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Family Album aired from September until November 1993 on CBS.

After several years in California, physician Jonathan Lerner ( Peter Scolari), and his architect wife Denise ( Pamela Reed), decided it would be a good idea to move their family back to Philadelphia to be close to their parents. Wrong. Jonathan's father, Sid( Alan North), also a physician, was forever telling Jonathan how to practice medicine, and his mother Lillian ( Doris Beleck), smothered him and the children with affection. Denise's widowed mother, Ruby ( Rhoda Gemignani), a hair-dresser, was critical of everything she did, and her sister Sheila ( Nancy Cassaro), an unhappy single parent with an idiot son , Elvis ( Giovanni Ribisi), who boardered on being a juvinile delinquent, couldn't understand why anyone would move back to Philadelphia. As for the older children, Jeffrey ( Christopher Miranda), was only happy when he was glued to the tv and Nicki ( Ashlee LeVitch), was suffering cultural shock, convinced that she could never adjust to being uprooted from California. Zingers flew around the dinner table as all these generations tried to get along.

A Review from Variety

Family Album
((Fri. (24), 8:30-9 p.m. CBS))

Filmed by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Prods. in association with Warner Bros. TV. Exec producers, Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman, David Crane; producer, Pete Segal; director, Will MacKenzie; writers, Kauffman, Crane.

Cast: Peter Scolari, Pamela Reed, Ashlee Levitch, Christopher Miranda, Phillip Van Dyke, Doris Belack, Alan North, Rhoda Gemignani, Nancy Cassaro, Giovanni Ribisi.

It's hard to go wrong with a show starring Peter Scolari and Pamela Reed, which may be one reason "Family Album" feels so right. A witty script, confident direction and a strong supporting cast don't hurt its prospects, either.
Scolari and Reed play a baby boomer couple who relocate to their home town of Philadelphia, the main reason being that their parents, as Scolari reminds Reed -- and himself -- aren't getting any younger.

The pilot episode is fairly frantic, a sure sign there are lots of crazy characters to introduce. In this case, they seem worth it.

Scolari's upper-class parents (Alan North and Doris Belack) are, respectively , a grouchy doctor -- with whom Scolari's in practice -- and an overbearing matron. She walks in, cooing and making baby talk seemingly directed at her small grandson; however, she ignores him and instead kisses Scolari all over his cheeks.

Her mom, played by Rhoda Gemignani, is a widowed hairdresser who complains nonstop. "Do you want a tour?" Reed asks at their first family dinner. "What for? I don't have to live here," mom says, spitting out a stale mint.

The rest of the family includes Reed's tough, single sister (Nancy Cassaro), who thinks her sister's crazy to have returned; sis's juvenile delinquent son, Elvis (Giovanni Ribisi) and Reed and Scolari's three kids (Phillip Van Dyke, Christopher Miranda and Ashlee Levitch, with Levitch a standout as the unhappy teen).

While "Family Album" has some forced sitcom lines and plot devices, the show seems carefully crafted by writers Marta Kauffman, David Crane and fellow exec producer Kevin S. Bright, producer Pete Segal and director Will MacKenzie.

Minor details -- such as the complaint that their old telephone number was better, and the fact that their middle son sits glued to the TV most of the episode -- lend an authenticity not usually found in the Friday night lineup.

An Article From Entertainment Weekly

ALBUM CBS, 8:30-9 P.M.
Cover Story
By Bruce Fretts
When CBS approached Marta Kauffman and David Crane, the writing-producing team behind HBO's bawdy sexcom Dream On, about doing a ''family comedy,'' the two (who often finish each other's sentences) were a bit skeptical. Crane: The only way we wanted to do a family-in-a-living-room kind of thing was if we could do a real family. Kauffman: With all that goes with it... Crane: All the dysfunction... Kauffman: How they're the people who, much as you love them, nobody can make you crazier. Family Album (premiering Sept. 24) may be more than CBS bargained for. Newhart's Peter Scolari and Grand's Pamela Reed play a couple from Pasadena who move their family back home to Philadelphia only to be driven bonkers by squabbling relatives. Already some critics are harping about the show's high- decibel arguments. (Have these people seen All in the Family lately?) Kauffman: We don't find it shrill. We find it to be filled with conflict. And passion. And people saying what they mean. Crane: It has to do with your family. If you grew up in a quiet, repressed, no-one-talks-about-their-feelings- Kauffman: Or no-one-yells- Crane: Or nobody-yells kind of family, I'm sure this would seem shrill. Scolari doesn't come from a nobody-yells household. ''If my Italian family were to see this show,'' he says, ''they would say, 'So, where's the yelling?''' Still, according to Reed, the show has been toned down. ''Everybody knew the pilot was a little loud,'' she admits. ''The shows we're doing now are definitely different.'' For one thing, the writers won't cram all 10 regulars into every episode. ''Ten characters in 22 minutes is really a lot,'' Reed concedes. ''You have to make these great big brushstrokes in primary colors.'' Kauffman: We explore smaller relationships episode by episode. Crane: And we're not forced into that sitcom convention of... Kauffman: ''Hi, I'm just going to stop by, get some sugar, and leave a joke.'' This much is clear: Family Album is no Full House. ''With all due respect,'' Scolari says. ''I watch that show and I want to hurt all those people after 10 minutes.''

Posted Sep 17, 1993 | Published in issue #188 Sep 17, 1993

A Review From Entertainment Weekly

-- Credits
With: Peter Scolari and Pamela Reed By Ken Tucker
It looks as if the people behind family album (CBS, Fridays, 8:30-9 p.m.), cocreators Marta Kaufman and David Crane (Dream On), took early reviews that said the sitcom was too loud and abrasive all too much to heart; subsequent episodes have been quieter and blander. Given a choice, I'd have taken loud and abrasive-at least then the show's talented stars, Pamela Reed and Newhart's Peter Scolari, might have been able to work up a good comic froth now and then. Stuck here as parents who have recently moved from California to suburban Philadelphia, Reed and Scolari are little more than intelligent-looking straight people to two sets of in-laws and three children. The kids aren't bad: In particular, Chris Miranda, as 11-year-old Jeffrey, is an amusing little fellow obsessed with TV and old movies; and Ashlee Levitch (I'll Fly Away), as 15-year-old Nicki, is an all-purpose teenage brat performed with so much zest that you don't even dislike her. The rest of the time, though, just about the only thing this show gets right is the extent to which people who relocate anywhere from California quickly realize they've made a big mistake. C

Posted Oct 15, 1993

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Date: Sat April 16, 2016 � Filesize: 52.5kb � Dimensions: 500 x 348 �
Keywords: Family Album Cast (Links Updated 7/26/18)


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