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Full House aired from September 1987 until August 1995 on ABC.
Three young men and three kids made up one of TV's unlikely families in this light-hearted sitcom set in San Francisco. The kids belonged to TV sportscaster Danny ( Bob Saget), who was left with his hands full when his wife died suddenly. Moving in to help were Danny's brother-in-law Jesse ( John Stamos), a long-haired rock 'n' roll singer who wanted to party all the time and friend Joey ( Dave Coulier), an aspiring stand-up comedian with nonsensical reactions to diapers.
The kids were at outside teenager DJ ( Dandice Cameron), age 10; middle-daughter Stephanie ( Jodie Sweeten), age 5; and infant Michelle ( Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen), who was 6 months old when the show began. Michelle would grow up before the television audiences eye.
The Tanner household evolved as seasons passed. Uncle Jesse left his family's exterminating business to pursue his dream of becoming a professional rock star. Later on, he wrote advertising jingles with Joey, whose own show business career was slowly growing - especially after he appeared on Star Search. Danny became co-host of a local TV morning talk show with the unpredictable Rebecca ( Lori Loughlin), who struck up a relationship with Jesse that eventually led to their marriage in 1991. Rebecca and the newly domesticated Jesse didn't move out, but she moved in and had twin boys, Nicky and Alex ( Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit), in late 1991.
Danny had a long-term relationship with Vicki ( Gail Edwards), another talk-show host, which didn't work out, so Rebecca remained the only wife on the show. Various friends of the kids came through, including: Kimmy ( Andrea Barber) and Steve ( Scott Weinger), D.J.'s friends; Gia ( Marla sokoloff), Stephanie's classmate and Michelle's friends, Teddy and Denise( Tahj Mowry, Jurnee Smollett).
Jesse and his parents, Nick and Irene ( John Aprea, Yvonne Wilder), abruptly changed their names to Katsopolis in the fall of 1990, after the visit of his grandparents from Greece, apparently in tribute to their roots. Actor John Stamos, whose own ancestral name is Stamotopoulos, is known to feel that his Greek heritage should be better represented on TV.
Full House was an immediate hit on ABC Friday night on which cute-kid shows were in abundance. Past hits included: Diff'rent Strokes, The Brady Bunch, Webster, The Partridge Family and, many years ago, Ozzie and Harriet. ABC aired repeats of this series weekday mornings from June - September 1991.
A Review from The New York Times
TV REVIEWS; 'Full House,' on ABC
By JOHN J. O'CONNOR
Published: September 22, 1987
''FULL HOUSE'' is being introduced on ABC at 8:30 this evening before being placed in its regular time period of Fridays at 8 o'clock. Not to be confused with NBC's ''My Two Dads,'' in which two men end up raising the 12-year-old daughter of an old girlfriend who has recently died, ''Full House'' offers three men raising three children left behind by a woman who has recently died. One of the men in this case is the widower, named Danny (Bob Saget). The others are his brother-in-law, Jesse (John Stamos), and his best friend, Joey (David Coulier).
The obvious question: while the real world is confronting the burgeoning phenomenon of single-parent households, the vast majority of them headed by women, why are television sitcoms suddenly creating multi-parent households dominated by men? One possible answer: audiences for sitcoms are dominated by women, and researchers believe they may find watching men more diverting than keeping tabs on other women. Or perhaps the producers heard about the enormous popularity in France of a similar plot in a film released here as ''Three Men and a Cradle.'' Otherwise, it beats me.
''Full House'' is crammed with cute types, both young and old. Like the heroes of two other new series, ''The Slap Maxwell Story'' and ''Mama's Boy,'' Danny is a sports reporter, in this instance for television. In tonight's episode, written by Jeff Franklin and directed by Joel Zwick, his three children - D. J. (Candace Cameron), 10; Stephanie (Jodi Seetin), 5, and Michelle, 9 months - are reluctantly saying goodbye to their grandmother as Danny prepares for the arrival of Uncle Jesse, a tireless ladies' man, and Joey. When the two cutups arrive, complete with sitcom bantering, one of the youngsters wonders, with some justification, ''Think we can catch Grandma at the airport?''
In exchange for their room and board, Jesse and Joey will look after the children while Danny is at work laboring over reports with headlines like ''Boxers: Highly Skilled Athletes or Bullies in Shorts?'' Joey entertains the children with his comic abilities, which include impersonations of Kermit the Frog and Pee-wee Herman. Jesse does his best to pay attention between visits from gorgeous girlfriends.
Included, of course, is the changing-of-the-diaper routine, based on the premise that real men wouldn't have the slightest idea how to go about such a task. In this case, the poor infant is hosed down in the kitchen sink and held up to dry in front of an electric fan.
And so it goes, one predictable situation following another, with the actors frantically trying to keep the patient from becoming a full-fledged corpse. There is even the line, ''With this particular baby, it might be easier just to pour the formula onto the diaper.'' The episode ends with everybody singing the theme song from ''The Flintstones.'' That's the high point.
An Artcle from The New York Times
Review/Television; For Children, a Lesson on Abuse
By JOHN J. O'CONNOR
Published: February 16, 1993
Especially in the early hours of prime time, much of the television schedule is aimed at children. That, more than anything else, explains the success of CBS's juvenile "Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman." But occasionally, television takes advantage of this fact to spike its entertainment with a sobering message. Don't knock the do-good impulse.
Tonight at 8 on ABC, for instance, "Full House" slips the subject of child abuse into its familiar mix of adorable tots, telegenic teen-agers and ageless dads. As usual, the half-hour show, now in its seventh season, skips along breezily, exploiting the well-worn notion that children say the darndest things and, no matter how miffed, parents just can't suppress a warm smile. Not for the ages, certainly, but 22 minutes are usually harmless enough.
In fact, serious issues are injected more often in "Full House" than might be readily apparent. This evening's show, "Silence Is Not Golden,"includes a warning about commercials that, while muttering something about parental permission, entice youngsters to make 900-number telephone calls that run up enormous bills. There is also a pointed endorsement of J. D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye," a favorite target of today's book censors. But the big issue is clearly child abuse, and it is worked into the plot delicately.
At school, 11-year-old Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) is assigned to write an essay about "finding the good in all people," a project that seems to become all but impossible when her class teammate turns out to be Charles (J. D. Daniels), a mean-spirited little twerp. While working together, however, Charles reveals that he is often beaten by his father. Like so many abuse victims, Charles blames himself and swears Stephanie to secrecy. When it's announced in class that Charles will be absent for a while because of an "accident" at home, Stephanie goes to her Uncle Jesse for advice.
Uncle Jesse is played by John Stamos who is described by the network as a youth ambassador since 1985 for Childhelp U.S.A. Mr. Stamos and Ms. Sweetin appear at the end of the program with a toll-free 800 number for the Childhelp hotline. "If you need help," they tell their young viewers, "someone is there for you." For Our Children The Concert The Disney Channel, tonight at 6 and again at 8.
An Article from Entertainment Weekly
Published on May 21, 1993
Pop Culture News
VICIOUS RIVALRIES? ILLICT SEX? NOT EXACTLY. HERE'S THE DIRT
By Jess Cagle
One year ago, the world was shocked-shocked-by Barry Williams' revelatory book, Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg. It was all there-Williams smoking pot before work, Florence Henderson joking about oral sex, Robert Reed brawling with the producers, and pairs of the kids fondling each other every time the tutor turned her back. What if, 20 years from now, Full House's Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, write their memoirs-Growing Up Tanner: We Were Preschool Michelles? A week- long visit to the Full House set on Sony's Soundstage 28, in Culver City, Calif., offers a sneak preview of what might be disclosed in such a tome. Nothing lurid-Bob Saget doesn't show up looped, Lori Loughlin isn't kinky (hey, she's married to an investment banker), and the kids keep their hands to themselves-but still, plenty of Full-scale amusement. Chapter 1: The Adults (or Dave Farts): Full House is known as one of the happier sets in town-leave the internal bickering to Knots Landing and Roseanne. ''I really love everybody here,'' says star John ''Uncle Jesse'' Stamos. ''That's such a boring statement, but it really is like a second family.'' Maybe too much like a family. For instance, Dave ''Joey'' Coulier is proudly breaking wind right there in the kitchen during rehearsal. His costars are apparently used to this; nobody giggles or runs away. Andrea Barber, 16, who plays the girls' lovably obnoxious friend Kimmy, simply fans the air with her script while concentrating her attention on the director. Bob ''Danny'' Saget, 37, and his adult male costars, Stamos, 29, and Coulier, 33, carpool together, even vacation together. Coulier and Saget go back 14 years, to their days working L.A.'s comedy clubs. The friendship between Stamos and Coulier blossomed in the show's first season (1987- 88). During a joint male-bonding gambling expedition to Vegas in 1989, they suffered the distinction of being tossed out of the Liberace Museum for joking about it. There is, however, some dispute over who's funnier-Saget or Coulier. Saget is known for his dry, stream-of-consciousness musings (''Michael Jackson says you can count the number of surgeries he's had on two fingers,'' he says one afternoon in the green room, ''but if he had 40 operations on each finger, that's 80 operations ''). Coulier is renowned for his impressions and far-flung character voices (He's a Saturday-morning-cartoon veteran-notably on The Real Ghostbusters and Jim Henson's Muppet Babies). And each has extracurricular host gigs: Saget on America's Funniest Home Videos, Coulier on America's Funniest People. ''Dave can be a little more crude than Bob,'' says Candace ''D.J.'' Cameron, 17. Says Stamos: ''I think naked, Bob is funnier.'' While Saget and Coulier say they're comedians at heart, there's a Serious Actor beating within Stamos. He sometimes flies to New York for acting classes and wants to do movies (he's still negotiating his series contract for next season). On the set he's the moody one-friendly but frustrated. And he would just as soon not work with the animals that make periodic appearances on the show. During our visit, Uncle Jesse must take a shine to a Vietnamese pot- bellied pig. ''The one week you come down, we have to have a pig on the show,'' growls Stamos.
Chapter 2: The Kids (or No Drew Barrymores Here): So far, so good: No signs of the child-star woes that befell The Partridge Family's Danny Bonaduce (who beat up a transvestite), Family Ties' Tina Yothers (who suffered an awkward growing spurt), or the whole crew of Diff'rent Strokes (too much to mention). The aspirations and daily routines of the House gang are pretty normal. Cameron just bought a black Nissan Pathfinder. Scott Weinger, 17, who plays D.J.'s refrigerator-raiding boyfriend, Steve, moonlighted as Aladdin's voice and will go to Harvard in 1994. Jodie "Stephanie" Sweetin, 11, wants to be a doctor because "I'm pretty good at health and spelling." The fraternal-twin Olsens, 6, are the Liz Taylors of the Barney set, meaning they have been famous for longer than they can remember-since the age of 8 months, in fact, when they made their Full House debut. They have recorded an album (Brother for Sale), starred in a TV movie of the week (last year's high-rated To Grandmother's House We Go), headlined an ABC Mother's Day special, and licensed their likenesses for dolls, T-shirts, and lunch boxes. Throughout their various ventures, they are shuffled around the country by an army of adults dedicated to keeping the dual commodities cute and happy. Among children, the Olsens tie with basketball star Michael Jordan for the highest Q rating-or recognizability score-on TV, though some of their peers confuse them with their shared fictional persona (both play Michelle because child-labor laws limit the amount of time either may work). "I just say, 'I'm not Michelle, we're Mary-Kate and Ashley,'" says Mary-Kate, taking a break from her tutored first-grade schoolwork one morning to answer a few questions, which had to be submitted in advance to their publicist. This season the twins began memorizing their lines, rather than always being prompted by dialogue coach Brian Kale. And they're aging quite nicely. "They've always been adorable," says a source on the set, "but now they look less like troll dolls." Adria Later is the Full House studio teacher the twins call "the Principal." She juggles the Byzantine network of parents, agents, publicists, and nannies-and their schedules-to make sure all her charges master the three R's. Later also serves as acting coach/keeper to the newest members of the Full House family, Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit, 2, the impossibly cute fraternal-twin sons of Karen Tuomy-Wilhoit, a former schoolteacher, and Jeff Wilhoit, a sound-effects specialist. "We've talked to all the kids who work on this show, and they've all got their heads on straight," says Karen. Will she allow her babies a career after Full House? She hesitates. "I think this show is probably unique," she says, "because you're always hearing stories about child actors who go nuts." Chapter 3: The Writers (or How to Keep 24.5 Million Coming Back Every Week): The masterminds of Full House, executive producers Tom Miller and Bob Boyett, rule a sitcom empire where the sun rises after the evening news and sets by Junior's bedtime. Their mass-market know-how was sharpened as producers of Happy Days; they currently oversee (besides Full House) Family Matters, Step By Step, and Getting By. Lorimar's Miller-Boyett label is synonymous with minor family crises of the middle class, an odd gig for two rich, single, middle-aged men. "There was a lady in our business who once said, 'For God's sake, half-hour comedies, it's not like you're doing brain surgery,'" says Miller. "The way we feel is, Oh, it's more important. If you make a mistake with brain surgery you only kill one person, but we're dealing with millions of children's minds out there." If those millions of little minds only knew. During a meeting about the two- part season finale (the last part airs May 18), in which Full House goes to Disney World, one writer observes, "We need to show something about (Danny's girlfriend) that we've never seen before." "What about a takeoff on The Crying Game?" suggests another. Earlier, ABC execs complained the current cliff-hanger script doesn't create enough tensions when Michelle is discovered to be missing in a theme park. Writers start suggesting lines: "Michelle was found dead in the well, Dad." "I think I saw Jeffrey Dahmer in the park." "When we hire writers," explains co-executive producer Dennis Rinsler, "we hire funny, twisted, demented, very sharp people-people who want to write Cheers and Seinfeld. Then we take their twisted sense of humor and we hone it to work on the show." Led by Rinsler and Marc Warren (who share executive- producer status with their bosses, Miller and Boyett), the 11-member writing and producing staff spends most of its time censoring its own racy ideas. One script this season started with a writer's suggestion that little Michelle call a phone-sex line. In the final version, she ran up the phone bill calling Dial-A-Joke. But what about the inevitable-at some point won't soon-to-be high school senior D.J. have to confront the issue of virginity? "We would love to do that episode," says Warren. "Something like that would be fantastic! It would be a dream! But it's not the show." And so, like Marcia Brady before her, D.J. might as well head for the nearest convent.
An Article from Entertainment Weekly
Published on May 21, 1993
Pop Culture News
YOU THOUGHT 'THE BRADY BUNCH' ENDED? WRONG. IT'S BACK-DISGUISED AS 'FULL HOUSE'
By Ken Tucker
These days, it has become commonplace to observe that there's an entire generation of American adults carrying around in its collective head the theme song and a few dozen vividly remembered episodes of The Brady Bunch (see page 40). The series was a classic example of mass entertainment that bypassed critical acclaim while soothing '70s youth with earnest but false banalities about the enduring strength of the nuclear family. The Bunch gave comfort both sincere and campy to its decade as no situation comedy ever has. Until now. Many grown-up Bunchers probably don't even realize it, but another sitcom has come along featuring a family unit that epitomizes the '90s and has the same nurturing stickiness as the Bradys. It's Full House, ABC's Tuesday-night, 8 p.m. entertainment-that-transcends-entertainment. The No. 1-rated show among children across America and guilty goof to scads of adults, Full House is the ongoing, six-year-old saga of Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), a San Francisco TV host and winsome widower, and the extended family that fills his house. Let's see, there are his daughters D.J. (Candace Cameron) and Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), his wisecracking moppet, Michelle (played by twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen), his brother-in-law, Jesse (John Stamos), his brother-in-law's wife, Rebecca (Lori Loughlin), and his best friend, Joey (Dave Coulier). And, as if the house weren't full enough, the brother-in-law and his wife have twin babies (this last little Full House subdivision lives in the attic). One reason Full House has become so popular is that it's the ultimate anti- nuclear-family show-it assures millions of kids in single-parent, extended- family homes that life can still be loving, cozy, and secure. House also offers a bittersweet fantasy: Although most single-parent homes in America are headed by women, this show presents the spectacle of a small battalion of warm, friendly men raising a passel of sweet, rascally girls. In TV's dream answer to the problem of day care, the girls in Full House are always being overseen by a father figure they know and love: Somehow, no matter what work schedule each of these big lugs may have, either Danny or Jesse or Joey is always able to be home to prepare meals, horse around, bandage scrapes, and decide whether Stephanie's old enough to get her ears pierced. As my 11-year-old observes with the mix of awe and sarcasm that typifies the hard-core Full House fan, ''They always end with a hug.'' And never underestimate the power of a hug. Oh, Full House contains its share of decadent postmodernism-Coulier can mimic Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator and be sure that most of his audience gets the joke; the girls constantly push comic catchphrases-''How rude!'' ''You got it, dude!''-with aggressive relish. But Full House is the exact opposite of Seinfeld, whose cocreator, Larry David, became a hero to all jaded TV watchers when he said that in his show no one would ever hug, and no one would ever learn an Important Lesson in Life. In Full House, by contrast, everyone embraces at the drop of a hat, the guys are as likely to shed a sensitive tear as the children, and not an episode goes by without at least one young character gaining some new bit of wisdom on the order of Sharing is Good, or, Lying is Bad. A recent episode centered on a schoolmate of Stephanie's who was being physically abused by his father; Stephanie learned that it was okay to rat on the bad dad, and the show concluded with a toll-free child-abuse hot-line number. Imagine Mister Rogers' Neighborhood with ''inner-child'' guru John Bradshaw as its mayor and you've got the Full House philosophy down cold. My kids and their friends watch every Full House they can, including reruns in syndication. Look in the listings and say to them, ''This one is about D.J. sneaking out of the house at night to meet her boyfriend,'' and they yell, ''Oh, yeah, we saw that one-let's see it again!'' I predict, 20 years hence, Full House reunion specials (''Michelle, now the mother of triplets, brings the girls over to Grandpa Danny's for a special weekend'') and dinners among trendy thirtysomethings that will conclude with a ritualistic wry singing of the show's dizzy theme song (''Everywhere you look/There's a heart, a hand to hold on to''). Watch it now: Full House is intense nostalgia in the making.
An Article from USA TODAY
Published on February 28, 1995
ABC is closing the door on 'Full House'
By Jefferson Graham
Full House, a cornerstone of the ABC comedy lineup for eight seasons, has been canceled.
The show's ratings have sagged this season, but ABC Entertainment President Ted Harbert says that isn't the issue.
" Full House may return on another network's schedule," he says. " The overall issue is financial. Ater eight years of incredible performance, it costs a lot of money to produce a show like this, and I couldn't find a way for ABC to come out financially sound."
Full House began as a sitcom about three single guys-Bob Saget, John Stamos and Dave Coulier-who live together and raise the widowed Saget's three daughters. It has expanded over the years with new wives and more kids joining the cast.
Season to date, House is averaging a 12.7 rating and a 20 share. Once a top 15 perennial, its ratings slipped this season when NBC moved Wings against it Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT In the most recent nielsens, House ranked No. 33 vs Wings No. 29.
In the final episode to air in May, Michelle ( Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen) suffers amnesia and the gang gets together to talk about the good times they've had over the years.
The House wrap party was Sunday at a restaurant in Woodland Hills , Calif., were Harbert thanked cast and crew for eight great years.
Full House is the second cancellation this year for a long-running series. NBC's Blossom filmed its final episode last week with Blossom ( Mayim Bialik)graduating from high school.
Warner Bros. Television is working to get Full House picked up by another network. That's not rare. On Sunday, The Critic canceled by ABC last season moves to Fox. Other series that have made network switches include Matlock and In the Heat of the Night.
Saget seems assured to keep his other job, hosting America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC. Videos is having a great year, regularly placing second to CBS' 60 Minutes Sundays at 7 and ranking No. 20 season-to-date.
To watch some clips from Full House go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=full+house++&aq=f
For a Website dedicated to Full House go to http://web.archive.org/web/20031223183951/http://fullhousetv.com/
For a Website dedicated to Full House go to http://fly.to/fullhouse
For a Website dedicated to Full House go to http://web.archive.org/web/20060129145439/www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Set/4907/
For a Review of Full House go to http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/fullhouse.htm
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Keywords: Full House