell from Dallas) to star as their children to attract children and teen viewers.
Reviewing the pilot episode, Jean Rosenbluth of Variety wrote that, despite being an unoriginal clone of The Brady Bunch, it is a "modestly amusing, occasionally heartwarming show".
In September 1995, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution began distributing the series for broadcast in off-network syndication.
ABC Family was the first to acquire cable television rights to the series, and it became one of the cable channel's longest-running off-network syndicated programs in its history. Reruns began airing on there in 2001 (on what was then known as Fox Family), airing in various timeslots during its run ranging from late afternoon to the morning hours. On March 26, 2010, ABC Family's contract expired after less than nine years.
The series returned to U.S. syndication on October 7, 2013, when the Hub Network began airing reruns; the network dropped it on October 12, 2014, as part of a change in the focus.
In Australia, Step by Step aired on the Seven Network from 1991 to 1995 and on the Nine Network from 1996 to 2000. In 2011, Step by Step was acquired by 7TWO. In 2015, 111 Greats started airing the whole series.
On September 29, 2017, Step by Step, along with the other classic "TGIF" shows, can be streamed on Hulu.
DVD Release Edit
Warner Home Video released a six-episode Television Favorites collection on DVD on June 27, 2006. Much like other television shows from it, the Step by Step edition has gone out of print.
The first season was release from DVD on June 12, 2018.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|Step by Step - The Complete First Season||22||June 12, 2018|