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Parenthood (1990 TV series)

Parenthood is an American sitcom television series based on the 1989 film of the same name. Executive produced by Ron Howard (who also directed the film), the series aired for one season on NBC from August 20, 1990 to August 11, 1991.[1]

Directed byAlan Myerson
Betty Thomas
Allan Arkush
Matia Karrell
StarringDavid Arquette
Jayne Atkinson
Ed Begley Jr.
Thora Birch
Maryedith Burrell
Leonardo DiCaprio
Mary Jackson
Zachary La Voy
Sheila MacRae
Bess Meyer
Susan Norman
Ken Ober
Ivyann Schwan
Max Elliott Slade
William Windom
Opening theme"I Love to See You Smile" performed by Randy Newman
Composer(s)Mason Daring
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Ron Howard
David Tyron King
Producer(s)Sascha Schneider
Editor(s)Joanne D'Antonio
Briana London
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Imagine Television
Universal Television
Original networkNBC
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseAugust 20, 1990 (1990-08-20) –
August 11, 1991 (1991-08-11)
Preceded byParenthood (1989 film)
Followed byParenthood (2010)

Parenthood was one of many failed movie-to-TV adaptations in the 1990–91 season, also including Baby Talk on ABC's TGIF (a follow up to Look Who's Talking), Ferris Bueller on NBC and Uncle Buck on CBS.[2]


The series delivered seriocomic vignettes on rearing children, revolving around four generations of a middle-class California family, the Buckmans (the movie however, took place in St. Louis, Missouri). The Huffners of the film were renamed the Merricks on the TV series.

The pilot episode was considered by USA Today and the New York Post as the best movie-to-TV spinoff since M*A*S*H.[3][4] However, ratings for the series were low and Parenthood was canceled after 12 episodes.

The series is notable for featuring a number of people who at the time were unheard of but later became famous. One of the writers on the show was Joss Whedon. The cast featured Leonardo DiCaprio, David Arquette, and Thora Birch (billed simply as "Thora" here).

Cast and charactersEdit

*Max Elliott Slade, who portrayed Kevin Buckman on the TV series also portrayed a younger version of Steve Martin's character in the film.


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
1"Pilot"Allan ArkushLowell Ganz, Babaloo MandelAugust 20, 1990 (1990-08-20)101
2"My Dad Can Beat Up Your BMW"Allan ArkushDavid Tyron KingSeptember 22, 1990 (1990-09-22)102
3"The Plague"Alan MyersonJoss WhedonSeptember 29, 1990 (1990-09-29)103
4"I Never Invested for My Father"Betty ThomasDavid Tyron KingOctober 6, 1990 (1990-10-06)104
5"Love Stinks"Allan ArkushRuss WoodyOctober 13, 1990 (1990-10-13)105
6"Cars & Cards"Alan MyersonGlen MerzerOctober 20, 1990 (1990-10-20)106
7"Hollow Halloween"Allan ArkushJerry LacyOctober 27, 1990 (1990-10-27)107
8"Small Surprises"Matia KarrellJoss WhedonNovember 3, 1990 (1990-11-03)108
9"Take My Parents, Please"Allan ArkushTBANovember 10, 1990 (1990-11-10)109
10"Thanksgiving with a T that Rhymes with B that Stands for Basketball"Betty ThomasDavid Tyron KingNovember 17, 1990 (1990-11-17)110
11"Gil vs. the Deck"Matia KarrellAllison M. GibsonDecember 16, 1990 (1990-12-16)111
12"Fun For Kids"Allan ArkushDavid Tyron King, Joss WhedonAugust 11, 1991 (1991-08-11)112


The show was featured on the now-defunct cable network Trio in 2005 as part of their "Brilliant But Cancelled" series of shows that were cancelled before their time.

New seriesEdit

A new television adaptation of the movie[5] premiered on NBC in March 2010 and ran until January, 2015. Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia played the parental roles, joined by Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Erika Christensen, Dax Shepard and Monica Potter.[6]


  1. ^ "Parenthood Takes To Air". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
  2. ^ Carter, Bill. Carter, Bill (1990-12-17). "Heard About a Film That Became a Television Series?".
  3. ^ Bianculli, David. "One Big Happy Family," New York Post, August 20, 1990.
  4. ^ Collins, Monica. ""Parenthood," Fun for Kids of All Ages," USA Today, August 20, 1990.
  5. ^ "NBC Order Pilot Of Parenthood @ Unreality Primetime". 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
  6. ^ "Monica Potter Joins NBC's Parenthood". 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-05-02.

External linksEdit