Question: Can you name the two 1987 movies that starred future governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura?
Last Question: On Valerie, who played the family matriarch after actress Valerie Harper left the show?
Answer: Sandy Duncan
Valerie first aired in March of 1986, and starred Valerie Harper as Valerie Hogan, a mother trying to juggle both her career and the raising of her three sons while her husband, an airline pilot, was seldom around. For the first two seasons, the show was called Valerie. By the end of the second season, the show was a big hit. The producers then decided that they wanted to focus more attention on the young cast members – fraternal twin sons Willie (Danny Ponce) and Mark (Jeremy Licht), and especially David (Jason Bateman). Bateman was becoming a teen heartthrob.
Previously, when Valerie Harper and her boyfriend Tony Cacciotti had control of the show, it had “smart realistic humor”. Now the new producers wanted to have more family-oriented slapstick stories. Harper and Cacciotti disagreed with this decision, and they were fighting during the 1987 hiatus. Harper was dismissed and her character was written out of the show as having died in a car accident. I guess they really didn’t want her back! At least she didn’t go on any rants that included “Winning!” and “Tiger blood”. But, Harper did take the producers to court for breach of contract. In late summer 1988, Harper won the case, and she was awarded $1.4 million in damages.
When the 1987 – 1988 season premiere aired, the show was retitled Valerie’s Family: The Hogans. The time-line for this third season began 6 month’s after Valerie’s death. NBC’s decision to continue the series without Valerie Harper was controversial at the time. But the show survived and continued on for three more years. Taking Harper’s place in the household was Sandy Duncan as Michael’s sister, Sandy, who had moved in with her brother to help the family in their time of loss. She took a job as a guidance counselor at the high school the boys attended following her recent divorce. Next-door neighbor, Mrs. Poole (Edie McClurg) became a more regular character, and was a major scene-stealer.
At the end of the third season, Harper’s lawsuit continued, and the network dropped Valerie’s name from the title completely. The show was retitled The Hogan Family.
In 1990, NBC canceled the series due to declining ratings. However, CBS picked up the series. That December, CBS also canceled the series due to dismal ratings. There were 4 unaired episodes that were filmed at that point. CBS aired the final episodes in July of 1991.
The theme song, “Together Through the Years,” was performed by Roberta Flack and composed by Charles Fox. The lyrics were written by Stephen Geyer.