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Chicago Sons aired from January until July 1997 on CBS.

The testosterone flowed freely in this lightweight sitcom about 3 skirt-chasing brothers living in a bachelor dream pad overlooking Chicago's Wrigley Field. Harry ( Jason Bateman), the most responsible ( relatively speaking), worked as a junior architect and had the hots for co-worker Lindsay ( Paula Marshall). She,unfortunately, already had a boyfriend of 5 years. In the spare bedroom was Harry's dumb, insensitive older brother Mike( D.W. Moffett), who had been kicked out of his house by his fed-up wife, but nevertheless had babes hanging on him. On the couch was dropout Billy ( David Krumholtz), the wise-cracking, boyish looking youngest of the clan. They all hung out at Murphy's bar, when not drinking milk right out of the carton or watching a Cubs game from the roof.

Episode Guide

13 30-minute episodes aired on NBC from January 8th, 1997 through July 2nd, 1997.

The Episodes:
"Pilot" gs: Scott Bryce [ Unknown ], Stephanie Erb [ Lisa ], Steve Witting [ Unknown ], Marc Grapey [ Unknown ], Gillian Holt [ Unknown ], Anastasia Sakelaris [ Unknown ] Harry drafts a blueprint for wooing an attractive co-worker, while recently separated eldest brother Mike moves in with Harry and youngest brother Billy, a get-rich-quick schemer. b: 8 Jan 97 pc: 465592 w: Ed Decter & John J. Strauss d: James Burrows -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "A Foursome is Not Necessarily a Good Thing" gs: Katy Selverstone [ Kristen ], Michael Stoyanov [ Barry ], Timi Paulmiere [ Elizabeth ], Gary Anthony Sturgis [ Waiter ] Harry plans an accidental meeting between Mike and his old high-school sweetheart. "Take-charge" Mike learns that his estranged wife, Lisa, has been seeing another man, so he decides to a wade into the dating pool with Kristen, the woman he courted before he met his wife. b: 15 Jan 97 pc: 465552 w: Laura Perkins Brittain d: James Burrows -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Butkus, Live!" gs: Dick Butkus [ Himself ], Reno Wilson [ Stan ], Charles Walker [ Coach Gray ], Pat Crawford Brown [ Woman ] Normally close-mouthed Mike opens up to Lindsay about a private matter, which makes Harry feel like he's been "left out in a lonely rowboat---like Fredo Corleone." b: 22 Jan 97 pc: 465558 w: J.J. Paulsen d: Michael Lembeck -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "To Have and to Hold" gs: Casey Siemaszko [ Frank ], Jennifer Grant [ Jane ], John Webber [ Jerry ], Marci Brickhouse [ Anna ], Wendy Buboltz [ Heather ], Sandra Kinger [ Organist ] b: 29 Jan 97 pc: 465556 w: Nancy Neufeld d: Gil Junger -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The Things We Do for Love" gs: Cindy Ambuehl [ Amy ], Corinne Bohrer [ Unknown ], Shelley Berman [ McGlashan ] The brothers rethink their strategy concerning "that mysterious creature called woman," with old-fashioned Mike trying some newfangled approaches to romancing his latest steady (Ambuehl). Then smooth operator Harry shows remarkable patience in courting a comely surgeon (Bohrer). b: 5 Feb 97 pc: 465560 w: ______________ d: Alan Rafkin -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Infrequent Flyers" gs: Scottie Pippen [ Unknown ], Brenda Strong [ Nina ], Matt Landers [ Mr. Singer ], Bruno Campos [ Raoul ], Gregg Daniel [ Croupier ], Symba Smith [ Stewardess ] NBA star Scottie Pippen (in a recurring role as the guys' landlord) joins the cast in an outing about Mike taking his brothers and Lindsay to the Bahamas. While there, Mike is wooed by Bahama sugar mama Nina; Harry has a go-round with the roulette wheel; can-do Billy goes condo; and "elitist snob" Lindsay has a fling with a cabana boy. b: 12 Feb 97 pc: 465562 w: Tad Quill d: Steve Zuckerman -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Love in the Time of Cicadas" gs: Kirsten Nelson [ Unknown ], Gabrielle Reece [ Herself ], John Webber [ Jerry ], Michelle Clunie [ Kelly ], Seth Jaffe [ The Colonel ] The love bug bites Mike, who trysts with his estranged wife (Nelson); and Harry, who finally has a close encounter with Lindsay. b: 19 Feb 97 pc: 465559 w: ______________ d: Gil Junger -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The Belligerent Waitress and the Surly Fry Cook" gs: b: 5 Mar 97 pc: 465557 w: ______________ d: Gil Junger -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Kolchak Swings ... and Kiss That One Goodbye" gs: Scott Bryce [ Derek ], Michael Stoyanov [ Barry ], Lisa Thornill [ Giselle ], John Webber [ Jerry ], Jonathan Slavin [ Sandwich Guy ] Co-workers Harry and Lindsay try not to mix pleasure with business; and entrepreneur Billy thinks he's on to a real moneymaking scheme. b: 12 Mar 97 pc: 465551 w: ______________ d: James Burrows -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Running Interference" gs: Brigid Brannagh [ Melinda ], John Webber [ Jerry ], Kevin Farley [ Kevin ], Charles Stevenson [ Mr. Ripps ] While Harry and Mike argue about meddling in love struck Billy's private life, their little brother puts his foot down and takes a big step on his own. So, it's up to the older Kuchaks to save their impetuous sibling from the mess he's gotten himself into. b: 19 Mar 97 pc: 465561 w: Michael Poryes d: Steve Zuckerman -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Beauty and the Butt" gs: Scottie Pippen [ Unknown ], Fabiana Udenio [ Gabriella ], David Starzyk [ Dan Forester ], Ali Larter [ Angela ], Brad Naso [ Walter ] The unthinkable happens: an attractive sculptress prefers to get sad-sack Billy in the sack instead of his hunky brother Mike, which leads to "a family crisis of Biblical proportions." b: 18 Jun 97 pc: 465555 w: Mark LaVine & Eddie Ring d: Gil Junger -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "It's a Mezzner" gs: Catherine Silvers [ Sharon ], Milton James [ Pecha ], Benjamin Lum [ Mr. Lee ], Larisa Miller [ Woman ] b: 25 Jun 97 pc: 465553 w: Tom Burkhard d: Michael Lembeck -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Mothers, Lost Fullbacks, and Other Soft Things" gs: Barbara Feldon [ Lindsay's Mother ], Reno Wilson [ Stan ], John Webber [ Jerry ], Brigid Brannagh [ Melinda ], John Capodice [ Roy ] When her designing mother comes to town to see her receive an architecture award, Lindsay frets that the woman is there to steal the spotlight from her. Meanwhile, Mike and his macho pals engage in a contest to see who can keep from crying during Brian's Song. b: 2 Jul 97 pc: 465554 w: ______________ d: Rod Daniels

An Article from the Sun Sentinel


By Scott D. Pierce, Television Editor
Published: January 6, 1997 12:00 am

Jason Bateman is not exactly what you might expect someone who grew up in front of television cameras to be.

He's well-adjusted. He's nice. He's polite. He's ambitious, but his ambitions are to hold a steady job and build a normal life.And Bateman, who's starring in the new NBC sitcom "Chicago Sons" - his sixth TV series - has no illusions about what it is he does.

"I love the routine; I love the community of people who are involved in sitcoms," Bateman said in a recent teleconference. "I know quite a few of them by now, and none of us are claiming to solve brain cancer. We all just try to have a good time and try to stay away from the pressures of the numbers every week and things of that sort."

Asked by one critic if he can be "dramatically satisfied" doing a TV comedy, Bateman eschews the more typical "I-am-an-artiste" answer for a common-sense re-sponse.

"I don't really look to get satisfied dramatically from sitcoms," he said. "If I want to stretch, to use an obnoxious actor term, I've got four or five months to do that. That's why I think doing a sitcom is the best job an actor can have. Certainly, for me it is. . . . I really like having a steady job in this fickle business."

In "Chicago Sons," which premieres Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on Ch. 5, Bateman plays the middle - and most stable - of three brothers. He's Harry Kulchak, a young architect dealing not only with a career and a big crush on his co-worker (Paula Marshall) but also with having his college-dropout younger brother (David Krumholtz) as well as his older brother (D.W. Moffett) - who was thrown out by his wife - move in with him.

"Harry Kulchak is me a few years ago," Bateman said. "He has graduated from being a child . . . and now he's a rookie at adulthood. He's sort of caught in that middle ground. He says a lot of things that would have worked a few years ago but don't work anymore as far as his relationships with women go and in the workplace."

It's not classic TV - at least not yet - but it is very likeable. A lot like Bateman himself, who has been starring in TV sitcoms ever since "Silver Spoons" back in 1982.

"I had a pretty accelerated upbringing," he acknowledged.

But unlike a lot of former child stars, Bateman didn't turn out so bad. And he has no regrets about the early start he got on an acting career.

"It affected me definitely positively, I think," he said. "It gave me the ability to grow up much more responsibly - forcibly responsibly. I had to do a lot of things when I was 10, 11, 12, 13 that most kids that age are never asked to do. It gave me the opportunity to feel much better about myself at an earlier age - feel like I could make money and handle responsibility. It worked out for the best for me."

Back in 1981, when Bateman got his first role as a regular on a TV series ("Litte House on the Prairie"), he was a 12-year-old living right here in Utah and attending school at Rowland Hall-St. Mark's. Since then, the 27-year-old has starred in five situation comedies - "Silver Spoons" (1982-84), "It's Your Move," (1984-85), "Valerie"/"The Hogan Family" (1986-91) and "Simon" (1995-96).

And the fact that he's done so many sitcoms is no coincidence.

"Since the end of `The Hogan Family,' I've wanted to get back on another series," Bateman said. He read for a lot of sitcom parts he didn't get and got cast in a few pilots that didn't get picked up before network wannabe WB bought the short-lived "Simon" last season.

"It was nice to get back in the routine and get the paycheck again, but this ("Chicago Sons") is something completely different. This is the real deal," he said. "This is the thing I wanted to get back into."

And, even for an actor, the difference between doing a sitcom for a start-up network like WB and being part of NBC's "must-see" lineup is tangible.

"The obvious difference, and I don't mean to slam the writers of `Simon,' but the talent pool, creatively - the writers, the directors, I mean all the way down to set-dressing and props - you get a much higher breed of worker (on NBC)," Bateman said.

"It becomes much more exciting when you do nail a scene in front of the audience. You know that scene is in the can and going to be shown to 10 to 15 million as opposed to 1 to 2 million. It feels a lot better. You don't mind putting forth the kind of effort that gives you the flu over your Christmas vacation if millions of people are going to see it."

(And Bateman was indeed suffering from a bad case of the flu just before Christmas - bad enough that he delayed for a couple of days his annual visit to his father - director Kent Bateman - in Park City for the holidays. "I kind of kill two birds with one stone every year with some skiing and some family visits," he said.)

Even through the flu, it was obvious that Bateman is excited about "Chicago Sons." And, unlike many sitcom actors - or television actors - who seem unhappy with their high-paying lot in life, he's doing exactly what he wants to do.

And not acting in sitcoms for four years was something that nearly drove Bateman right out of the acting business.

"It was very frustrating because I had been weaned on working on a television series," he said. "Your average working actor will work four or five, maybe six times a year. And that's extremely successful. I was doing that, but it felt like I was absolutely unemployed.

It wasn't that he was suffering financially or that his life was falling apart. But Bateman wanted to work.

"It's tough to get up every day and just go and play golf," he said. "I mean, it's a lot of fun. Don't get me wrong - I don't mean to sound spoiled or anything. But how much golf can you play?

"I think the first time my handicap dipped into single digits, I picked up the phone immediately, and I called my agent and said, `Look, we've got to look harder. We've got to get me a job.' "

When the auditions didn't turn into steady TV work, he almost decided to give up and take his life in another direction.

"I got very close to, like, liquidating everything," Bateman said. "I had this pie-in-the-sky idea of moving to Provence or something and buying a coffee shop and learning the language and getting involved in a community of people. Like I said, that's what I'm all about. I love people, which is one of the reasons I love doing what I do.

"That's not to say that I don't have a wonderful group of friends around me here, but I wanted to go deal with nice people. And unless you're insulated on a show, there aren't a ton of nice people out there in Hollywood. I know that that's a cliche, too, but when you are looking for a job, the kind of people you are dealing with are not the kind of people that you want to deal with on a day-to-day basis." Bateman is already planning to take his career in a bit of a different direction once "Chicago Sons" runs its course.

"All I want to do when this show is over - and I hope it runs for a hundred years - is to direct situation comedies. I love the routine," he said. "And although I'm not married, I one day want to coach a Little League team and drive the car pool, and doing a sitcom gives you the kind of time in your life to do those sorts of things."

Bateman directed several episodes of "The Hogan Family." (He was only 19 when he first directed an episode, making him - according to Warner Bros. - the youngest person ever to direct a network TV show.) And plans call for him to direct on "Chicago Sons" should the show get picked up for a second season.

He hopes to prove his abilities and become a regular go-to guy for sitcom producers, because "it's like booking a television series that will never get canceled. If you're directing a series that does get canceled you move on to another show and there's a much better chance at longevity. You can get into a big mortgage and a house. It's a smaller community of people, and if you're on the short list you work until you don't want to work anymore."

"I've certainly done more episodes of situation comedy than most of the directors who are directing these things now, so I'm overqualified and definitely ready to get into that."

But it's obvious that Bateman has no overblown ego about either the job of sitcom director or his ability to do that job.

"You're basically there to corral the rehearsal. Anybody who tells you any different either hasn't done it or did it wrong," he said. "You're there as sort of the baby sitter. The buck stops at the producer/writers, and if you don't know that or if you buck that, you're just in for frustration or getting fired.

"I just enjoy working with the actors on a rehearsal basis and also figuring out the puzzle . . . of (four or five) cameras versus sometimes eight or nine actors on the stage and making sure everybody's line gets covered with the lense. That's basically what the directors do.

NO SIBLING RIVALRY: Oddly enough, Jason Bateman's new show, "Chicago Sons," will be NBC's lead-in for the show his sister, Justine, is starring in - "Men Behaving Badly." And the two sitcom veterans (Justine spent five years on "Family Ties") confer frequently - although they sort of alternate on who's advising whom.

"She and I have been on the phone almost on a nightly basis the last few months," Jason said. "And I've been the guy giving advice, sort of helping her along to work out the kinks in her character and in her show. It's starting to all come together now. And that's a really neat thing that we have.

"The odds of two members of a family being in the entertainment business and then being in television and then being on the same network and being on the same night - we're really fortunate that we have each other to talk to. And it makes our relationship even stronger and even more personal."

A Review from The New York Times

With These Brothers, 3 Is a Madding Crowd
Published: January 08, 1997

It says something about this drab television season that many of its most inventive moments come from network promos for shows. For a while there was French Smith, Harry on ''Third Rock From the Sun'' (one of the year's bright spots), dancing expressively to the ''Flashdance'' theme: ''He's a maniac, maniac on TV.'' More recently, the relentlessly promoted new sitcom ''Chicago Sons,'' about three grown brothers living together in that city, offered a clever parody of ''Bonanza,'' with the theme rewritten to show a few crucial differences between these guys and the Cart wrights: ''They don't ride, they don't rope, they don't know Hop Sing.'' (''Hop Who?'' someone sings, ignorant of the Cartwrights' cook.) The series has its premiere tonight, and it turns out that the promos are infinitely funnier than anything on this flat, predictable show.

''Chicago Sons,'' based on the premise that men are slightly advanced, good-hearted cavemen, is a more polite version of ''Men Behaving Badly.'' But what's the comic point of ''Men Almost Behaving Badly''?

The Kulchak brothers share an apartment under strained sitcom circumstances, and the family itself is a study in upward mobility. The show's star is Jason Bateman as Harry, the sweet and sensible middle brother. He is an architect, lovelorn over his work partner, Lindsay (Paula Marshall), who is already attached.

The oldest brother, Mike (D. W. Moffett), is a construction worker whose wife has kicked him out because he watches too much television sports. He moves in with Harry and their younger brother, Billy (David Krumholtz), a twerpy recent college graduate with no job but plenty of supposedly wacky get-rich-quick schemes. Those schemes (become a wedding planner!) are no more original than Mike's cliched problems with his wife.

The show's best family joke is to have all the brothers drink chocolate milk the same way: first they squirt chocolate syrup into their mouths straight from the bottle, followed by a swig of milk from the carton. Well, that proves it; men really are from Mars.

Mr. Bateman brings an endearing quality to his role and to Harry's desperate attempts to win Lindsay. Tonight he invites her to watch a Cubs game from the roof, and gets all the wrong advice from his brothers. In next week's episode he tries again; he gets more bad advice, and the show doesn't get any better. Unless these brothers learn to ride, rope and cozy up to Hop Sing, they're probably hopeless.


NBC, tonight at 8:30

(Channel 4 in New York)

John J. Strauss and Ed Decter, creators and executive producers; Kim Friese, co-executive producer; J. J. Paulsen, supervising producer; Don Rhymer, consulting producer; Tom Burkhard, producer; produced by Tim Berry; pilot directed by James Burrows. A production of Frontier Pictures and Three Sisters Entertainment in association with Warner Brothers Television.

WITH: Jason Bateman (Harry Kulchak), D. W. Moffett (Mike Kulchak), David Krumholtz (Billy Kulchak) and Paula Marshall (Lindsay Sutton).

A Review from The New York daily News

A Tale Of 2 Cities - And Series
Wednesday, January 08, 1997

THE FIRST two new prime-time series of 1997 are unveiled tonight, and both feature cities as such prominent settings that they're featured in the titles: NBC's "Chicago Sons" sitcom and the CBS drama series "Orleans."

"Orleans" is the better show, and the one with the better pedigree.

The star of the series besides the Cajun city, that is is Larry Hagman, who as J.R. Ewing personified another Southern city in "Dallas." In "Orleans," Hagman doesn't circumvent the law; he upholds it, by playing a quirky-yet-principled judge named Luther Charbonnet. And somehow, just by letting his eyebrow hairs run wild and point to the skies, he creates a completely different TV persona something between a crafty old owl and a dirty old man.

Judge Charbonnet's grown kids, also living in New Orleans, bring other TV genres to the table. Eldest son Clade (Brett Cullen) is an undercover cop, younger son Jesse (Michael Reilly Burke) is a deputy district attorney, and daughter Paulette (Colleen Flynn) is a rebellious handful.

She's also the alter ego of Toni Graphia, the daughter of a Louisiana judge and the co-creator, writer and co-executive producer of "Orleans."

Graphia's partner in this venture is John Sacret Young, for whom she once wrote a "China Beach" script.

Young, who also oversaw the ambitious "VR5," has made sure that "Orleans" has flavor to spare, in both the scenery (the entire series is shot on location) and the central and guest casting.

One upcoming episode, for example, features Mary Crosby as a mysterious snake wrangler a delicious bit of casting, once you recall that it was Crosby, as Kristin, who shot Hagman's J.R. in that most-famous episode of "Dallas."

As for mood, the courtroom scenes in "Orleans" could be pulled straight from "Picket Fences," but the action and romance scenes outside are more traditional and dark.

"Orleans" definitely is a show worth sampling, and a show that easily could get addictive especially with Hagman, and his eyebrows, stealing so many scenes.

In "Chicago Sons," meanwhile, the scene-stealers are D.W. Moffett and Jason Bateman as two of three grown brothers (David Krumholtz completes the troika) living and working in the Windy City. Paula Marshall plays the co-worker to whom Bateman's middle brother is hopelessly attracted, and is quite charming.

Though this is the best series by far from John J. Strauss and Ed Decter ("Boy Meets World," "Too Something," "Me and the Boys"), it's still not as funny or clever as NBC's on-air promos for it. Think of "Friends" without the women, and with a rooftop overlooking Wrigley Field instead of Central Perk, and you've got "Chicago Sons."

If you want it.

Here's a brief mention of Chicago Sons from Entertainment Weekly-Published on February 7, 1997.

The Batemans are back, and NBC's got 'em! But when did Jason become the more interesting sibling? As the middle brother on CHICAGO SONS (NBC, Wednesdays, 8:30-9 p.m.), the former Hogan Family stud-puppy displays an engaging comic presence. In earlier incarnations, Jason always seemed like a Michael J. Fox lite (not for nothing did he replace Fox in Teen Wolf Too). Now his pinpoint timing rivals Fox's; he's able to wring laughs out of even the most generic material (and Chicago Sons is about as generic as you can get). But as Ron Eldard's nurse girlfriend on MEN BEHAVING BADLY (NBC, Wednesdays, 9:30-10 p.m.), sister Justine seems to have lost the spirit that made her such an endearing foil for Fox on Family Ties. She saps the life out of every scene she's in. Maybe Jason can give his sis some tips in a Chicago Sons/Men Behaving Badly crossover -- it'd be Must See Bateman TV!

To watch some clips from Chicago Sons go to

For more on Chicago Sons go to
Date: Thu July 6, 2006 � Filesize: 40.2kb � Dimensions: 384 x 480 �
Keywords: Chicago Sons (Links Updated 7/24/18)


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