Just the Ten of Us
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|Just the Ten of Us|
|Created by||Dan Guntzelman|
|Written by||Kevin Abbott|
|Directed by||John Guntzelman|
|Opening theme||"Doin' it the Best I Can" performed by Bill Medley|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||47 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Dan Guntzelman|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Guntzelman-Sullivan-Marshall Productions|
Warner Bros. Television
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution|
|Original release||April 26, 1988 –|
May 4, 1990
|Related shows||Growing Pains|
Just the Ten of Us is an American sitcom starring stand-up comedian Bill Kirchenbauer as Coach Graham Lubbock, a teacher and the head of a large Catholic family with eight children living in Eureka, California. The series is a spin-off of Growing Pains, in which Kirchenbauer portrayed the same character on a recurring basis. As the series progressed, Coach Lubbock's four eldest daughters, the teenagers Marie (Heather Langenkamp), Cindy (Jamie Luner), Wendy (Brooke Theiss), and Connie (JoAnn Willette), became the primary focus of the show.
Just the Ten of Us aired on ABC starting with a trial run from April 26 to May 17, 1988. After the first four episodes in an abbreviated first season were aired, the show was renewed for two more seasons, eventually ending after 47 episodes on May 4, 1990. The show was a part of ABC's early TGIF programming block.
The series focuses on Graham Lubbock (Bill Kirchenbauer), a Catholic gym teacher who used to teach at the high school that Growing Pains characters Mike and Carol Seaver (Kirk Cameron and Tracey Gold) had attended, and the father of eight children.
In the pilot episode (which aired on Growing Pains in the spring of 1988), Graham's job is in jeopardy due to district budget cutbacks. Mike leads a protest after he learns that Lubbock is trying to support a large family (including yet another baby on the way). Word of this spreads, and Graham's fate is sealed; he loses his job. However, he is soon offered a job at St. Augustine's Academy, an all-boys private Catholic school in Eureka, California. Graham promptly moves his family to California.
Six of Graham's children were girls, four of them teenagers. They were:
- Marie (Heather Langenkamp) – the oldest, most responsible, and most pious.
- Cindy (Jamie Luner) – Wendy's older twin sister, and the most ditzy.
- Wendy (Brooke Theiss) – Cindy's younger twin sister, and the most flirtatious.
- Connie (JoAnn Willette) – the Bohemian, and also occasionally agnostic.
His younger daughters were eight-year-old Sherry (Heidi Zeigler) and infant Melissa. By special arrangement, the older girls were allowed to attend St. Augustine's, much to the chagrin of the school's administration (and, of course, much delight of the male students). Graham and Elizabeth's sons were 11-year-old Graham, Jr. (Matt Shakman), familiarly known as "J.R.", and toddler Harvey (Jason and Jeremy Korstjens).
The first season consisted of four episodes for a trial run in the spring of 1988. ABC was pleased with their success and ordered a second season. In the second season, Cindy and Wendy seemed to switch personalities, with Cindy becoming more ditzy, and Wendy becoming the schemer. Also, the show focused more and more on the four older girls and frequently revolved around the family's efforts to save money, dating, and other typical family sitcom issues. In later episodes, the four teenage girls formed a singing group called "The Lubbock Babes" (partly to help bring in much-needed extra income). The girls had many boyfriends and love interests that Graham took great pride in testing—and in most cases, fending off—but the most permanent fixture among them was Marie's goofy boyfriend, Gavin Doosler (Evan Arnold).
Those on the St. Augustine's staff included Father Frank Hargis (Frank Bonner), the affable headmaster; Coach Duane Johnson (Dennis Haysbert), Graham's earnest young assistant during the first two seasons and pulled some strings with Father Hargis to hire Lubbock; and in the third season, featured teachers Father Bud (Lou Richards) and elderly, madcap Sister Ethel (Maxine Elliott).
- Bill Kirchenbauer as Coach Graham T. Lubbock
- Deborah Harmon as Elizabeth Lubbock
- Heather Langenkamp as Marie Lubbock
- Jamie Luner as Cynthia "Cindy" Lubbock
- Brooke Theiss as Wendy Lubbock
- JoAnn Willette as Constance Sarah "Connie" Lubbock
- Matt Shakman as Graham "J.R." Lubbock, Jr.
- Heidi Zeigler as Sherry Lubbock
- Jason and Jeremy Korstjens as Harvey Lubbock
- Frank Bonner as Father Frank Hargis, Headmaster of St. Augustine's Academy
- Dennis Haysbert as Duane Johnson, Coach Lubbock's assistant (1988–1989)
- Evan Arnold as Gavin Doosler
- Lou Richards as Father Bud (1989–1990)
- Maxine Elliott as Sister Ethel (1989–1990)
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||4||April 26, 1988||May 17, 1988|
|2||20||October 28, 1988||April 28, 1989|
|3||23||September 13, 1989||May 4, 1990|
- Broadcast History
- April 1988–May 1988, ABC Tuesday 8:30–9:00
- September 1988–June 1989, ABC Friday 9:30–10:00
- July 1989, ABC Wednesday 8:30–9:00
- August 1989–July 1990, ABC Friday 9:30–10:00
USA Network picked up the entire series in reruns shortly after it was canceled, and aired the show on a daily basis until 1996.
Awards and nominations
|1989||ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards||Top TV Series||John Bettis||Won|
|1990||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Comedy Series||George Spiro Dibie
(For episode "Highway To Heaven")
|Young Artist Award||Best Young Actor/Actress Ensemble in a Television Comedy, Drama Series or Special||Heather Langenkamp, Jamie Luner, Matt Shakman, Brooke Theiss, JoAnn Willette and Heidi Zeigler||Nominated|
|Best Family Television Series||Just the Ten of Us||Nominated|
|Best Young Actress Supporting Role in a Television Series||Heidi Zeigler||Nominated|
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2003). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present (8 ed.). Random House Digital, Inc. p. 627. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
- Voland, John (May 4, 1988). "TV RATINGS : New Programs Open Strong". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- "RETRO 89–90 : le classement intégral de la saison 89–90". September 10, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present (Ninth Edition). Ballantine Books. pp. 723–724. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.