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Married with Children
Married with Children.jpg
Married... with Children intertitle
Format Sitcom
Created by Michael G. Moye
Ron Leavitt
Starring Ed O'Neill
Katey Sagal
Christina Applegate
David Faustino
Amanda Bearse
David Garrison
(seasons 1-4)
Ted McGinley
(seasons 4-11)
Theme music composer Sammy Cahn
Jimmy Van Heusen
Opening theme "Love and Marriage",
Performed by Frank Sinatra
Ending theme "Love and Marriage"
(instrumental)
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 11
No. of episodes 260 (with 2 specials) (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Michael G. Moye (1987–1994)
Ron Leavitt
(1987–1992)
Richard Gurman (1994–1996)
Pamela Eells O'Connell
(1996–1997)
Producer(s) Barbara Blachut Cramer
(1987–1992)
John Maxwell Anderson
(1992–1997)
Camera setup Videotape; Multi-camera
Running time approx. 22 minutes
Production company(s) Embassy Communications (1987-1988)
ELP Communications (1988–1997)
Columbia Pictures Television (1988–1994)
Columbia TriStar Television (1994–1997)
Distributor Columbia Pictures Television (1991–1994)
Columbia TriStar Television (1994–2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002–present)
Broadcast
Original channel Fox
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original run April 5, 1987 – April 20, 1997
Status Cancelled/ended
External links
Official website

Married... with Children or Married with Children is an American sitcom about a dysfunctional family living in Chicago that aired for 11 seasons. The show, notable for being the first prime time television series to air on Fox, debuted on April 5, 1987, and aired its final first-run broadcast on June 9, 1997. The series was created by Michael G. Moye and Ron Leavitt. The show was known for handling non-standard topics for the time period, which garnered the then-fledgling Fox network a standing among the Big Three television networks (ABC, CBS and NBC). The series' 11-season, 262-episode run makes it the longest-lasting live-action sitcom on the Fox network. The show's famous leitmotif is "Love and Marriage" by Frank Sinatra from the 1955 television production Our Town.

The first season of the series was videotaped at ABC Television Center in Hollywood. From season three to season eight, the show was taped at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood and the remaining three seasons were taped at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City.

The series was produced by Embassy Communications on its first season and the remaining seasons by ELP Communications under the studio Columbia Pictures Television (and eventually Columbia TriStar Television). Part of Sony Pictures Television's library, it aired in syndication on FX in the United States from 1999 to 2008 and began airing on Spike and TBS in 2008, and on TV Land in 2009. It also airs on TVtropolis in Canada. On November 15, 2008 it began airing on The CW Plus. In January 2010, it began airing on Comedy Central.

Contents

Synopsis

The show follows the lives of Al Bundy, a once-glorious high school football player (who scored four touchdowns in a single game for Polk High School) turned hard luck salesman of women's shoes; his wife, Margaret "Peg" Bundy, a tartish, uneducated housewife with a large red bouffant hairdo, tight clothes, and funny walk caused by wearing high heels; Kelly, Al and Peggy's pretty, promiscuous, dimwitted daughter; and Bud, their unpopular, girl crazy, comparatively smart son (and the only Bundy who ever attended college). Their neighbors are the upwardly mobile Steve Rhoades and his wife Marcy, who later gets remarried to Jefferson D'Arcy. Most storylines involve a scheming Al being foiled by his cartoonish dim wit and bad luck. His rivalry and loathing of Marcy also play a significant role in most episodes.

The Bundys live at 9764 Jeopardy Lane[1][2], Chicago, Illinois and their phone number is 555-2878.[3]

Cast

The creators of the show named the "Bundy" family after their favorite wrestler King Kong Bundy, though some fans mistakenly believed that the name was derived from serial killer Ted Bundy.[4] King Kong Bundy once appeared on the show as Peg's hick inbred uncle Irwin, and again appeared as his wrestling persona, since "NO MA'AM" (National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood, a fictional club depicted on the show) were big fans of the wrestler.

Al Bundy

The head of the Bundy family, Alphonse "Al" Bundy (Ed O'Neill) is doomed to fail in all aspirations because of the "Bundy curse." Once a promising Fullback (American football)] for fictional Polk High School (his proudest moment in life was scoring four touchdowns in a single game), he was on his way to college on a scholarship until he impregnated his girlfriend, married her, broke his leg, and ended up a shoe salesman at "Gary's Shoes" in the "New Market Mall." Al often spends time attempting to recapture his glory days, but is usually undermined in spectacular fashion by bad luck and poor judgment. He considers his family to be the cause of his failures, and his resentment of them (and fear of having sex with his wife) provides much of the show's humor. However, Al is still devoted to them, given that he protectively beats up Kelly's boyfriends, once threatened a male stripper that "if my wife loses anything in your pants, so will you," once gave his entire paycheck to Bud to enjoy his 18th birthday at the "nudie bar," and holds down a lousy job to put food on the table (which, ironically, there is not much of in the Bundy household). Despite his yearning for "the touch of a beautiful woman," he always passes on those rare temptations, once explaining, "I actually kinda like my family."

He frequents "nudie bars" and strip joints with his friends. The only thing that seems to consistently put him in the mood for his wife is watching her do manual labor, which virtually never happens. It is mentioned in a Season 5 episode, aired in 1990, that Al is 43. Al has extremely severe foot odor, prefers the escapism of television and bowling over his dysfunctional family, and life of drudgery and starvation (as Peg refuses to cook, she claims that she is allergic to fire, despite the fact that she smokes) and is often seen in his trademark couch potato pose—seated on the sofa with one hand stuck under the waistband of his pants.

The foot odor is not his only health problem; once in 1993, he had a bad case of dandruff. He also has terrible teeth, as noted in the episode "Tooth or Consequences," where his extremely poor dental hygiene (green, black, bleeding, and fizzing teeth amongst them) leads to a trip to the dentist with typical bad luck results.

Al's favorite television series, the fictional Psycho Dad, was a source of joy and entertainment that Al seemingly, at times, wanted to emulate. He would hum the words to the theme song, and pretend to "shoot" his fictional gun while watching the show. Much like Al, "Psycho Dad" was tormented by his family, and was stated to kill his wife and get revenge on his children in the opening credits and during various fictional "airings" of the episode, though no video was ever shown. His other joys were Westerns, often John Wayne films, most notably "Hondo," until Peg's family ruined his recording of the movie by taping over it with a song dedicated to her. He has also referenced "Shane" when the clan ruined his enjoyment of that movie.

Al also has his "faithful" 1974 Dodge Dart that invariably had failed brakes, constant breakdowns and numerous other problems associated with its age. At the time of the fourth season at least, Al was still paying it off, despite it being well over 20 years old. By the eighth season, the Dart had passed one million miles. Al's Dodge actually appears to be a 1972 Plymouth Duster. After winning a game show, the Bundys added a Ford Mustang to their fleet.

The producers originally wanted to cast comedian Sam Kinison as Al Bundy. However, they ultimately chose not to, due to the profaneness of Kinison's comedy routines. Kinison would later play Al's guardian angel in the episode "It's a Bundyful Life," spoofing Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. The producers also considered Michael Richards for the role.[5]

Peggy Bundy

Margaret "Peggy" Bundy (née Wanker - itself an obscene insult in British slang) (Katey Sagal) is Al's lazy, self-indulgent wife. She refuses to cook or clean the house, and prefers looking for new clothes to washing them. She does not even think of having a job. During the day, she likes to watch all the daytime talk shows, sitting on the beloved family couch, and eating tons of bonbons (without getting fat). Her favorite TV shows are Oprah and Donahue, but she also enjoys watching the Shop at Home Network. Peggy is a red head with a bouffant hairdo, and usually wears 1980s and 1960s-styled fashion with skin tight spandex pants and shirts, and (usually open-toed) Stiletto heels, which make her walk in a unique way. Peg was a cigarette smoker in early seasons, but soon quit. Late in the first season it is revealed she married Al on a dare although this might have been one of her sarcastic comments. In tune with Peggy's character, it was revealed in the fourth season that she did not graduate high school like she thought, failing to meet a half-credit in home economics. She got her diploma, but only by stealing Kelly's final exam, and tricking her into going to summer school. She continually spends what little money Al makes on everything from expensive clothes to useless junk, even stealing from her children to get extra cash.

Her maiden name is Wanker, and her family hails from the fictitious rural Wanker County, Wisconsin, where "As Einstein put it, everyone's relative." At Peg and Al's high school reunion, her rival muttered, "Peg... Peggy Wanker... don't bother to thank her." [6]

What is never made clear is how she managed to go to high school with Al when her parents apparently never left Wanker County.

Despite her inappropriate behavior, she generally appeals to men, including Al whenever she does work. Like Al, she would never cheat on her partner—but unlike Al, enjoys marital sex, despite constantly complaining about Al's endurance. She does not seem to mind her husband ogling other women, reading pornographic magazines, or going to strip joints—most likely because she does the same things herself with other men. Her enthusiasm has caused some of the male strip joints she visits to establish the "Bundy rule"—where women can no longer go into the back rooms to meet the dancers. During Season 6, Sagal became pregnant in real life and her pregnancy was written into the show. However, Sagal suffered a miscarriage, so in true Dallas fashion, the writers made the whole storyline into one of Al's nightmares. Sagal was pregnant again twice during the series' run, but instead of writing her pregnancies into the show, the producers either used camera shots from above the stomach, or wrote episodes without the character of Peggy, explaining her absence by having her set out in search of her missing father (who appeared in a few episodes, played by veteran comic Tim Conway), and only occasionally calling home.

The producers originally wanted Roseanne Barr to play Peggy Bundy,[citation needed] but she declined, and the producers cast Sagal, who came up with Peg's final appearance, wanting to satirize the TV housewives of the 1960s.[7]

Entertainment Weekly listed Sagal's role as Peggy for the Biggest Emmy Snub. Sagal currently acts in Sons of Anarchy.[8]

Kelly Bundy

Kelly Bundy (Christina Applegate) is the older child in the Bundy family, born on approximately November 27,1973 or sometime before February 19.[9] "Pumpkin," as Al often calls her, is a promiscuous bimbo and embodies the stereotypical "dumb blonde." She may have inherited her behavior from her mother, known as "The Big Easy" in high school. Kelly is very promiscuous, much to Al's dismay, and he becomes furious when anyone outside of the family makes fun of her for this.

During the series' run, Kelly became progressively more stupid. Initially, she was not the stereotypical dumb blonde bimbo she eventually becomes. In one episode, a flashback to Kelly's childhood reveals her to have been a prodigious reader until she banged her head during a road trip, instantly changing her personality to prefer focusing on her "shiny, shiny shoes." In the early seasons Kelly was smarter yet rebellious, and had more self-respect. The show hints at her amazing intrinsic intellectual ability, which only exhibits itself on those rare occasions when she is not preoccupied with her social status or men. For instance, she can predict the next number drawn on a roulette wheel, but only after letting her mind go blank. When properly motivated, she is able to solve complex mathematical equations, such as her calculation of the trajectory to shoot garbage bags into the D'Arcys' yard from a homemade catapult. It has been demonstrated that she can absorb a limited amount of information very well, but will forget something that she learned in the past once her limit is reached. Kelly is also known to display excellent hand-eye coordination when playing pool or performing archery.

Kelly's comedic function tends to include blatant displays of naïvete and ignorance, with the typical response by the family of willfully allowing her to remain ignorant. Bud, in particular, likes to sow misconceptions in her mind. For example, she asks Bud to help her with her book report on Robinson Crusoe, but ends up reviewing Gilligan's Island instead. Her family is surprised to learn that she earned her high school diploma in 1990—but when she receives her diploma through the mail after finishing summer school, she asks her mother to read it to her. She then worked as a model and waitress. She had become a bottle-blonde at an early age at her mother's encouragement after a boy at school liked a natural blonde more than Kelly. She is obsessed with boys, hair coloring, and the telephone.

Though she often pokes fun at her younger brother, Bud, for being under-developed, pubescent and constantly obsessed with girls, she usually seems to be proud of him whenever he manages to get an attractive date. On at least one occasion, she has also avenged Bud by humiliating a girl that humiliated him. Kelly is very fond of her pets, even when unable to sufficiently care for them. Buck, the family dog, who however, was generally considered to be Bud's, and she was the most upset when he died.

Her favorite comic strip is Garfield. Her less-than-stellar reading skills led to many comedic situations in which she would read the Garfield comic aloud, mispronouncing lasagne as "luh-SAG-nee." She also watches cartoons, such as Looney Tunes, under the impression that it is a nature show.

Tina Caspary was originally cast as Kelly, but after the original pilot was filmed, the show's producers felt that she did not quite fit the part, and so she was replaced by Applegate.[10]

Bud Bundy

Bud Franklin Bundy (David Faustino) is the second child, born on January 25, 1975. In the original pilot his name was going to be Ben.[11] In the first season, Bud is revealed to be in fifth grade, making him 10 or 11, but in subsequent seasons, he was aged to be within one year of Kelly, graduating high school in 1991.

He was named after Al's favorite beer, Budweiser. He believes himself to be attractive, sexy, and smooth, but often is typically caught in sexually humiliating scenarios. It is unclear when Bud lost his virginity (it's depicted that he may have bedded women as far back as age 14), but in the fourth season, it is mentioned that he is still a virgin. Later in the series, he manages to have one-night stands, including one with his cousin's fiancee, played by Joey Lauren Adams.

In season 1 he would frequently torture Kelly, even going so far as even blackmailing her for having fake I.D.'s.

He tries to get girls with the help of various alter egos, including street rapper "Grandmaster B"—a persona often ridiculed by his family. When Peggy's third pregnancy is revealed to be a part of Al's Dallas-style dream sequence it is implied that the Grandmaster B persona was a part of that dream.

Another alter-ego is "Cool Bud", Bud's sexual, suave side with which he eventually "merges", prompting him to become more "cool".

Of the Bundys, Bud seems to be the most ashamed of the family; he often pretends not to know them. Out of the four in the family, Bud is arguably the most academically able as he maintains a high grade point average throughout high school, then attends college later in the series. He ridicules Kelly as a promiscuous dimwit; although he quite frequently uses her ignorance to his benefit, he seems obliged to defend her when others exploit her foolishness. Bud is, however, known to scheme against his family members on occasion. In season eleven it is revealed that Bud suffers from tuberculosis.

He supports himself through a difficult science degree by being a DMV tester, once even retesting a certain man named "Al Boondy" (Al Bundy). He makes honor roll throughout high school. He earns a scholarship which the family accidentally spends; Al thinks the bank in which Bud deposited his check made a clerical error.

Bud is portrayed as the leader of his "social circle" (most of whom are stereotypical "losers"); however, they move on as they are successful in finding dates. Bud remains a loner until college.

Hunter Carson was originally cast as Bud, but after the original pilot was filmed, the show's producers felt that he did not quite fit the part, and so he was replaced by Faustino.[10]

Buck

Buck (played by Michael, trained by Steven Ritt[12]) was the first family dog, a Briard; voice-over by writer/producer Kevin Curran; on special episodes Buck is voiced by Richard "Cheech" Marin. From season eight on, Buck's voice was provided by staff member Kim Weiskopf. He is often "heard" by the audience through voice-overs that tell what is on his mind. Like the human Bundys, he is just as lazy, insulting and sarcastic to the rest of the family, making snide remarks about Kelly's intelligence and Bud's inability to find a date. In spite of this, Peggy dotes on him, sometimes even cooking for him. Though extremely lazy, Buck has a huge, insatiable sexual appetite, having at one point impregnated all the female dogs in the neighborhood.

Buck died at one point in the series to allow Michael, the dog that portrayed him, to retire.[13] Buck went to animal heaven, and was reincarnated as Lucky, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. In later seasons, Buck/Lucky would occasionally serve as the narrator in the second half of a two-part episode, recapping the events of the first part.

Buck's last episode, No. 1003 "Requiem for a Dead Briard" ends with the following message on the screen: "Dedicated to Buck the Dog who with this episode begins a well earned retirement and hopefully a nice gig at stud. We'll miss you, Buddy, lift a leg. - The Producers."[14]

Retired at the age of twelve-and-a-half, Michael died about nine months later on May 28, 1996.

Lucky

A character whose voice-overs were performed by staff member Kim Weiskopf, Lucky is the spaniel that the family gets after Buck dies. He is the reincarnation of Buck, but no one in the family ever realizes this.

Peggy's mother

Heard only in voice-overs by Kathleen Freeman and ground-shaking gags (making her an unseen character), she lives with the Bundys in Season 10, when she separates from Peg's father. There are vague and comical references to her gigantic weight, which is alleged to be more than 1,000 pounds. This woman is mostly the victim of Al's abrasive, behind-the-back insults.

Peggy's father (Ephraim Wanker)

Ephraim Wanker, Peggy's father, was played by Tim Conway, appearing occasionally in the last three seasons. It is implied that he was a drunk and held a shotgun to Al's head at Al and Peggy's wedding. He calls Peggy by her full name, "Margaret". Unlike many other sitcoms with the father-in-law usually disapproving of the husband who married his daughter, Peg's father approves of Al so much that he held a gun to Al's head to force him to follow through on the marriage. Al had drunkenly proposed to Peg, although Ephraim implied in "The Joke's on Al" that the gun was not loaded at the time. Ephraim, like his wife, was set to be played by Divine, who died before production.[15]

Marcy D'Arcy

Marcy D'Arcy (played by Amanda Bearse), Marcy Rhoades from episodes 0101–0512, is Peggy's best friend, Al's nemesis, and the family's next door neighbor. Though she considers herself to be better than the Bundy family, Marcy often sinks to their level. She originally worked as a loan officer at the city bank (in a higher position than her husband, Steve) and then as the manager of the Kyoto National Bank since the second season. But for a brief time, she was demoted to drive-up window teller as punishment for approving a loan Al could not repay (in fact the purpose was to make Al able to repay a previous loan approved by Steve, but Al instead turned this loan into his "shoe hotline" project as well, and lost it too). She wins back her old job after "frugging" on her boss's desk for 20 minutes, clad only in a slip, while the other drive-up window tellers tossed quarters at her. Marcy has stated that she holds a Bachelor's degree double majoring in business and economics.

Initially, Marcy was a sweet, wholesome newlywed, but years of living next to the Bundys apparently warped her into a character almost as outrageous as them. She contemptuously bickered with Al, and reveled in his misery. One of the reasons for her hatred of Al is his chauvinistic and misogynistic view of women. Marcy seemed to have a disturbing dark side, and enjoys sharing her past memories with Peg, but often tends to get lost in them. At various points in the series, she is identified as a Republican who looks down on the lower-class Bundy clan, but is also a feminist and environmentalist. Al's most frequent targets are Marcy's tiny chest and her chicken-like stance when she gets annoyed. In season 6 Marcy claimed she was pregnant though this was later written out of the show. Marcy had a loud, piercing laugh, which she usually displayed whenever Al suffered some misfortune. Though she would often make disparaging remarks about Kelly and Bud she did not seem to hold the contempt for them that she did for Al, possibly because she realized that the Bundy children could not help their behavior due to their upbringing.

One of the running gags in the series has Marcy often mistaken for a young boy, on one occasion even being mistaken for Bruce Jenner, and on another occasion for "The kid from Home Improvement," probably Jonathan Taylor Thomas; when she reminisces about her first training bra, Al asks "How old were you then—twenty five?!" Despite wanting to appear prudish, Marcy is shown to be a very sexual person, and is revealed to have a rather sordid sexual history, such as the "Little Bo Peep and the Cop" game.

Marcy often relives past moments in her life as well as routine experiences (such as going to the dentist) by telling stories and describing them in a sexual manner.

Although Marcy and Al are usually adversaries, they often unite in common causes, such as later when Jefferson comes into the series. Their teamwork is attributable to the fact that they are both "bread-winners," giving them occasional moments of mutual understanding.

Steve Rhoades

Steven "Steve" Bartholomew Rhoades (David Garrison) is Marcy's first husband. Much like the name "Bundy" the creators chose the surname "Rhoades" after professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes, a good-guy character who worked opposite bad guys like King Kong Bundy. He is a banker who seems unfazed by his lower position than Marcy at the city bank. (When Marcy moves up to a high position at another bank, he gets her former job.) Steve initially condescends to the Bundys, but eventually becomes more like them, and generally turns to Al for male-bonding. Marcy was initially attracted to him because of his self-centered materialism.

Steve seemed to be a fairly demure and buttoned-down character, compared to his wife and the Bundys, although he did show a dark side. As a banker, Steve took sadistic pleasure in humiliating people who bullied him in high school by making his former tormentors (many of whom were stuck in poor, dead end jobs similar to Al's) grovel for bank loans, which he flatly refused. Steve eventually gets a job as Dean of Bud's college by blackmailing the man who employed him as a chauffeur.

Steve was written out of the show in the middle of the fourth season; Garrison had decided he no longer wanted to be tied down to a weekly television series, preferring to avoid being typecast in one role, and devote more time to his first love: stage acting. He reached an agreement with Fox to buy out the remainder of his contract. In the final episode shot (though, confusingly, not the final episode aired) in which he was a regular character, Steve is disenchanted with his and Marcy's yuppie lifestyle, and is increasingly interested in becoming an outdoorsman (a real-life interest of Garrison's). He then disappears, with the explanation that he left Marcy to become a forest ranger at Yosemite National Park. Prior to disappearing he loses his job at the bank, after, in desire to win a free trip to Hawaii, he approves a loan for Al's "shoe hotline" project which fails. His last job was as a "pooper scooper" at an exotic pet shop. In later seasons, Garrison would reprise the Steve Rhoades character on four occasions, returning to guest star in individual episodes (with Steve having pursued other careers in the meantime), as he eventually returns to professional life to become the dean of Bud's college. This episode was to be the pilot of a spin-off series that never happened.

Jefferson D'Arcy

Jefferson Milhouse D'Arcy (Ted McGinley) is Marcy's second husband (original age unknown, but younger than Marcy; one episode mentioned that he celebrated his 40th birthday), a "pretty boy" who marries her for her money. Self-centered and lazy, he is a male equivalent of Peggy. Marcy met Jefferson after a bankers' convention when she got drunk, and found herself married to him the next morning; she was horrified to find out that her name was now Marcy D'Arcy (Episode 92, "Married...With Who?"). He is Al's closest friend, and often angers Marcy when he is bonding with him; unlike Steve who was more of a foil, or straight man, to Al, Jefferson tends to be very encouraging and attuned to Al's behavior. Marcy constantly bosses Jefferson around to keep him in check. However, behind her back, Jefferson often insults Marcy, ignores her orders (and has implied numerous times that he cheats on her). When Marcy's favorite squirrel Zippy dies, Jefferson tells her that he will give it a proper burial, only to punt it out of his sight when Marcy turns around.

Jefferson is a member of "NO MA'AM" along with Al, wearing the trademark t-shirt, but he always keeps a clean "YES MA'AM" t-shirt on underneath, which he quickly reveals if Marcy is about to bust one of "NO MA'AM"'s activities. He seems very afraid of provoking his wife's anger, and his fear is justified—in one episode, after he angered Marcy, she kicked him in the behind so hard he had to go to the hospital to get her boot removed from his rectum. But in spite of his fear of her wrath, he constantly engages in activities that he surely knows she would not approve of.

Marcy constantly hounds Jefferson to get a job. However, on the rare occasions when he actually gets one (working at the shoe store, being cast as an actor in a commercial, working as a bartender, working as an aerobics instructor, working at an auto repair shop in some menial position, etc.), he usually ends up working with beautiful women, which prompts a jealous Marcy to make him quit and return to his de facto job as her gigolo. This tendency runs in the D'Arcy family, as Jefferson's father also worked as a gigolo, and his mother worked as an exotic dancer before she was eaten by her snake at an airport.

He is easily the most financially-scheming character of the show—even more than the Bundys. Often, when Al stumbles into a unique lucrative opportunity, Jefferson typically persuades Al to take advantage of it. When Al was robbed in his shoe store, Jefferson convinced him to sue the mall while feigning psychological trauma. When Al discovered hidden shoes that he stocked away in the 1970s, Jefferson convinced him to use the shoes as a new gimmick for the store by taking advantage of the old shoes' popularity. When discovering Al's boss, Gary, was using illegal sweatshops to manufacture the shoes, Jefferson assists Al in a search for incriminating evidence. When Bud was involved in a romantic relationship with the (surprising to the characters) female Gary (played by Janet Carroll), Jefferson convinced Al to permit the relationship, so Al can milk Gary out of her money through his son. After discovering that they were in possession of private pictures of Shannon Tweed in sexually provocative manners, Jefferson convinced Al to sell it to the media. During a rare time in which Al is struck with good luck, Jefferson persuades him into a high stakes poker game with a group of ex-criminals. Jefferson also convinced Al to go home to have sex with his wife, so Al could win a radio contest.

During the course of the series, it is revealed that Jefferson spent time in prison for selling contaminated land as a vacation spot to several people, including Al. He also used to be in the CIA and still has connections there. For example, he was able to go to Cuba and meet Fidel Castro to get a part for Al's Dodge and got NO MA'AM a meeting in front of Congress about the cancellation of "Psycho Dad". Occasionally, people claim to have seen him on The Love Boat and Happy Days (a reference to McGinley having starred in both shows towards their end of their original broadcast runs), but Jefferson always denies this.

Ted McGinley had appeared previously as Peggy's husband, Mr. Norman Jablonski, in the second part of It's a Bundyful Life, where Al's guardian angel (Sam Kinison) shows Al what his family would have become if he was never born. The episode lightly parodies Capra's It's a Wonderful Life.

Recurring characters

  • Griff (Harold Sylvester) – First appears early in Season 9, and is a friend and coworker of Al at the shoe store. He is also a member of Al's "NO MA'AM" organization. A divorcee, he shares many of Al's characteristics as far as work ethic and views on women go. However, Griff isn't quite as impolite and outspoken to their customers, or to their boss, Gary. He is also less callous; occasionally he feels uneasy when going along with one of Al or Jefferson's many schemes. Griff drives a GEO Metro with vanity plates reading 'PO BOY', and is often mocked for this. However, Griff is happy because it is still more reliable than Al's 1970s Dodge, though Griff did mention a fond memory of being a passenger in the Dodge, while he and Al tried run over Griff's ex wife (she was able to out run the Dodge). Al says Griff's car is easier to push. When Bud and Griff first met, Bud said Al never mentioned having a coworker, and Griff said Al never mentioned having a son, a daughter, or a living wife, but had already annoyed him with all the times he mentioned scoring four touchdowns in one single game.
  • Bob Rooney (E. E. Bell) – One of Al's friends from the neighborhood, and treasurer of "NO MA'AM." He works as a butcher, has a wife named Louise (who is a friend of Peggy), and played on the same football team as Al at Polk High. He is always called by both his first and last name, even by his wife, and it is spelled as one word on his bowling shirt. Bell was the only member of the extended cast to spend a lot of time on the Usenet newsgroups fielding questions from viewers.
  • Officer Dan (Dan Tullis, Jr.) – A friend of Al's who is also in "NO MA'AM." Surprisingly, though he is part of "NO MA'AM," he often arrests them for their illegal antics. However, he does admit to his friends that he is a corrupt officer, which indicates he does help out the group now and then. In one of the times he was about to arrest them, he changes his mind and joins them when he learns they're trying to bring back "Psycho Dad". Though he was usually a cop, in season 6 Officer Dan arrives at the Bundy front door as an FBI agent looking for Steve Rhoades.
  • Ike (Tom McCleister) – Another member of "NO MA'AM" and another friend of Al's. He is the Sergeant at Arms of the organization. He works as an auto mechanic and has a wife named Frannie. Somewhat insecure, he believes Elvis is still alive. The character was named after producer Kim Weiskopf's best friends's son.[5]
  • Miranda Veracruz de la Hoya Cardinal (Teresa Parente) – Latina local news reporter originally from "a country named after the equator" who is typically assigned to cover the pathetic news stories in which the Bundys inevitably involve themselves. She often laments the sad state of her career on air. While she only appears in a handful of episodes throughout the series, the character seems to be quite popular with fans.[citation needed]
  • The Wankers – Peggy's family, living in Wanker County ("The home of the big gassy possum"), a fictional Wisconsin county. They are more often mentioned than seen on camera. Peggy's mother is never shown (though she is heard in several episodes in Season 10, voiced by Kathleen Freeman), but her father Ephraim (Tim Conway) appears in a few episodes also in Season 10. Mrs. Wanker's unbelievable obesity is the subject of many jokes, including one in which Al goes blind after accidentally walking in on her bathing. Other extended family members who have appeared on the show include Uncle Otto (James "Gypsy" Haake), Uncle Irwin (Chris Pallies (King Kong Bundy)), the Wanker Triplets (Milly de Rubio, Elena de Rubio, Eadie de Rubio), Cousin Possum Boy (John Gerard), Cousin Effie (Joey Lauren Adams), Cousin Eb (William Sanderson), Cousin Zemus (Bobcat Goldthwait) and his wife Cousin Ida Mae (Linda Blair), along with their six-and-a-half-year-old son, Seven (Shane Sweet). When Peggy hears Al encouraging Kelly to get a job, she mentions a tradition of the female Wankers of having men being buried earlier for having to keep them.
  • Gary (Janet Carroll) – The owner of Gary's Shoes and employer of Al. Gary's first appearance in the series came in Season 9 after Al turned her women's shoe store into a men's, assuming Gary was male and therefore wouldn't notice. (Al never saw Gary in the first twenty years he worked in the store, leading him once to doubt that Gary really existed) Gary is incredibly wealthy (she would have been in the Forbes 400, but only reached #401 because of the shoe store—her only failing business venture). In the first appearance she said she owns, among other things, men, prompting Al to offer himself; she then points out that she said "men." Over the course of the series she makes several more appearances, always to the chagrin of Al, and in one episode even becomes the Sugar Momma of Bud, much to the chagrin of those who still thought she was a man; however, she became too possessive, leading Bud to break up with her, as he puts his dignity over her money.
  • Luke Ventura (Ritch Shydner) – A coworker at the shoe store early in the series in Season 1. He was a sly womanizer who was always seducing beautiful women and stealing Al's sales. Peg hated him while Al tolerated him. He disappears from the show after the first season, but is mentioned again in the ninth season episode "Pump Fiction," when Al learns from the shoe industry publication "Shoe News" that Luke is being given an award. Though he was portrayed to be a friend of Al's in the beginning of the series, after his disappearance, he had been spoken of as if he had since become Al's rival.
  • Aaron Mitchell (Hill Harper) – The second coworker of Al's at the shoe store. A young football star at Polk High, he is on the verge of marrying a wonderful woman and going to college, achieving everything that Al ever wanted. Al chooses to live his life vicariously through Aaron, until his misguided advice accidentally drives the boy to a shrewish woman named "Meg" (a young copy of Peg) and the same dismal fate which had befallen Al. Aaron appeared only in the eighth season (5 episodes).
  • Dexter (Chi McBride) – He was the third coworker with Al in Gary's Shoes who appeared in one episode. He was injured and almost killed when a fat woman fell on him during a shoe fitting.
  • Ariel (Jennifer Lyons) – One of Bud's love interests who appeared in Seasons 9 and 10. She is the quintessential dumb blonde, sporting blonde hair, large breasts, skimpy outfits and a high-pitched voice. She is not very smart and Bud is constantly thinking of new ways to con her into having sex with him.
  • Psycho Dad (Andrew Prine) – A fictitious character and television show on Fox, that Al and the members of "NO MA'AM" (except for Griff) idolize. The show was abruptly cancelled after complaints from women's group due to its high content of violence. "NO MA'AM" went to Washington D.C. to have Psycho Dad put back on the air but were unsuccessful.
  • Shoe Woman: A recurring character who has a masculine appearance. Though only in a handful of episodes, this character is well known for her phrase, "I need shoes!". In season nine we find out that she works at the bowling alley Al and his friends go to on a Thursday, making a humorous variation of her catchphrase, "You need shoes!", to a barefoot Al. The catchphase is said in a fast-paced, masculine voice. The same actress appears in the episode "Kelly Knows Something" as "Max", another game show contestant.
  • Amber (Juliet Tablak) is Marcy's niece who appeared in Season 8. Amber's mother sent her to live with Marcy to get her out of her bad L.A. neighborhood. Bud managed to bed her on their first encounter (and presumably more so in the following week) and tries relentlessly to bed her again, but to no avail. After Season 9, Amber disappears without explanation. However, she does appear to demonstrate an attraction to Bud (remarking to Kelly in private that she thinks he is cute). Bud may have simply lost his attraction towards her when she destroyed his cyber sex simulators of her in the episode, User Friendly. Only appears in 4 episodes.
  • Seven (Shane Sweet) Peggy's cousins (played by Bobcat Goldthwait and Linda Blair) drop off their six-year-old son and leave him behind for the Bundys to take care of. He appeared on the seventh season of Married in a handful of episodes, then disappeared without any explanation other than a quick mention by the D'Arcys that he showed in their house and won't leave. They claim they want to rename him, and possibly begin taking care of him, but that's the last time he is referred to. He was an extremely unpopular character with the fans.[16][17][18][19] However, in season eight, in the episode "Kelly Knows Something," Kelly is studying for a trivia show. As she learns new information, you visually see her forgetting other things. One thing that "pops out of her head" is an image of Seven. There is a scene where a carton of milk is held up at the Bundys' breakfast table and a picture of Seven is shown on the carton under the heading "Missing" but the Bundys don't seem to notice, or care.
  • Father Guido Sarraduchi (Don Novello)

Fox broadcast history

Date Time slot
April 1987 – October 1987 Sunday, 8:00 p.m.
October 1987 – July 1989 Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
July 1989 – August 1996 Sunday, 9:00 p.m.
September 1996 – October 1996 Saturday, 9:00 p.m.
November 1996 – June 1997 Sunday, 7:30 p.m.

Episodes

see also List of Married... with Children episodes

Syndication

Married...With Children was originally debuted in off-network syndication distributed by Columbia Pictures Television (now Sony Pictures Television) starting in the fall of 1992. The series later aired on FX from September 1998 until 2007. In June 2002, FX became the first television network to air the controversial, previously-banned episode "I'll See You in Court", albeit in an edited format. The fully-uncensored version of "I'll See You in Court" can only be seen on the DVD release Married With Children: The Most Outrageous Episodes Volume 1. The version found on the Third Season DVD set is edited. In 2008, the Spike network reportedly paid US$12 million for broadcast rights to every episode including the unedited version of the infamous episode, "I'll See You in Court".[20] However, the version that Spike aired is still not as complete as the version found on Married With Children: The Most Outrageous Episodes Volume 1. The series started airing on Spike TV on September 29, 2008 with a weeklong marathon. TBS also began airing the show shortly after, acquiring the show in fall 2008 to run in the early morning hours, it currently runs for three hours on TBS during the early morning hours. TV Land picked up the rights to broadcast the show from its MTV Networks sister Spike in August 2009. A few of the episodes are available on YouTube between season 1 and 11. Comedy Central began airing the show on February 8, 2010; Comedy Central acquired rights to air the series from TV Land, who in turn, had earlier acquried the rights to the series from Spike. All three cable channels are owned by Viacom.[21]

Nielsen ratings

1989–1990 Season: #50

1994–1995 Season: #64

1995–1996 Season: #78

1996–1997 Season: #97

Awards

Casting Society of America:

  • 1987: Best Casting for TV – Episodic Comedy (nominated)

Emmy Awards:

  • 1987: Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Series (for "But I Didn't Shoot the Deputy", nominated)
  • 1988: Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Comedy Series (for "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", nominated)
  • 1989: Outstanding Editing – Multi-Camera Production (for "Requiem for a Dead Barber", nominated)
  • 1990: Outstanding Costuming for a Series (for "Raingirl", nominated)
  • 1990: Outstanding Editing – Multi-Camera Production (for "Who'll Stop the Rain", nominated)
  • 1991: Outstanding Costuming for a Series (for "Married... with Aliens", nominated)
  • 1994: Outstanding Costuming for a Series (for "Take My Wife, Please", nominated)

Golden Globe Awards:

  • 1990: Best Actress – Musical or Comedy Series (Katey Sagal for playing "Peggy Bundy", nominated)
  • 1990: Best Series – Musical or Comedy (nominated)
  • 1991: Best Actor – Musical or Comedy Series (Ed O'Neill for playing "Al Bundy", nominated)
  • 1991: Best Actress – Musical or Comedy Series (Sagal, nominated)
  • 1992: Best Actor – Musical or Comedy Series (O'Neill, nominated)
  • 1992: Best Actress – Musical or Comedy Series (Sagal, nominated)
  • 1993: Best Actress – Musical or Comedy Series (Sagal, nominated)

Controversy and edited content

One episode of Married... with Children was "lost" due to the efforts of a Michigan housewife (see below); it did, however, air outside the United States since the show went into syndication. Another edited episode involved Al trying to sell his Dodge before he is contacted by a Dodge representative wanting to record the moment when the odometer on the Dodge reaches all zeros (1 million miles) was also the source of controversy after the September 11th attacks. After meeting various people, Al is approached by two men dressed in all white tunics, holding a bundle of dynamite attached to an alarm clock. The men declare "Look, we have no time to haggle; we need car and directions to Sears Tower". Another episode, the unaired pilot, was never shown on TV. However, it leaked online in 2008.

Rakolta boycott

In 1989, Terry Rakolta, a homemaker from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, led a boycott[22] against Married... with Children after viewing the episode Her Cups Runneth Over – 0306.[23] Offended by the images of an old man wearing a garter and stockings, the scene where Steve touches the panties of a mannequin dressed in S&M gear, a homosexual man wearing a tiara on his head (and Al's line "...and they wonder why we call them "queens"), and a woman who takes off her bra in front of Al (and is shown with her arms covering her chest in the next shot), Rakolta began a letter-writing campaign to advertisers, demanding they boycott the show.

After advertisers began dropping their support for the show and while Rakolta made several appearances on television talk shows, Fox executives refused to air the episode titled I'll See You In Court – 0310.[24] This episode would become known as the "Lost Episode" and was aired on Fox on June 18, 2002, with some parts cut. The episode was packaged with the rest of the third season in the January 2005 DVD release (and in the first volume of the Married...With Children Most Outrageous episode DVD set) with the parts cut from syndication restored.

During the first boycott, ratings for Married... with Children ironically rose due to interest in the show caused by Rakolta's crusade to have the show cancelled (a non-Internet example of the Streisand effect). The increased number of viewers kept the show on the air until 1997.

Rakolta has been referenced twice on the show: Rock and Roll Girl – 0414,[25] when a newscaster mentioned the city Bloomfield Hills, and No Pot To Pease In – 0909,[26] when a television show was made about the Bundy family and then was canceled because (according to Marcy) "some woman in Michigan didn't like it".

Change in tone

During the earlier seasons, the show was more of a realistic view of a working-class family, in contrast to the other family sitcoms of the era, where everyone's problems are solved in a half-hour and the kids all go to college, etc. Later on, Married... became, as O'Neill said, "more cartoonish and broad", and was no longer a commentary on the nuclear family.[citation needed]

DVD releases

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released all eleven seasons of Married... with Children on DVD in Regions 1, 2, & 4.[27]

DVD Name Ep # Release dates Additional Information
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete First Season 13 October 28, 2003 April 7, 2004 October 25, 2005 Reunion special and Bonus trailers; Trailers not included on Region 4 set
The Complete Second Season 22 March 16, 2004 October 26, 2004 September 22, 2008 13 Hidden Easter Eggs featuring Interviews With the Cast
The Complete Third Season 22 January 25, 2005 February 10, 2005 September 22, 2008 Easter Eggs and Previews
The Complete Fourth Season 23 August 30, 2005 December 22, 2005 September 22, 2008 Bonus previews; 7 Syndicated/Edited Episodes. German region 2 sets feature unedited episodes.
The Complete Fifth Season 25 June 20, 2006 June 27, 2006 September 22, 2008 Bonus previews
The Complete Sixth Season 26 December 19, 2006 August 17, 2006 September 22, 2008 Bonus previews
The Complete Seventh Season 26 September 18, 2007 October 5, 2006 September 22, 2008 Bonus previews
The Complete Eighth Season 26 March 18, 2008 December 19, 2006 October 22, 2008 Bonus previews, minisodes
The Complete Ninth Season 28 August 19, 2008 February 20, 2007 October 22, 2008 Bonus previews, minisodes
The Complete Tenth Season 27 March 17, 2009 March 20, 2007 March 11, 2009 Bonus previews
The Complete Eleventh Season 24 October 13, 2009 May 8, 2007 March 11, 2009
Married with Children – The Complete First Season DVD cover.

For the most part the episodes on the North American DVD box sets are the unedited versions as seen on the Fox network, however there are some instances where scenes have been cut or the syndicated version of an episode was placed on the DVD instead. This is most noticeable in Season 4, where 7 of the 22 episodes have some type of edit. The German region 2 Season 4 set uses non-syndicated versions of these episodes, although the Dutch and French sets have the syndicated versions.

The region 4 sets were delayed by three years from the release of the complete Season 1, until the release of Season 2. Sony released the region 4 editions from seasons 2–9. The DVDs are varied from the American counterparts, with some episodes intact, while others are syndicated versions. This is apparent on the Season 4 DVD, where Disc 1 contains non-syndicated episodes (differing from the Region 1 set), however Discs 2 & 3 contain the syndicated versions of some episodes.

The DVD box sets from Season 3 onward do not feature the original "Love and Marriage" theme song in the opening sequence. This was done because Sony was unable to obtain the rights to the theme song. It is highly unlikely that the theme song will return in any yet to be released DVD box set.[28]

The replaced theme song was the cause of the syndicated versions of seven episodes in Season 4, as Sony falsely claimed did not have access to the original masters of these episodes, and had to use syndicated prints. This is proved wrong since they used the originals from Season 4 in "Most Outrageous" DVDs that contained some episodes. As the end credits had to be altered to credit the new theme song, certain scenes that originally ran during the end credits had to be replaced with a freeze frame. In most episodes affected, the original audio plays in the background while you see a freeze frame, however in a few cases a freeze frame is used, but the original audio is replaced with the theme song. The final season is expected to be released in the near future.[29]

In the German speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) all seasons have already been released (region 2). In December 2007 the Big Bundy Box—a special collection box with all seasons plus new interviews with Sagal and David Faustino—was released.[30] This boxset was released in Australia (Region 4) on December 3, 2008. The Australian release contained seasons 1–9 with two extra spots for seasons 10–11.[31]

Remakes

Argentina

In Argentina a remake has been done under the name of Casados con Hijos. The show aired in 2005 and although it wasn't successful at first (mainly because of an inconvenient broadcast time), it was aired again during summer and it got one of the highest ratings of the year and because of that, a second season has been done for 2006. The characters are Pepe (Guillermo Francella), Moni (Florencia Peña), Coqui (Darío Lopilato) and Paola (Luisana Lopilato), all under the "Argento" surname. It should be noted that the show's reruns had higher ratings than when the episodes were first aired.

Armenia

In Armenia a remake made in 2009, with the name Բնակարան N2 (Bnakaran N2) (Apartment #2)[32]. It was aired on H2. Parents in Armenian family, Gayané "Gayan" and Tigran "Tiko" live in apartment #2 with their children. After first season, the plot changed dramatically, and second season already has very little to do with the original.

Brazil

A Guerra dos Pintos (War of the Pintos) was the title of the Brazilian remake. It ran for a short time on BAND before it got cancelled in 1999 due to poor ratings. Many episodes were left unaired. The Brazilian Bundys were called "Pintos" (hence the name of the series). Pinto translates to dick in Portuguese, and is also a common Brazilian surname. The Pintos lived in Rio de Janeiro. Al's equivalent, "Zé Pinto," was a shoe salesman just like Al, and he was a former soccer player as Al was a former football player. Peggy equivalent was named "Neide Pinto," Kelly named "Kelly Pinto" and Bud was "Joca Pinto" in the series. They also had a dog named Cachorro (which means dog in Portuguese). Their neighbours, the "Fialho's," were based on the Rhoades, not the D'Arcys. The storyline was exactly the same as in the early original version.

Chile

In Chile, a remake was made in 2006 and 2007, with the name Casado con Hijos, and it has been getting higher ratings, beating soap operas broadcasting in the same hour. The show was broadcasted daily. The characters were Alberto "Tito" Larraín (Al), María Eugenia "Quena" Gómez de Larraín (Peggy), Ignacio "Nacho" Larraín (Bud), and Titi (Kelly). Their neighbors are Marcia Durán (Marcy) and Pablo Pinto (both Steve Rhoades and Jefferson D'Arcy).

Colombia

In Colombia Caracol TV produced a remake named Casados con Hijos in 2004–2006. The characters are "Paco" Rocha (Al) played by Santiago Rodriguez, "Lola" (Peggy) played by Lorna Paz, Willy (Bud), and Kelly (Kelly).

This version airs weekdays in the United States on MTV Tr3́s, an American MTV network aimed at Latinos, with English subtitles.

Croatia

The Croatian version of the show is called Bračne vode (Marriage waters). It premiered on Nova TV in September 2008. The family is called Bandić. The characters are Zvonimir "Zvonko" Bandić (Damir Lončar), Sunčica "Sunči" Bandić (Mila Elegović), Kristina "Tina" Bandić (Sonja Kovač) and Boris "Bobo" Bandić (Vid Mekinić). Their neighbours are Marica (Jadranka Đokić) and Ivan "Ivica" Kumarica (Igor Mešin). Sunči and Zvonko are 17 years in marriage. They have got two children, older Tina and younger Bobo. They are always fighting. Sunči is lazy. She likes to make jokes, mostly about Zvonko and their sex.

After the bad ratings of the 1st season, the network Nova TV decided to give the show one more chance, which included some changes, mostly in the cast. The core role of Zvonimir "Zvonko" Bandić was re-cast with the much suiting actor Hrvoje Zalar and the role of Kristina "Tina" Bandić was recast with a newcomer Mirela Videk.

Germany

After the original series' success in Germany, the German TV channel RTL produced 26 episodes of Hilfe, meine Familie spinnt (English: Help, my family is bonkers). The scripts and every single joke were translated. The show wasn't picked up for a second season due to bad ratings (1993). The dubbed version of the original show was called "Eine schrecklich nette Familie" (English: a terribly nice family).

Hungary

In 2006, Hungarian TV network TV2 brought the license rights including scripts and hired the original producers from Sony Pictures for a remake show placed in Hungarian environment. It was entitled Egy rém rendes család Budapesten[33] (in English: Married with children in Budapest, loan translation: A gruesomely decent family in Budapest). The main story began with the new family called the Bándis inherit an outskirt house from their American relatives the Bundys. They filmed a whole season of 26 episodes, all of them being remade versions of the plots of the original first seasons. It was the highest budget sitcom ever made in Hungary. First it was aired on Tuesday nights, but was beaten by a new season of ER, then placed to Wednesday nights. The remake lost its viewers, but stayed on the air due to the contract between Sony and TV2. ([34][35][36])

Poland

There is a sitcom called Świat według Kiepskich (The World According to the Kiepscy), which is sometimes compared to Married... With Children. Basis for this comparison was set by the creators of Polish sitcom by entitling it similarly to the title under which Married... With Children was aired in Poland - Świat według Bundych (The World According to the Bundys). There are so many differences between the American original and Świat według Kiepskich that it can't be regarded as a direct remake, but only loosely inspired by the original.

Russia

The Original Married... With Children ran on DTV for almost three years, on a daily basis, broadcasting the episodes from seasons 1–10. The show later aired on Domashniy TV. However, for unknown reasons, most episodes from season 11 were not shown. A Russian adaptation, titled Счастливы вместе (Sсhastlivy Vmeste) (Happy Together), is now airing on TNT channel across the country.[37][38]

This adaptation is very faithful to the original series and only a few episodes were not adapted, mostly for technical reasons (e.g. Wabbit Season wasn't adapted because in the remake the Bukins live in an apartment and therefore don't own a yard) or differences in mentality (e.g. The Legend of Ironhead Haynes). The England Show trilogy and two of the three backdoor pilots (Top of the Heap and Radio Free Trumaine) were not adapted neither. The episode T*R*A*S*H was rewritten from scratch.

The character names are: Gena Bukin (based on Al, played by Viktor Loginov), Dasha Bukina (based on Peggy, played by Natalya Bochkareva), Sveta Bukina (based on Kelly, played by Darya Sagalova), Roma Bukin (based on Bud, played by Aleksandr Yakin), Elena and Anatoliy Poleno (based on Marcy and Jefferson D'Arcy, played by Yulia Zaharova and Pavel Savinkov), Evgeniy Stepanov (based on Steve Rhoades, played by Aleksey Sekirin), Sema Bukin (based on Seven, played by Ilya Butkovskiy), Baron Bukin (based on Buck and Lucky, played by Bayra).

Instead of living in a house, the Bukins live in an apartment on the top floor of a small building, and the Stepanovs/Polenos live in the apartment in front of theirs. Prior to the series' beginning, the Bukins could buy off a part of the building's attic for extra rooms, so apart from the lack of a cellar, the lack of a backdoor, a garage in a separate building instead of being adjacent to the house, and a balcony used instead of the yard, the layout of Bukins' flat looks like the Bundys' house. The apartment is in a mess from some fixes in the house which were never finished, and in the show's early episodes an unfortunately placed construction site outside allowed people (and Baron, the family dog) to go in and out the Bukins' apartment by the balcony.

As a major change, instead of disappearing like Seven after a few episodes, Sema stays with the Bukins until the end of the series, and the often bizarre explanations for his absence from events the whole family should attend became a running gag. Also, the family dog Baron doesn't die and reincarnate, he remains the same until the end of the series. The episode Requiem For The Dead Briard was however adapted, with Baron being sold to a rich person by Sema instead of dying.

The last name of the main characters, Bukins, is derived from the Russian word "buka", which refers to a socially inept person. The first neighbor couple, Elena and Evgeniy Stepanov, are named after married Russian comedians Evgeniy Petrosyan and Elena Stepanenko. The last name of the second neighbor couple, Poleno, means "log", which spawned some wood-based nicknames for both Elena and Anatoliy, to which Anatoliy often responds "Not this. It's Poleno, as in 'Anatoliy Poleno'".

In April 2008, the producers announced all episodes of Married... With Children have been adapted as Schastlivy Vmeste (including all the episodes from the seldom seen 11th season) and an online contest was started where fans could submit new ideas for episodes.[39]. Starting from the 31 December 2009, the show resumed its run with an initial order of 60 new episodes, the order might be doubled based on the viewers' response[40]. According to the episodes' opening credits, some of the new episodes are co-written by original Married... With Children writers, mostly Katherine Green.

Spain

Originally it was aired at public channel "La 2." The Spanish TV network Cuatro created a Spanish version called Matrimonio con Hijos (Marriage with Children). It was cancelled after only one season due to the lack of quality and poor scripts.

United Kingdom

A remake titled Married... For Life was shown on the ITV network but made no great impact, perhaps because of the questionable use of wholesome family comedian Russ Abbott in the lead role of Ted Butler or because the original had already been shown in the UK (albeit in a late evening slot). Oddly considering the UK's long history of raunchy comedy on TV, the UK version was considerably toned down in terms of sexual content in relation to the original.

Spin-offs

  • Married... with Children was adapted into a comic book series by NOW Comics in 1990.
  • The episodes Top of the Heap, Radio Free Trumaine, and Enemies were meant to be spin-offs.
    • Top of the Heap[41] was the only episode of the three to get its own show. It was notable as an early sitcom starring Matt LeBlanc. The show was about Vinnie Verducci (played by LeBlanc) and his father Charlie (played by Joseph Bologna) always trying get rich quick schemes. The Verduccis were introduced in an earlier episode where Vinnie dated Kelly Bundy, and Charlie was introduced as an old friend of Al Bundy's. The end of the pilot episode shows Al breaking into their apartment and stealing their TV to replace the one he lost betting on Vinnie in a boxing match. However, the show didn't last long and was ultimately cancelled. It had its own spin-off called "Vinnie and Bobby" a year later which was also canceled.
    • Radio Free Trumaine was to be about Bud Bundy's time in college with the campus radio station, with Steve Rhoades as the antagonistic Dean. The episode co-starred Keri Russell.
    • Enemies was a Friends clone, featuring Alan Thicke, based around Kelly Bundy's social circle.
  • In addition to those three spin-offs, a spin-off about Kelly Bundy was planned but never made for two reasons: Christina Applegate turned it down, and Fox's contract stated that the two Bundy children couldn't get spin-offs. Also, series co-creator Michael G. Moye proposed a NO MA'AM spin-off, but got turned down mainly due to Fox's fears of alienating much of the female demographic.

Worldwide

  • United States: It ran on Fox for its eleven year run but it has also appeared in syndication reruns on other channels. Sony Pictures Television currently owns the rights to the series. Since September 2008 rights to air the series on cable have been split between MTV Networks (Spike TV, TV Land and Comedy Central have all aired the series) and TBS. Previously, FX had exclusive rights dating back several years. All episodes from seasons six and seven along with some episodes from season five and eight are available to view for free on Sony owned Crackle, along with several Minisodes.

Married...with Children has also been a ratings success in other countries around the world.

Country Foreign title Translation Network(s) Notes
 Australia Married...with Children None Network Ten
Nine Network
TV1 GO!
Reruns of the show run four times during week at 10pm and three episodes are shown from 9am Sunday on the cable network TV1. Original episodes aired on the Ten Network and later on the Nine Network. (Ten aired the show as a filler late weeknights before it was picked up by Nine and put into its Primetime schedule.)
 Argentina Married...with Children Subtitled Sony Entertainment Television
 Austria Eine schrecklich nette Familie
(An Awfully Nice Family)
Dubbed ORF The show aired from March 6, 1995 until March 18, 1998 on the Pubcaster ORF. It started airing again on July 13, 2007, weekdays.
 Belgium Married...with Children Subtitled VTM, Eén, Ketnet, VT4 The show is currently running on the commercial network VTM and has previously been aired on the public networks Eén and Ketnet and the commercial network VT4.
 Brazil Um amor de Família
(A Lovely Family)
Dubbed
Subtitled
Sony Entertainment Television
PlayTV
Has been running (on and off) since 1991 on different national channels. Today the show runs on Sony Entertainment Television with original sound and subtitles, the dubbed version runs on PlayTV.
 Bulgaria Женени с деца
(Married with Children)
Dubbed bTV
Fox life
Diema
The show ran its all seasons on bTV with Bulgarian dub. It was repeated on Fox life. It is currently airing on Diema with different dub, and on GTV with same dub as Fox.
 Canada Married...with Children Global Television Network
TVtropolis
CMT
Original episodes aired on the Global Television Network. The show ran for a short period of time on CMT during 2006–2007 and aired on TVtropolis from 2007 until late 2009.
 Chile Married...with Children Subtitled Sony Entertainment Television Today the show runs on Sony Entertainment Television and it was aired on Mega, a national channel.
 Croatia Bračne vode
(Marriage Waters)
Subtitled HRT
RTL Televizija
Fox Life
The show runs on RTL Televizija and Fox Life. It was originally aired on Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) in late 1990s.
 Czech Republic Ženatý se závazky
(Married with Liabilities)
Dubbed TV Nova
TV Prima
The family name is "Bunda," which means "coat" in Czech. The show was first aired on TV Nova and then reran on Prima TV several times.
 Denmark Vore værste år
(Our Worst Years)
Subtitled TV3
 Dominican Republic Casado con Hijos
(Married with Children)
Dubbed Telesistema 11
 Estonia Tuvikesed
(Lovebirds)
Subtitled Kanal 2 Broadcast after midnight on Kanal 2
 Finland Pulmuset
(Loveydoves)
Subtitled MTV3
Nelonen
Originally shown by MTV3, currently being rerun on Nelonen.
 France Mariés, deux enfants
(Married, Two Children)
Dubbed M6
Comédie!
The show has been seen on M6 since 1989. It also runs on the cable channel Comédie! since 2002.
 Germany Eine schrecklich nette Familie
(An Awfully Nice Family)
Dubbed RTL
ProSieben
Kabel1
It first ran from 1992 on RTL ("RTLplus" at that time), moving to ProSieben for the final 51 episodes, ending in 1997. It currently airs two episodes a day Monday-Friday on Kabel1[42]. The show runs in a constant loop. It runs Season 1–11 and then starts all over again.
 Greece Παντρεμένοι με παιδιά
(Married with Children)
Subtitled ANT1
Mega Channel
Macedonia TV
Has been on and off the air in ANT1 channel from the nineties onwards, while Mega Channel provided the last 2 seasons never played from ANT1. The show has seen many reruns, currently airing from Macedonia TV for the 4th time on that channel.
 Hungary Egy rém rendes család
(A gruesomely decent family)
Dubbed TV3
RTL Klub
Viasat 3
CoolTV
The show has ventured from channel to channel over the years, from the now-defunct TV3 through RTL Klub to Viasat 3, where it is occasionally repeated. A cable television called CoolTV airs 3 episodes each day.
 Ireland Married...with Children None RTÉ Two
Paramount Comedy
Sky1
RTÉ One
Shown on RTÉ Two and on the UK's Paramount Comedy. In the '90s it aired on the UK's Sky1.It disappeared in the early 2000s. Very recently on RTÉ One it appeared early January 2007 on a Late Thursday Night/Early Friday Morning at 4am and showed two episodes each time. It disappeared off of the schedule in late April 2007. It's not currently showing on Irish television.
 Israel נשואים פלוס
(Married Plus)
Subtitled Bip Since 2006 the show can be seen on HOT cable television, in the channel Bip, channel 4. A shoe store in Herzliya named itself Bundy Shoes (though the shop in the series is Gary's). In the past the show was shown on Channel 2, Channel 3 and Channel 6.
 Italy Sposati ... Con Figli
(Married ... With Children)
Dubbed FX It is nowadays on air, on satellite Sky, Channel FX.
 Kazakhstan Счастливы вместе
(Happy Together)
NTK The Russian remake of the show, Счастливы вместе, is currently being shown on NTK (Independent Television Channel) every weekday night from 8:00–9:00.
 Lithuania Vedęs ir turi vaikų
(Married and has children)
Dubbed TV3
TV6 Lithuania
The show periodically runs on TV3 and TV6 Lithuania.
 Mexico Married...with Children Sony Entertainment Television
TV Azteca
Runs on Sony Entertainment Television and ran on and off on TV Azteca.
 Netherlands Married...with Children Subtitled RTL7 The show is currently being broadcast on RTL7.
 New Zealand Married...with Children None TV2
Sky TV
Ran for many years on TV2, now on Sky TV.
 Norway Bundy
(Bundy)
Subtitled TV3
Viasat 4
Originally (some ten years ago on TV3) aired as Våre verste år (Our Worst Years), the show is now called Bundy and is currently in reruns after midnight every day except weekends on TV3. Is also shown daily on Viasat 4.
 Peru Matrimonio con Hijos
(Marriage with Children)
TV 13 – RED GLOBAL
Sony Entertainment Television
The show runs on TV 13 – RED GLOBAL from Monday to Friday at 8:00 p.m.
 Poland Świat według Bundych
(The World According to Bundys)
Voice overed Polsat The show was aired many times on Polsat, and it is still on air there today. Its popularity spanned a sitcom with similar premise made by Polsat, Świat według Kiepskich (The World According to Kiepscy).
 Romania Familia Bundy
(The Bundy Family)
Subtitled Antena 1
PRO Tv
As of November 2009, it runs weekly, from Monday to Friday on Antena 1
 Russia Счастливы вместе
(Happy together)
Dubbed TV6 (Russia) NTV
Domashny
DTV
The Original Married... With Children ran on NTV for almost three years, broadcasting most of the episodes from seasons 1–10. The show later aired on TV6 and the "Domashniy Channel." However, for unknown reasons, most episodes from season 11 were not shown. After being pushed into a late night schedule, the show has been dropped entirely in favour of the current Russian remake, titled Schastlivi Vmesti ("Happy Together.")
 Serbia Брачне воде / Bračne vode
(Marriage Waters)
Subtitled
Dubbed (Season 1)
Fox televizija
Fox Life
Married... With Children ran on Fox televizija for three years. Season 1 was dubbed, while remaining seasons were subtitled since dubbing is not popular in Serbia. The show still airs on Fox Life, all seasons with subtitles only.
 Singapore Married with Children None Star World Married with Children is currently on air every Monday to Friday during the minisodes.
 Slovenia Družina za umret
(Family to die for)
Subtitled Kanal A The show was aired in the early 90s and it will be aired again starting March 6, 2009
 Slovakia Married...with Children Dubbed TV Markíza The show is being run with the Czech dubbing on TV Markíza (due to the huge similarity of the Czech and Slovak language there is no special need for a Slovak dubbing).
 South Africa Married...with Children M-Net The original series ran on the pay channel, M-Net.
 Spain Matrimonio con hijos
(Marriage with Children)
Dubbed TVE2
Canal 300
SET en VEO
The original series were a classic that ran for a decade in the public national channel TVE2. Recently the Spanish TV channel Cuatro did a remake of the original series under the name Matrimonio con Hijos.[43] In Catalonia, the show also ran in Catalan as Casats... i amb fills on TV3 and is currently running on the DTT channels Canal 300 and Sony Entertainment Television en VEO.
 Sweden Våra värsta år
(Our Worst Years)
Subtitled TV3
ZTV
TV6
The title is a pun for the title of the long-running soap opera Days of our Lives called Våra bästa år which is Our Best Years. The show has been running repeatedly on the Kinnevik-owned channels TV3 and ZTV since the start of the show and with repeated reruns. After several years off the air, it returned in 2006 as a part of TV6's launch schedule.
 Turkey Evli ve Çocuklu
(Married...with Children)
Star TV
aTV
CNBC-e
The show ran on TRT 2 in the 80s, the making its second run on Star TV and aTV in 90s, CNBC-E with subtitles and currently on e2 in 2000s.
 United Kingdom Married...with Children None ITV4
Paramount
ITV
Sky1
ITV2
The show first aired regionally on ITV between 1988 and 1996, usually late on a Friday night or in the early hours on Saturdays, where it built up a cult following. The then regional structure of ITV meant that people who were able to pick up more than one ITV region could often watch more than one episode a night. From 1996 to 1997 the programme transferred to Sky1 and later aired on ITV2 from 2004 to 2006. It recently appeared for a time on ITV4 and has been shown on cable comedy channel Paramount since 1999. The show does not currently air on UK television.
 Ukraine Щасливі разом
(Happy Together)
Novij Kanal The Russian remake of the show, Счастливы вместе, is currently being shown on Novij Kanal (New Channel) every weekday night from 9:30–10:30.
 Latvia Precējies , ir bērni Latvian Language TV3
TV6 (Latvia)
(EVERY DAY.)
 Venezuela Casado... con Hijos, Married...with Children Venevision, Sony The show aired from 1994 to 1998 on Venevision. The show still airs on Sony

See also

References

  1. ^ Episode: "The Godfather", 1991
  2. ^ Episode: "England Show: Wastin' the Company's Money", 1992
  3. ^ Episode: "Poke High", 1988
  4. ^ http://www.bundyology.com/bundy.html
  5. ^ http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/michael-richards/bio/166268
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0642328/quotes
  7. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005408/bio
  8. ^ "25 Biggest Emmy Snubs: 19)Katey Sagal—Married With...Children". 2009-07-22. http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20300978_20301043_7,00.html. 
  9. ^ As noted in "Peggy Turns 300," where Kelly says her birthday is in February, but erroneously refers to herself as an "Aquarium" instead of an (Aquarius).
  10. ^ a b "Married… with Children". E! True Hollywood Story. E!. 2001-08-26.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Sheepdogs—Buck
  13. ^ The E! True Hollywood Story: Married... with Children
  14. ^ http://www.tvacres.com/dogs_sheep_buck.htm
  15. ^ Kaltenbach, Chris (March 24, 2009). "Frances Milstead, mother of Divine, dies at 88". The Baltimore Sun. http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/movies/bal-frances-milstead-0324,0,1439792.story. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  16. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Married-Children-Complete-Seventh-Season/product-reviews/B000SSQ7J2/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_helpful?ie=UTF8&coliid=&showViewpoints=1&colid=&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
  17. ^ http://www.bundyology.com/oseven.html
  18. ^ http://www.tv.com/shane-sweet-board/seven-killed-andquotmarried-with-childrenandquot.../topic/80968-527566/msgs.html
  19. ^ http://listoftheday.blogspot.com/2009/03/12-kids-who-killed-tv-shows.html
  20. ^ 'Married' set for Spike run. Variety, April 6, 2008.
  21. ^ http://www.sitcomsonline.com/blog/2010/02/tv-one-hallmark-channel-make-schedule.html
  22. ^ http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1651341_1659192_1652601,00.html Married... With Children The 100 Best TV Shows Of All Time
  23. ^ Bundyology—Episode "Her Cups Runneth Over"
  24. ^ Bundyology—Episode "I'll See You in Court"
  25. ^ Bundyology—Episode "Rock and Roll Girl"
  26. ^ Bundyology—Episode "No Pot to Pease in"
  27. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Married-Children-Season-11/12414
  28. ^ [2]
  29. ^ http://videoeta.com/movie/93765
  30. ^ Big Bundy Box Released
  31. ^ [3]
  32. ^ [4]
  33. ^ http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egy_r%C3%A9m_rendes_csal%C3%A1d_Budapesten
  34. ^ Index.hu In Hungarian
  35. ^ Index.hu In Hungarian
  36. ^ Index.hu In Hungarian
  37. ^ Still Married, With Children, but in Russian—New York Times
  38. ^ (Russian) "Счастливы вместе : ТНТ". http://www.tnt-tv.ru/programs/SchastlivyVmeste/. 
  39. ^ http://lean-m.ru/news/2008/04/14/novyi-konkurs-ot-schastlivy-vmeste (in Russian)
  40. ^ http://lean-m.ru/news/2009/12/28/novye-serii-schastlivy-vmeste (in Russian)
  41. ^ IMDb.com—Top of the Heap
  42. ^ Eine schrecklich nette Familie
  43. ^ Cuatro.com

External links








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