Brothers and Sisters (1979 TV series)

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Brothers and Sisters
Written byPaul Diamond
Jeff Franklin
Allen Goldstein
Bernie Kahn
David Lerner
Brian Levant
Jerry Mayer
Andy Ruben
Roy Teicher
Directed byNick Abdo
John Bowab
Lowell Ganz
Will Mackenzie
Dick Martin
Tony Mordente
Dennis Steinmetz
George Tyne
StarringWilliam Windom
Chris Lemmon
Jon Cutler
Randy Brooks
Composer(s)Ken Heller
Mark Snow
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12
Executive producer(s)Bob Brunner[1]
Arthur Silver
Producer(s)Nick Abdo
Hy Averback
Jerry Mayer
Running time30 mins
Production company(s)Paramount Television
Original networkNBC
Original releaseJanuary 21 – April 6, 1979 (1979-04-06)

Brothers and Sisters is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from January to April 1979. The series attempted to capitalize on the success of the 1978 motion picture National Lampoon's Animal House. It was the second of three frat-house comedy series to air in early 1979 (the others were ABC's Delta House and CBS' Co-Ed Fever).


Brothers and Sisters takes place on the campus of Crandall College, with William Windom starring as Dean Larry Crandall. Chris Lemmon (Milos "Checko" Sabolcik), Jon Cutler (Larry Zipper), and Randy Brooks (Ronald Holmes III) play three students who live in the basement of Pi Nu fraternity, nicknamed "Le Dump". Rather than attend class, the three cellar-dwellers create havoc with the more strait-laced members of the fraternity, and interact with the Gamma Iota sorority sisters that live nearby.

On January 21, NBC debuted Brothers and Sisters as a follow-up to their telecast of Super Bowl XIII, three days after ABC aired the first episode of its Animal House-inspired series (which was, in fact, the official series in everything but name). Two weeks later (February 4), Co-Ed Fever made its debut on CBS after a broadcast of the motion picture Rocky, but all three "frat-house" series were off the air by the end of April (with Co-Ed Fever having only one episode broadcast) after all of them ran into trouble with the networks' Standards and Practices departments because of their content. Brothers and Sisters made its last appearance on April 6, 1979; Delta House followed suit on April 21, 1979.

Of the three (if CBS' series was picked), Brothers and Sisters was arguably the least successful of them (mainly because of the fact from having three similar shows, not to mention NBC's own woes at the time), with the show's lack of success apparent when series regular Mary Crosby turned up as a celebrity on NBC's Hollywood Squares for a week in March 1979; host Peter Marshall mentioned Brothers and Sisters as airing "on another network", only to be informed by Crosby that they were, in fact, on the same network.


Actor Role
Chris Lemmon Milos "Checko" Sabolcik
William Windom Larry Crandall
Mary Crosby Suzy Cooper
Randy Brooks Ronald Holmes III
Larry Anderson Harlan Ramsey
Jon Cutler Stanley Zipper
Roy Teicher Seymour
Amy Johnston Mary Lee


Title Directed by: Written by: Air date
1"Pilot"Lowell GanzRon Leavitt,
Brian Levant
21 January 1979 (1979-01-21)
Accepting a wager from snooty Pi Nu president Harlan, Zipper unwisely bets his entire tuition that he can lure beautiful sorority girl Suzi Cooper into his bedroom by midnight. As the deadline approaches, Zipper's buddy Checko devises a plan to help his friend win the bet.
2"High Time"George TyneRon Leavitt26 January 1979 (1979-01-26)
When the college president's tipsy daughter passes out in their room after curfew, Checko, Ronald and Zipper try to sneak her back to her own room.
3"Man in Chains"Dick MartinJeff Franklin2 February 1979 (1979-02-02)
The angry sisters of Gamma Iota kidnap Zipper after suspecting him of stealing their diaries.
4"Mirror Image"Tony MordentePaul Diamond9 February 1979 (1979-02-09)
Scrambling to find Zipper a date for the Valentine's Day dance, the Pi Nu brothers settle on Seymour's overweight sister Marilyn, who is visiting for the weekend. As a prank, Harlan arranges for Zipper to be crowned "King of Hearts" at the dance.
5"Made in Japan"Nick AbdoBrian Levant16 February 1979 (1979-02-16)
After seeing his pals Checko and Ronald split up over a beautiful Asian student, Zipper tries to force a truce by locking them in the same room together — unaware that the fraternity house is on fire.
6"A Wrenching Problem"Dennis SteinmetzBernie Kahn23 February 1979 (1979-02-23)
When Zipper's father arrives on campus for a visit, Checko and Ronald conspire to trick him into believing that his son is a model student. Since Harlan is out of town, Zipper attempts to pose as president of the fraternity.
7"Lucky Me"John BowabDavid Lerner,
Roy Teicher
9 March 1979 (1979-03-09)
Checko and Ronald attempt to cure Zipper of his tendency to hiccup when excited, which has been sabotaging his romantic life. Meanwhile, Harlan finds out and tells everyone.
8"Love and Marriage"Will MackenzieJerry Mayer16 March 1979 (1979-03-16)
Checko, Ronald and Zipper organize their own version of "The Newlywed Game" after enrolling in a marriage survival course that requires pairing off with a female partner.
9"Spring Vacation"Dennis SteinmetzPaul Diamond23 March 1979 (1979-03-23)
En route to Florida for spring break, Checko, Ronald and Zipper end up stranded at a seedy roadside diner when their car breaks down. They are shocked to discover the snobbish Mary Lee working as a waitress.
10"Save the Monkey"Tony MordenteDavid Lerner,
Roy Teicher
28 March 1979 (1979-03-28)
Zipper creates chaos when he rescues a chimpanzee from a fatal research experiment. Mary Lee is none too happy when she winds up baby-sitting the lovable chimp, who mimics her every move.
11"Main Event"Nick AbdoAllen Goldstein,
Levi Taylor
30 March 1979 (1979-03-30)
Harlan challenges Ronald to a boxing match to defend Mary Lee's honor, while Checko and Zipper take bets.
12"Truth or Consequences"Dennis SteinmetzAllen Goldstein,
Levi Taylor
6 April 1979 (1979-04-06)
Harlan cheats on a calculus exam and Zipper is blamed for it.


  1. ^ "Bob Brunner, 'Happy Days' writer, dies". Variety. 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  • Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present ISBN 0-345-45542-8
  • TV Guide Guide to TV (2006) ISBN 0-7607-7572-9

External links[edit]

Preceded by
All in the Family
Brothers and Sisters
Super Bowl lead-out program
Succeeded by
60 Minutes