The Keatons Return! 'Family Ties' Alums Meredith Baxter & Michael Gross Reunite For Some '80s TV Trivia
The famous TV couple reunites for 'Dan Vs.' (season 2 premieres Sat., Nov. 19, 8PM ET on The Hub) -- it's a very special Thanksgiving-themed episode, which is perfect since we're infinitely thankful to have them both back on TV. What would we do, baby, without them? Stop me before I sha-la-la-la.
Dan always assumes everyone is against him (hence the show's title), but as his best friend's wife Elise's parents, Gross and Baxter's characters might actually be on his side. Or not. ''They're quirky parents, and they're conspiratorial," Gross said. "They're not nearly as nice as Elyse and Steven Keaton were, which is a lot of fun for us. We hate our son-in-law and his friends -- what could be more fun?" Baxter chimed in with a laugh: "We don't treat our daughter too well, either!"
Yep, these two portraits of all-American sitcom hunky-doryness are relishing in playing against type, but that doesn't mean they shun their most iconic roles. I put them to the test with some 'Family Ties' trivia, which brought out the laughs, the talk of an actual reunion and the clever middle names for Alex P. Keaton.
According to TVGuide.com, Fox will play himself in Episode 10, in which 'Curb' uses Fox's real-life battle with Parkinson's Disease as a comedic plot device. "Larry moves to New York and takes the apartment below ours," says Fox.
The famously irascible Larry then believes that Fox is "being symptomatic just to annoy him -- a whole passive-aggressive thing. He's complaining because I'm shuffling and making noise upstairs. It's very funny."
Joy Behar chose the opportunity to ask a ridiculous hypothetical question to Baxter, who came out in 2009. "What do you think Alex P. Keaton would have thought about you being gay?"
Baxter spoke about Gross and his wife having lent her a shoulder to cry on during a stressful time in her life. "Michael is the dearest man who walked the Earth," Baxter said. "He's just such a sweetheart." Winfrey then noted that Gross had wanted to be there for Baxter again, on this show, when the audience started cheering, and Baxter realized Gross was walking onto the set.
"You look just like you do on TV," Winfrey said as producers brought out an extra chair for Gross, officially reuniting Mr. and Mrs. Keaton.
According to TV Guide, the fired 'Criminal Minds' star will play the lesbian lover of the daughter of Jeremy Irons' character. While fans may be used to seeing Cook bust criminals, on 'SVU' she'll be playing the victim.
"A lot of people love A.J.," 'SVU' executive producer Neal Baer told TV Guide. "So we asked, 'How about coming and starring opposite Jeremy Irons?'"
Oscar-winner Irons will play Dr. Cap Jackson, a sex therapist who runs a sex rehab center. Cook will play OBGYN Debbie Shields and, according to Baer, "her character is brutally attacked."
In other TV news ...
• Michael Gambon has joined the cast of HBO's 'Luck.' The veteran actor will play a foil to Dustin Hoffman's character, Ace Bernstein. Patrick J. Adams, who plays the lead role in USA Network's pilot 'A Legal Mind,' has also been added to the horse-racing drama's cast. [Deadline Hollywood]
• Kelsey Grammer doesn't watch 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.' The 'Frasier' star appears on the series alongside his soon-to-be-ex-wife Camille, but he and his current squeeze have kept their distance from the show. [Us Weekly]
• 'Twilight' producer Temple Hill has signed a two-year deal with ABC Studios. The production company will first tackle a contemporary retelling of 'The Count of Monte Cristo.' [Deadline Hollywood]
When Mark and Anne were doing the photo shoot with Tom, his whole schtick of "make your face look better" initially seemed to be a joke about hot girls taking bad pictures (kind of the opposite of Barney's talent on this week's 'How I Met Your Mother'), but it soon seemed to turn into something else entirely. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it definitely seemed like Mark was concerned when he was looking at the pictures Tom took; like maybe he was realizing that the fact that Anne looks so miserable when they're pretending to be a family could be indicative of a much larger problem.
But that doesn't stop the San Diego Reader saying that the cast of Family Ties is cursed, because Michael J. Fox has Parkinson's, Brian Bonsall keeps getting arrested, Meredith Baxter battled cancer, and Justine Bateman...well, what, made a bad movie in the '80s? I love how the writer glosses over the fact that Courteney Cox went on to star in a rather popular NBC sitcom in the'90s.
When a bunch of people from one TV show get into trouble or have some sort of misfortune, it's not a "curse." It's called "life."
Maybe that's because TV dads never spend much time at work. (We're pretty sure everyone's fathers would sign up for that!) Step into the wonderful make-believe world where every day is Father's Day, and join us as we count down our 20 favorite TV dads.
TV Guide's Michael Logan reports that Michael Gross will be playing River Baldwin, Michael's father, the one whom he thinks is a low-life, reprobate. A guy who refused to go to Vietnam and left Gloria to raise their son alone.
Best known as Steven Keaton on NBC's Emmy-winning sitcom Family Ties (1982-89), Michael is sure to bring instant credibility to the role. For one thing, we're going to find out that River is not at all what we've been told he is. In fact, I'm betting that River will be a politically charged character, a man who objected to the war and chose not to fight because he didn't believe it was a just cause.
Watch for Michael Baldwin to discover all kinds of things about himself and the kind of man he is because he shares the genes of a man he's never known.
Michael Gross will begin appearing on August 15.
So, here's my five favorite sitcom dads, the ones I related to the most. That means I've excluded single dads and animated dads. That means Hank Hill, Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin and Fred Flintstone are ineligible for my list. Also, this is strictly sitcom pops.
The entire group still looks great, and I wondered if it would be possible to do a Family Ties reunion. The most obvious hurdle would be Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease. Even in this interview, it was difficult to see him struggling with it, so I would imagine it would be nearly impossible for him to hide it.
(S04E03) "That's so not fair." - Ariel Dubois
Paris, 10CC, white wine, the only thing that could make this scene more romantic is a corkscrew through the hand. Am I the only one who immediately thought of the scene in True Romance when Patricia Arquette drives a corkscrew through James Gandolfini's foot? Good times.
Michael Gross looks good, right? He looks a lot older than Steven Keaton but he wears it well. Personally, I would be thrilled to see him as a recurring character, but I'm not holding my breath.
The series, which managed to be very smart and funny while also dealing with series subjects, aired on NBC for seven seasons. While it struggled during its first season, the show soon became part of NBC's sitcom domination when it was placed right next to The Cosby Show. I have to say, though, I always thought Family Ties was the better series. It would sometimes cross the line between funny and preachy, but never to the degree that The Cosby Show did. Both shows had lessons to teach, but Cosby sometimes felt more like a half-hour lecture on good behavior.
Oh, that didn't happen the last time you visited your local bistro? Well, that's why sitcom life is a bit different than yours. Just be glad you're not Ted Mosby; we found out a little more about him tonight, stuff that's not going to bode well for him down the road.
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