1 9 8 2 – 1 9 8 3 (USA)
11 x 30 minute episodes
Sporting goods store owner Jack Long (Ken Howard) and his wife Sharon (Carlene Watkins) have divorced after 12 years of marriage.
It was a “civilised” divorce between mature adults and they are still friends. Jack has even bought a house across the street from his ex-wife (they have shared custody of the kids).
Sharon, meanwhile, has since married Neal Townsend (Bert Convy).
Sharon’s 8-year-old son Johnny (Evan Cohen) and 11-year-old daughter Carol (Rachel Jacobs), plus Neal’s 14-year-old son Matt (Billy Jayne), create the “blended” family of stepmother, stepfather, stepsister and stepbrothers.
Jack, on the other hand, lives with his widowed mother, Ruth (Jayne Meadows), whose role in the show is to crack jokes, spoil the grandchildren (when shes not playing poker with them for money), give Jack an ally and occasionally referee disputes between Sharon and Jack.
Ex-husband Jack and present-husband Neal do not like each other and maintain an edgy truce constantly violated by mild insults.
This ABC sitcom was unusual in that there was no bad guy. Everyone was cordial, even friendly, in spite of the conditions.
Sharon Long Townsend