It’s hard to believe, but “All in the Family” debuted half a century ago! Yep, on Jan. 12, 2021, the sitcom marks its 50th anniversary. In honor of this momentous milestone, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at some of the most iconic families in television history. Keep reading to see if your favorite TV clan landed on the list…
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Audiences fell in love with the Rose family at the center of the Canadian sitcom “Schitt’s Creek” — the brainchild of real-life father-son team Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy. The formerly filthy rich Rose clan’s move to the small town of Schitt’s Creek (which they’d previously purchased as a joke!) led to plenty of laughs and endearing moments as they got used to the simple life. This addictive and heartwarming show debuted in 2015 and ran for six successful seasons, ending in 2020.
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For better or for worse, the Kardashian-Jenner clan has been unavoidable since their flagship reality TV show, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” debuted on E! in October 2007. The show turned Khloe Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner, plus Caitlyn Jenner, Rob Kardashian and each of the ladies’ significant others, into international superstars. The 20th and final season of the reality series will run in 2021.
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When you were lost out there and all alone, the Tanner clan of ABC’s “Full House” was always waiting to carry you home. Bob Saget starred as Danny Tanner, a widower raising three daughters — eldest D.J. (Candace Cameron-Bure), middle child Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and baby Michelle (Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen) — with the help of his brother-in-law Jesse (John Stamos) and childhood pal Joey (Dave Coulier). There’s a reason why this ’90s staple got a second chance at immortality with the Netflix spinoff “Fuller House,” which ran for five seasons from 2016 until 2020.
The extended Pritchett-Dunphy clan brought the LOLs (and Emmy Awards!) to ABC after “Modern Family” debuted in 2009. Ed O’Neill played patriarch Jay Pritchett, Sofia Vergara was his wife, Gloria, and Rico Rodriguez was Manny, her son from a previous relationship. Julie Bowen played Claire, Jay’s daughter; Ty Burrell was Phil, her husband; and their kids were played by Nolan Gould, Ariel Winter and Sarah Hyland. Finally, Jesse Tyler Ferguson played Jay’s son, Mitchell, and Eric Stonestreet was his partner and eventual husband, Cameron. The 11th and final season following this funny family came to an end in 2020.
FOX’s “Empire” centered around the fictional Lyon family of Empire Entertainment, a hip-hop music label. Terrence Howard starred as patriarch Lucious Lyon, Taraji P. Henson was Cookie, his ex-wife and business partner, and Trai Byers, Jussie Smollett and Bryshere Y. Gray portrayed their sons: Andre, Jamal and Hakeem. It ultimately ran for six seasons, following the family’s glamorous exploits until it wrapped in 2020.
Since it debuted in 2011, “Game of Thrones” has been nothing short of a roller coaster of emotions spurred by shocking plot twists and even more surprising deaths. The first season of the HBO series chronicled the since-decimated Stark clan during the prelude to war in Westeros. Sean Bean starred as patriarch Eddard Stark, Michelle Fairley portrayed his wife, Catelyn, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams are their daughters, their sons are Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Art Parkinson and Richard Madden, along with Kit Harington’s bastard Jon Snow. The show ran for an impressive eight seasons, ending in 2019.
The Ingalls clan will always be our favorite little family on the prairie. Michael Landon starred as patriarch Charles Ingalls, Karen Grassle portrayed his wife, Caroline, and their three daughters were Carrie (twins Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush shared the role), Mary (Melissa Sue Anderson) and Laura (Melissa Gilbert). “Little House on the Prairie” charmed its way into our hearts from 1974 to 1983.
It was the story of a lovely lady (Florence Henderson) who was bringing up three very lovely girls (Susan Olsen, Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb). She met a man named Brady (Robert Reed) who was busy with three boys of his own (Christopher Knight, Barry Williams and Michael Lookinland). The group somehow formed a family (along with Ann B. Davis’s housekeeper Alice), and that’s the way they all became “The Brady Bunch” — and perhaps the most iconic TV clan of all time!
The Robinson family got “Lost in Space” and landed in the hearts of audiences around the globe! June Lockhart, Guy Williams, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright and Marta Kristen portrayed the members of the space-exploring clan who — along with Mark Goddard’s Major Don West, Jonathan Harris’s Dr. Zachary Smith and one very special robot — starred on the groundbreaking CBS sci-fi series from 1965 to 1968.
Before Will Smith was one of the biggest stars on the planet, he was “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” a teen from West Philadelphia who got in one little fight and then moved in with his auntie and uncle in Bel Air. Janet Hubert-Whitten and then Daphne Maxwell Reid (pictured) starred as Will’s Aunt Viv, James Avery was his Uncle Phil, and Tatyana Ali, Alfonso Ribeiro and Karyn Parsons portrayed their kids — Will’s cousins Ashley, Carlton and Hilary — on the NBC sitcom.
The young stars of “Home Improvement,” which aired from 1991 to 1999, grew up before our very eyes — and there wasn’t a pre-teen alive during the decade who didn’t have a crush on one of the Taylor boys: Taran Noah Smith’s Mark, Jonathan Taylor Thomas’s Randy and Zachery Ty Bryan’s Brad. Patricia Richardson and Tim Allen starred as their parents: stay-at-home mom Jill and Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor. Earl Hindman and Richard Karn rounded out the rest of the cast as the Taylors’ neighbor Wildon and Tim’s sidekick Al.
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