Powered by i.TV
October 24, 2014

TV's Top Tots: The Most Anticipated TV Babies

by Chris Harnick, posted Mar 3rd 2010 3:00PM
Jim and Pam's baby on The OfficeThey're anticipated, but sometimes dreaded. They can be just what a show needs, or a ratings killer. They can unite or divide audiences. What has this much power in television? TV babies.

Jim and Pam on 'The Office' are just the latest fictional couple to welcome a baby into their wacky fold in tonight's special one-hour episode (9PM ET, NBC). To commemorate the occasion, we're taking a walk around the virtual nursery, looking back at some of TV's most anticipated -- for both good and bad reasons -- babies.

Did your favorite TV baby make the list? Check after the jump.Jim and Pam's baby on The OfficeThey're anticipated, but sometimes dreaded. They can be just what a show needs, or a ratings killer. They can unite or divide audiences. What has this much power in television? TV babies.

Jim and Pam on 'The Office' are just the latest fictional couple to welcome a baby into their wacky fold in tonight's special one-hour episode (9PM ET, NBC). To commemorate the occasion, we're taking a walk around the virtual nursery, looking back at some of TV's most anticipated -- for both good and bad reasons -- babies.

Check out the gang from 'The Office' prepare for Pam's delivery.


Little Ricky, 'I Love Lucy'
Little Ricky Ricardo came into the TV world thanks to Lucille Ball's off-screen pregnancy. Rather than hide Lucy behind couches and big bags -- a tactic many TV shows have employed to hide baby bumps -- writers incorporated the star's pregnancy into the series. The word "pregnant" was never said on the show; instead writers used "expecting" to please censors. Little Ricky's birth was seen by 70 percent of the TV audience at the time. In an effort to further drive public interest, the episode aired the same day Ball gave birth via cesarean section.

Emma, 'Friends'
Oh, Emma Geller-Green, what was your purpose? Little Emma was the logical and somewhat dreaded next step in the complicated, on-again-off-again romance of Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston). The couple had a laundry list of relationship ups and downs: They got together, went on breaks, split, said the other's name at wedding altars and got married in a drunken stupor ... obviously having an unplanned baby was the only thing left to do. Born at the end of season 8, Emma didn't really have an impact on the show, nor did the character provide the creative injection the show needed as it limped along for two more years.

Avery, 'Murphy Brown'
No other TV pregnancy comes close to having stirred as much political controversy than that of 'Murphy Brown.' In 1992, Murph (Candice Bergen) became pregnant, but the baby's father doesn't want to give up his lifestyle to help raise the tyke. What's a popular fictional TV anchor to do? Well, she decided to raise the baby, Avery, on her own, causing Vice President Dan Quayle to publicly criticize the character during a speech on the campaign trail during that year's presidential election. Quayle's remarks stirred a national debate about family values and were even incorporated into the show since he referred to the character of Murphy Brown, not the series.

Mabel, 'Mad About You'
Audiences flocked to the Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser NBC sitcom about newlywed New Yorkers. We watched them grow, we watched them fight, we were always in their corner ... until the baby showed up. When Mabel was born at the end of season 5, fatigue had set in. There's only so much of a neurotic couple audiences can take, right? 'Mad About You' bounced around NBC's schedule and many critics cited the baby as a creative hindrance. In a twist, the series finale featured an adult Mabel played by Janeane Garofalo. In 'Mad's' case, the baby was a blessing for the TV couple, but a curse for fans.

Aaron, 'Lost'
Poor Claire. She was pregnant when the plane crashed on the island and viewers held their collective breath to see if she'd give birth right there on the beach amidst the wreckage. Luckily, for her, she didn't. But, it turned out that the crash was the least of Claire's (Emilie de Ravin) problems. She was abducted, drugged and tested on by the Others, then she got knocked out and abducted by Danielle Rousseau. As if that wasn't enough, when she went into labor and subsequently gave birth, the good doctor Jack wasn't around. It was up to Kate to help usher little Aaron into the world.

Watch Claire give birth to Aaron.

Tess and Kate, 'ER'
Who wasn't dying to see what good-looking babies the producers of 'ER' would find to play the children of Doug Ross (George Clooney) and Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies)? It wouldn't be an 'ER' birth without some sort of complication, of course, but Carol and the twins pulled through. However, mom and the tots didn't stick around long, Carol left the hospital and reunited with Doug in Seattle and they formed one big, attractive and happy family.

Pebbles, 'The Flintstones'
TV's favorite prehistoric family welcomed Pebbles in 1963, three years after the show's premiere. Pebbles' birth was one of the show's few extended storylines. Wilma's pregnancy lasted for about a month of episodes and subsequent stories focused on Fred and Wilma's life as new parents.

Brady, 'Sex and the City'
Brady was the baby that almost never was. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) considered getting an abortion, thinking a child wouldn't fit into her workaholic life. But, she ended up having the kid. For a show about ladies living their lives in the big city, everybody wondered how a baby would change the status quo. Brady stayed and the women adapted. How can anybody forget when Samantha (Kim Cattrall) used a special vibrating device to keep little Brady from crying?

Jerry, 'Roseanne'
Little Jerry Garcia Conner joined the dysfunctional clan in 'Roseanne's' eighth season as ratings declined. The baby and pregnancy were written into the show because of Roseanne Barr's off-screen pregnancy. The unexpected arrival of a new baby was one of many "Huh!?" moments 'Roseanne' gave viewers as its TV reign came to a close.

Tabitha, 'Bewitched'

Whenever a supernatural character becomes pregnant, the first question is almost always, "Will the kid have powers?" In 'Bewitched's' case, the answer was affirmative -- little Tabitha was a witch just like her mother. Elizabeth Montgomery was pregnant with her second child and her bun in the oven was written into the series. Most of the anticipation surrounding Tabitha was about her powers. After roughly 20 episodes, the audience learned Tabitha took after her mother's witchy ways. Producers tried to spin Tabitha off into her own franchise with animated TV movies and other projects but they were never as magical as 'Bewitched.'

Watch Tabitha's birth
here on SlashControl.

Tell us:Who is your favorite TV baby? Are you pro or against pregnancy plots?

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Follow Us

From Our Partners