My 2016 April Fools’ Day Post
EXCLUSIVE: The resurgence of family TV continues, as another staple from the former ABC “TGIF” lineup is getting new life on Netflix. With the recent success of its FULLER HOUSE, the continuation of FULL HOUSE (which ran from 1987-1995) and the official announcement that Season Two has been ordered, Netflix is once again teaming with Jeff Franklin Productions, Miller-Boyett Productions and Warner Horizon Television for an update of FAMILY MATTERS, the Chicago-set sitcom that aired from 1989-1997 on ABC, prior to jumping over to CBS for its final season, ending its run in 1998. Brian Wright, Director of Kids & Family Programming for Netflix (who I last spoke with here), confirmed exclusively for THE ROCK FATHER Magazine that a 13-episode direct-to-series order has been placed.
“As we’ve already seen with the response to FULLER HOUSE, families are eager to spend more time together as a cross-generational experience,” explained Wright. “Parents who grew up with shows like FULL HOUSE, STEP BY STEP, PERFECT STRANGERS and FAMILY MATTERS are eager to revisit those characters, and introduce them to their children. How much fun will it be to find out what Steve Urkel and the Winslows have been up to all these years? It’s an exciting time, and we’re thrilled to have the series streaming in full later later this year, just in-time for the holiday season.”
Fans expecting a direct continuation of the show or a role reversal like FULLER HOUSE are in for a bit of a surprise, however, as the series’ tone will skew into unexpectedly “gritty” territory at times, despite retaining the “family” connection.
“We found a real opportunity to bridge a lot of gaps in content,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer. “While Brian nailed what we’re doing in the co-viewing arena, the massive fanbase that has grown around some of our other original series’ such as NARCOS and HOUSE OF CARDS has shown that what exactly ‘family’ means is up for individual interpretation, and prime for some exciting new directions that only Netflix can offer.”
Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight, known for his work on the first season of MARVEL’s DAREDEVIL, is on-board for FAMILY MATTERS, with the original series’ breakout star, Jaleel White toplining the cast, stepping back into the role of Steven Quincy Urkel… though in the new series, Urkel’s nerdy ways have long-been shed.
Inspired by the work of his mentor and father-in-law, Chicago Police Chief Carl Winslow (Reginald VelJohnson), Detective Steven Urkel has relocated from Chicago to Los Angeles, approaching cases with an unmatched sense of scientific detail, paired with sometimes unconventional methods that push the boundaries of the law. Drawn into the city’s underworld on signs that his long-lost parents have returned from Russia under the employ of a vicious crime boss known only as Ermolai, Urkel will stop at nothing to find answers, bringing new levels of pain and suffering to evildoers, breaking bones with his catch phrase intact… asking perps, “Did I do that?” Back at home, Steven finds himself working to find balance between life as a cop, life as a husband to wife Laura (Kellie Shanygne Williams) and father to their two kids.
A Netflix Original Series, FAMILY MATTERS is in-production now.
THE ROCK FATHER is a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, bringing you regular news and features about great streaming content.
Just in-case you haven’t figured it out yet, April Fools!