10 Things You Didn’t Know About Family Matters


Family Matters was a staple sitcom in the ’90s. The show began as a spin-off of Perfect Strangers in 1989 was hugely successful and remained on air for the next decade until 1998! It was originally created to be a family show about Chicago cop Carl Winslow, his wife and kids, but after Jaleel White joined the cast, it quickly became “The Steve Urkel Show.” It’s been nearly 20 years since the show was on the air, but we’re feeling a little nostalgic, so we’ve decided to take a look back at 10 things you might not have known about Family Matters!

10. Steve Urkel Guest Star

The suspender-wearing preteen also known as Steve Urkel was originally intended to be a guest star on Family Matters. The name came from series co-creator Michael Warren, who named Urkel after his real friend Steve Erkel. The nerdy neighbor of the Winslow family was introduced about halfway through the first season and was only supposed to appear in one episode, but was so well liked by audiences that he became a main character on the show! No one thought the character would become such a big part of the show and the bigger he got, the worse it was for the real Steve Erkel who was on the receiving end of many crank calls and was constantly assumed to have a fake name. Warren has since said that if he’d intended the character to become a regular, he would have chosen a different name.

© ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection


9. Longest Running African American Sitcom

Family Matters was on the air from 1989 to 1998 with a total of nine seasons under its belt which is not only incredibly successful for a sitcom as many do not last that long on air, but it also makes it the second longest running American sitcom featuring a predominantly African American cast! The winner of that title goes to The Jeffersons which ran for 11 seasons from 1975 to 1985, but Family Matters still remains one of the top contenders in that category.


Thanks to: TV – Fame10