Family Ties: A battle between the 60’s and the 80’s

I remember the first time I met Alex P. Keaton. It was a Thursday night in 1984 when I latched on to one of the smartest shows on NBC. It was the summer before I would leave for college and Alex Keaton struck a chord with me. Being too young to understand the social irony of an ultra-liberal set of parents who were in the Peace Corps and former war-protesters who have a son in the young republicans at college and President of his school and who carries a briefcase and personifies the “money chasing” 1980’s.
The show was created by Gary David Goldberg and was originally to be centered around Steven and Elise, the parents…but the commanding performance of Michael J. Fox drew audiences to his character. I read that producers actually went to Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter Birney and said with the focus changing to Alex P. Keaton they would understand if they wanted to quit. Thankfully, they didnt and the show went on to 7 years of success. Family Ties was the 2nd highest rated show on television for the first few seasons and was in the top twenty during 6 of its 7 seasons.

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