Friday, October 9, 2015

ABC's TGIF: Perfect Strangers

In the 1980's, ABC found great success running family oriented comedies on Friday nights, long considered a wasteland in the world of television. Eager to create a "branded" night of television, ABC decided to promote their 1988-1989 Friday line-up as TGIF, appealing to families and children.

The first show on the first lineup was Perfect Strangers. Beginning its fourth season, the show had been moved around on ABC's schedule until it found a permanent home on Fridays. The show featured a classic "Odd Couple" situation in which two very distant cousins shared an apartment in Chicago- the straight laced American Larry and the eccentric Greek-ish Balki.

The show kicked off the night, bringing familiar faces to ABC's new branding concept. It would prove to be a success. TGIF would eventually become greater than the actual sum of its parts.