Step by Step



Family steps up to the task of blending lives.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The parents are patient, loving role models for the kids and handle the challenges of step-parenting with confidence born of their strong relationship with each other.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Among the teens, there's talk of "picking up" guys/girls and which ones are the most attractive and, therefore, desirable. Kissing is shown occasionally, but it never goes further than that.


"Oh my God," "sex," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this show portrays a newly blended family of eight striving for cohesion. The first-time step-parents sometimes feel out of their league, but by being open-minded and willing to learn from their mistakes, they eventually strike a balance that works for everyone. Very little in the show will raise eyebrows, and the subject matter will resonate with many families.

What's the story?

Taking a page from the 1970s classic The Brady Bunch, STEP BY STEP is the story of two parents and six kids who, with a little work, might somehow form a family. When divorced construction worker Frank Lambert (Patrick Duffy of Dallas fame) and widowed beautician Carol Foster (Suzanne Somers of Three's Company) meet on vacation and impulsively marry, the ensuing blending of their families poses challenges for everyone. Uptight Carol and her three kids -- Dana (Staci Keanan), Karen (Angela Watson), and Mark (Christopher Castle) -- couldn't be more unlike laid-back Frank and his brood: J.T. (Brandon Call), Alicia (aka \"Al,\" played by Christine Lakin), and Brendan (Josh Byrne). When the kids find out about their parents' spontaneous matrimony, they're not thrilled. Not only is there understandable tension in the new household -- and fresh rivalries among the new step-siblings -- there's also downright dislike, as in the case of Dana and J.T. Carol and Frank mesh their parenting styles and keep cool heads as they handle both typical childrearing issues and the unique challenges presented by their new family.

Is it any good?


This family-friendly sitcom is a great choice for step-parents and step-children (or any family, really) to enjoy together. Originally broadcast as part of ABC's TGIF line-up in the early '90s, Step by Step now airs in syndication and is available on DVD.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what (and who) should define a family. Parents and step-parents can also discuss the challenges of combining two families. How can new family members find ways to relate to each other? How do the characters improve their relationships and learn to respect each other? Does their situation seem realistic?

TV details

Cast:Brandon Call, Patrick Duffy, Suzanne Somers
Network:ABC Family
Topics:Book characters
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent Written bychristian-witness June 29, 2012


What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byRicochet94 January 11, 2010

Humor, wit, positive messages, but not for younger children.

Step by Step has very rare qualities. Part of the original TGIF lineup, it contains a bit of everything. The early seasons mix family friendly humor with good morals, making it a perfect show for all families. Later seasons the show descends into more crass humor, as if it was attempting to cash in on the success and demise of Married with Children. (Only not quite that bad) The morals remain, but it no longer becomes appropriate for the tweens and under crowd. It even adds adult eye candy in the form of Dallas veteran Patrick Duffy, and Three's Company veteran Suzanne Somers. All in all, a funny and well-meaning show. Just keep an eye on who is viewing it.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written bySS1234 August 9, 2015

boring show

Outdated now. I watch it when bored as it shows me that there are worse things than severe stomach pain. Some of it is so funny as it is stupid.
What other families should know
Great messages


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