Friday, January 16, 2009


Happy Friday everyone! I was thinking "TGIF" to myself this morning as I drove through Starbucks and had them mess up my drink, when I remembered what the phrase "TGIF" used to mean to me:

Yep, it meant Hangin with Mr. Cooper, Step by Step, Family Matters, and Boy Meets World all in one night! I mean, things couldn't have been any better than that!
Thinking about it made me google TGIF on ABC, which of course led me to Wikipedia. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about TGIF:
"TGIF was the slogan of a family-friendly prime time programming block on the ABC network. The slogan comes from the initials of the popular phrase Thank God It's Friday. However, the initials actually stood for "Thank Goodness It's Funny" (revealed during a 1989 TGIF block hosted by Perfect Strangers cast members Bronson Pinchot & Mark Linn-Baker).
Family-friendly comedies, which featured families with children as major characters, were a staple of ABC programming going back to the network's earlier sitcoms from the 1950s onward, such as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (premiered 1952), Leave It to Beaver (moved to ABC in 1958 after its first season on CBS), The Donna Reed Show (premiered 1958), The Brady Bunch (premiered 1969) and The Partridge Family (premiered 1970; this and The Brady Bunch became part of the Friday night lineup at that time). All of these shows are considered television classics today.
Before ABC experienced its 1990's fame on Friday nights, its Friday night schedule consisted of hit comedies such as
Webster, Diff'rent Strokes, and Benson. The block of predominantly family-friendly situation comedies was inaugurated with the following sequence of shows in the 1988-89 season: Perfect Strangers, Full House, Mr. Belvedere and Just the Ten of Us. The first hosts were Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) and Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot), who had been doing interstitials since the 1987-88 season on the Perfect Strangers set commenting on other Friday night shows, before the family-friendly concept on that night took effect. An opening sequence for the Friday lineup was introduced in fall 1988, featuring animated mice against a gray background holding up title cards containing the theme lyrics. At the end of the intro, a tall mouse breaks a grandfather clock with a mallet. Pinchot and Linn-Baker would remain the sole hosts of the lineup throughout the 1988-89 season and into the first few weeks of the next season. Over the summer of 1989, ABC began experimenting with names for the Friday lineup, using "The Friday Fun Club" as a frequent branding during that time.
On Friday
October 13, 1989, definitive changes occurred when the Perfect Strangers stars began using the TGIF name on-screen, which they explained meant "Thank Goodness It's Funny" (this tagline was taken from the "mouse/clock" theme lyrics). Balki and Larry also announced during the evening that a new policy, in which stars from the other three TGIF programs would rotate in hosting along with them, would begin. With the TGIF moniker permanently in place, more changes in presentation were ahead as the lineup grew even more popular. At the start of the 1990-91 season, the animated mice opening and accompanying theme music was dropped, in favor of new graphics which used the new TGIF name in them officially for the first time. With these new visuals came the "classic" TGIF theme ("It's Friday night/and the mood is right, gonna have some fun show you how it's done, TGIF..").
In subsequent years, Perfect Strangers
spin-off, Family Matters and the Brady Bunch-inspired Step by Step joined the line-up.
During the most successful years of TGIF, the main characters of one of the Friday prime-time sitcoms would "host" the two-hour block of episodes for that week. Always in character, they would introduce each show and comment on the proceedings afterward (sometimes, characters from a sitcom that did not air on a Friday night would appear); occasionally they would find a common thread between each show, e.g. dog riding. In the late 1980s-early 1990s Fall Seasons, various casts would host
Saturday Morning Preview Specials, which previewed much of new Saturday morning programming which would air the following day prior to the Disney acquisition of ABC Saturdays.
TGIF was promoted with a series of
trading cards featuring publicity shots from Perfect Strangers, Full House, and Family Matters."
In 1997, Family Matters and Step by Step left TGIF and aired on CBS for the same night (which would be the final season for both). Both shows appeared on CBS Block Party, a similar sitcom programming block with four sitcoms, but failed with both the lineup and shows only lasting one season. As their Friday evening programming evolved, ABC retired the traditional TGIF logo and phased out the theme song.
ABC began to see sagging
ratings in the TGIF lineup, probably due to the Family Matters and Step By Step jumping networks earlier in the year. Popular programs such as Boy Meets World and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch started experiencing declining ratings. New shows joined the lineup, including the likes of Teen Angel and You Wish, which lasted only a season (or less) before they were dropped.
November 7, 1997, Salem from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch appeared on all four shows in the TGIF lineup and caused the characters in each show to travel back to a different point in time. The former four TGIF lineup episodes were non-canonical because supernatural did not exist in those programs. On a later episode of Boy Meets World, Melissa Joan Hart made a second cameo, as an aside, due to the episode in question involving a coven of witches being thwarted from taking the soul of one of the characters. The cameo features Boy Meets World character Eric describing the event and swearing off witches, not realizing that Sabrina is one.
Musical group
Hanson hosted TGIF leading up to their special Meet Hanson. Between the shows it showed them in the studio, "commanding" the shows to come on, and at one point even incorporating TGIF into their mega-hit song "MMMBop"."
Anyone else feeling a little nostalgic?


  1. o wow... memories. that makes me feel really old haha. I used to plan my friday nights around those tv shows haha. I'd have sleepover parties and we'd all watch them... o memories...

  2. I loved TGIF!!!! Every now and then you can catch Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Boy Meets World on TV, and Nick at Night airs Family Matters!

  3. OMG! i used to watch all those great shows. TGIF!!!!

  4. AHHH...I miss TGIF so much. It's what I looked forward to all week! Such great shows, thankfully ABC family plays a few of them during the day now, but I miss Boy Meets World.

  5. This made me laugh out loud. When I hear TGIF I IMMEDIATELY think of Family Matters, Full House, Boy Meets World, and Step By Step. LOVE IT! :o)