Day By Day and Family Ties

Day By Day (1988-1989)
Family Ties (1982-1989)
Type: Crossover
Group: 24

   Simple cross promotion time! Family Ties was the NBC hit family sitcom that helped to make Michael J. Fox a star. It told the story of a couple of former 60's "fight the establishment" children of love all grown up and raising very 80's children. Elyse and Stephen Keaton were still very much "save the world" Democrats. Michael J. Fox's Alex P. Keaton was a money crazy "own the world" Republican. Mallory was their pretty but not super bright middle daughter and Jennifer was their smart and wisecracking youngest daughter. By the end of the show the Keaton's had a fourth child Andrew. Andy served as someone Alex could play off of.

   But, hey, in a family where both the mom and the husband work you are going to need day-care. And whaddya know, NBC had another similarly toned sitcom it was looking to promote about a day-care center. What luck!

   Day By Day told the story of another working couple: the Harpers. An attorney and a stockbroker, they decided to quit their jobs and open a day-care center so that they could spend more time with their day-care aged daughter and their teenaged son. Running the day-care center out of their home they had more than just toddlers to deal with. Their teenage son Ross was always hitting on their employee Kristin. On top of that Brian's friend from his stockbroker days Eileen was always showing up to cause trouble. Played by a pre-Seinfeld Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Eileen was sort of a female Alex Keaton - self motivated, self centered and all about the money. It should also be noted that Kristin was played by a pre-Melrose Place, pre-Ally McBeal Courtney Thorne-Smith. Oh and Ross, who in one episode dreamed he was one of The Brady Bunch, was played by Christopher Daniel Barnes who later really became a Brady when he played Greg Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie.

   In an attempt I'm sure to pull in new viewers, the day-care of Day By Day received a visit from the Keatons. Seems the Harpers lived quite near the Keatons and that the Harpers and the Keaton's knew each other (what ARE the odds!). And seeing that the Keaton's were looking into day-care for Andy... well of course they checked first with the folks they knew and, to beat the phrase to death, hilarity ensued.

   But not quite enough hilarity. The 1988-1989 season was the last for Family Ties and Day By Day. For Family Ties it was a matter of a successful show simply ending because the stars were ready to move on. Unfortunately for the actually funny Day By Day it was a matter of a not so successful show ending because the audience not only moved on, they never stopped by in the first place. Like I said though, its a shame since it was an okay show. The Brady Bunch dream episode was great. They skewered all things Brady. Most bizarre in that episode they had on Maureen McCormick playing Jan Brady even though she was pregnant and simply dealt with it with a flippant one-liner. It was nuts and very funny.

Other Family Ties Crossover Links
Family Ties and Spin City

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