New York Post (Newspaper): Article about
Married... with Children's Cancellation

Last update February 3, 1998

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As posted by Carolyn Crapo at on April 18, 1997. Thanks to Eduardo Villanueva for his correction.

Here's the obituary from the New York Post, Friday, April 18, 1997:

'Married' will call it quits


FOX'S ground-breaking comedy "Married with Children" will end its run after 10 years -- concluding its reign as the longest-running prime-time entertainment series currently on TV, The Post has learned.

The network yesterday decided not to renew the bawdy sitcom for a 12th season, sources say.

The final episode of the show -- which revolved around the wild antics of the dysfunctional Bundy clan -- will air Monday, May 5, at 9 p.m. as a one-hour episode.

However, because the decision to end the series was made after production for this season ended, "Married's" last episode will not be a formal finale.

The plot of the hour: Al (Ed O'Neill), Peg (Katey Sagal), Kelly (Christina Applegate) and Bud (David Faustino) are taken hostage by one of Bud's prison pen pals. In a Bundy-esque twist, Kelly falls for one of her captors and agrees to marry him.

"Married" is the last surviving series from Fox's first season in 1987.

The show revolutionized TV sitcoms when it premiered, serving as a caustic antidote to the typical sugary-sweet family sitcom.

The taboo-trampling show picked up where another blue-collar show, "The Honeymooners," left off -- and it was crammed with the real-family moments the warm-and-fuzzy "Cosby Show" left out.

In fact, the working title the show's creators, Michael Moye and Ron Leavitt, came up with was "Not the Cosbys."

The show's main character, grouchy shoe salesman Al Bundy, has spent most of the last decade bickering with his lazy, selfish wife, Peg.

Hilariously clad in high heels and tight-fitting polyester ensembles, Peg digs at sad-sack Al's bedroom performance, while he attacks her slothful and free-spending ways.

The carping couple has two whiny kids -- Kelly, a prototypical dim-witted blonde, and her maladjusted, sex-starved brother, Bud.

Critics railed against the sitcom's ribald humor, but viewers -- and the show's out-of-control studio audience -- made the series a hit.

Post readers even named the belching, snoring, leering Al Bundy the greatest TV dad of all time last year.

"I don't know what that says about families in this country," actor O'Neill said at the time. "Maybe they just identify with Al more than they do with other TV dads."

Actress Sagal has said she never thought the show would last more than 13 episodes.

But in 1995, it marked the 200-show milestone with a half-hour retrospective hosted by upper-crust magazine editor George Plimpton -- who said the show was so successful because it made its viewers feel better about their own lives.

And just two months ago, "Married" celebrated its 250th-episode anniversary -- in which Al and Peg separated for the first time in the TV marriage.

While the seemingly unhappy Bundy marriage was the key to the show's success, fans have indicated there's room for a little marital bliss.

In 1988, viewers decided how one episode would end, voting to have Al grudgingly say three little words to Peg: "I love you."

The show has been a Sunday night staple for most of its run. But Fox moved the show to Saturdays this fall, causing a sharp ratings drop. A move to Mondays later this season didn't improve the show's Nielsens.

Copyright ©1997, N.Y.P. Holdings Inc.

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