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 Growing Pains - The Complete First Season


Show Type: Sitcom

First Telecast: September 24, 1985

Last Telecast: August 27, 1992

Theme Song: "As Long As We Got Each Other"; sung by B.J. Thomas & Jennifer Warnes

Broadcast History:

September 1985 - March 1986, Tuesday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

March 1986 - March 1988, Tuesday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

March 1986 - August 1990, Wednesday 8:00-8:30 on ABC

August 1990 - August 1991, Wednesday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

August 1991 - September 1991, Friday 9:30-10:00 on ABC

February 1992 - April 1992, Saturday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

March 1992 - July 1992, Wednesday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

July 1992 - August 1992, Thursday 8:30-9:00 on ABC


Dr. Jason Seaver..... Alan Thicke

Maggie Seaver..... Joanna Kerns

Mike Seaver (age 15)..... Kirk Cameron

Carol Seaver (age 14)..... Tracey Gold

Ben Seaver (age 9)..... Jeremy Miller

Chrissy Seaver (1988-1992)..... Kirsten & Kelsy Dohring

Chrissy Seaver (age 6) (1990-1992)..... Ashley Johnson

Richard Stabone ("Boner") (1985-1989)..... Josh Andrew Koenig

Eddie..... K.C. Martel

Debbie (1987-1988)..... Lisa Capps

Shelley (1987-1988)..... Rachel Jacobs

Coach Graham Lubbock (1987-1988)..... Bill Kirchenbauer

Irma (1988-1990)..... Jane Powell

Wally (1988-1990)..... Robert Rockwell

Ed Malone (1989-1991)..... Gordon Jump

Kate Malone (1989-1991)..... Betty McGuire

Julie Costello (1989-1990)..... Julie McCullough

Kate MacDonald (1989-1992)..... Chelsea Noble

Stinky Sullivan (1989-1991)..... Jamie Abbot

Luke Brower (1991-1992)..... Leonardo DiCaprio


If Father Knows Best had been revived in the 1980's, it would have been called Growing Pains. As amiable and wise as Jim Anderson had been, Jason Seaver was more so - and a little hipper to boot. This father was a psychiatrist (who better to deal with teenage traumas?) who had moved his office into his suburban New York home when his wife Maggie went back to work, in order to keep an eye on the kids. The young Seavers were Mike, a gangly teenager who was more interested in having a good time than in responsibility ("a hormone on feet," his mother called him); shy Carol, his brainy sister; and their cute little brother Ben, no slouch himself at getting into scrapes. Dad was always available with sage advice, while Mom, who had become a reporter for the Long Island Herald (later a TV reporter as "Maggie Malone"), rushed off to work. Mike and Carol attended school at Thomas E. Dewey High.

The characters evolved as years went by. In 1988 Maggie had another child, which didn't stop her from quickly resuming her career. Baby Chrissy grew remarkably fast, turning six only two years later. Hormonal Mike graduated high school and enrolled in a local college, while working odd jobs. His parade of girlfriends was truly awesome, the most notable being Julie (Chrissy's nanny, whom he almost married, but who dumped him at the altar) and later Kate. Boner and Eddie were his best pals. In later seasons, Mike dabbled in acting and taught remedial education, for credit, at an inner-city school, where homeless boy Luke was his star student. Luke moved in with the Seavers, while Mike now had his own "pad" - over the family garage.

Studious Carol had a tougher time on the dating scene, but soared academically; following graduation she worked for several months, and then entered Columbia University. Ben, on the other hand, seemed to develop into a junior version of Mike, with mostly girls on his mind. Other kin seen in recurring appearances were Jason's vivacious, widowed mother Irma and her new husband Wally, and Maggie's parents Ed and Kate Malone.

In addition to the safe little stories of dates, first jobs and fun around the house, Growing Pains periodically tackled more serious issues than Father Knows Best ever imagined, including drunk driving, teen suicide, racism, and peer pressure on Mike to use cocaine. As in the earlier series, however, a wise dad and mom saw their basically decent kids through it all. In the final original episode, Maggie was offered a chance-of-a-lifetime job as media relations director for a senator in Washington, so the family moved there - minus Mike, who by now had become an actor(!), and Carol, who was in college. The following fall, the Seaver house was occupied by none other than Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.

Fourteen-year-old Kirk Cameron, formerly unnoticed as a regular on Two Marriages, became something of a teenage heartthrob on this series, receiving 10,000 letters a month. "I'm still nervous and shy when I meet girls," he told a reporter. "The only thing that's changed is that I've gotten the chance to meet more  girls because they introduce themselves to me."

In 1991, over his shyness, he married actress Chelsea Noble, who played Kate.

ABC aired reruns of Growing Pains on weekday mornings from July 1988 to August 1989.