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1993: 'Perfect Strangers' Comes to a Close
August 6, 2017  | By TV WW
 
This day in 1993 marked the final episode of the ABC fish-out-of-water sitcom, Perfect Strangers, which introduced the catch phrase "Don't be reee-deek-u-los!" and the ABC spinoff, Family Matters.

The series, which ran eight seasons, starred Mark Linn-Baker as a straight-laced midwesterner who unexpectedly finds himself sharing an apartment with a distant cousin from a foreign country, played by Bronson Pinchot. Much of the comedy stemmed from Pinchot's attempts to acclimate to life in America and his misuse of cliché expressions.

Producer Tom Miller — who produced shows such as Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Bosom Buddies, Full House, and Step by Step with partner Robert Boyett — told the Houston Chronicle that the show was inspired by the "nations all coming together" at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and the patriotism instilled by the games.

Perfect Strangers, which anchored ABC's original TGIF Friday-night lineup, was responsible for another hit sitcom, Family Matters. Jo Marie Payton-France, who played the elevator operator in the cousins' apartment building, and her husband, played by Reginald VelJohnson, went on to helm the series that introduced Jaleel White's Steve Urkel.

 
 
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

This Day in TV History