Considering how many different kinds of TV shows are out there right now, spread across myriad TV channels that didn't exist 20 years ago, it's understandable that networks aren't quick to create specific programming blocks like they used to. But we'll never forget ABC's long-standing TGIF comedy block that kicked off so many weekends, and our memories won't be failing us soon, as Hulu announced it has locked up an exclusive deal to stream five different comedies from the TGIF library, including Full House, Family Matters and more. (Check out our rankings when you're done with this story.)
For this huge new deal, Hulu signed an agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to acquire over 800 episodes of some of the most memorable sitcoms of the 1990s, with Step By Step, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and Perfect Strangers joining the aforementioned Family Matters and Full House. It's one of the more unique TV acquisitions Hulu has made recently -- and it's made quite a few -- since it will mark the streaming debuts for several of the series, and they're all set to hit the service on September 29, which is definitely a Friday.
In fact, September 29 is just a week after the 30th anniversary of Full House's very first airing on ABC back in 1987, so that's pretty timely. Although not as timely as Netflix, which is premiering the third season of its spinoff Fuller House on September 22. Still, for those who haven't taken as kindly to the updated Tanner hijinks, Full House proper will soon be back.
In fact, that date will also come fairly close to coinciding with the 25th anniversary of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, the sitcom created by stand-up comedian Mark Curry. Lasting for five seasons, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper isn't always the most remembered entry in the TGIF lineup, but it was well-received at the time, giving audiences another show for stars like Holly Robinson and Raven-Symoné (at the time) to shine in.
Other than Full House, the biggest of the TGIF series was easily Family Matters, a blue-collar family comedy that didn't take long before it was completely hijacked by the popularity of Jaleel White's bespectacled neighbor Steve Urkel, whose nasally voice and grating laugh somehow captured the hearts and minds of American audiences for nine seasons. Did it do tha-a-a-at? Yes, it did, and it'll likely do that same thing on Hulu for new generations. (And yes, the revival talks had already started.)
For anyone in the 1990s who didn't know they needed a sitcom featuring a sexed-up relationship between TV vets Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers, Step By Step arrived to prove just such a thing would be perfect for a Friday night round-up of family comedies. It was like a '90s version of The Brady Bunch, where the "Alice" was played by martial arts up-and-comer Sasha Mitchell. There's probably a disconnect somewhere.
Arguably primetime's silliest "fish out of water" story, Perfect Strangers turned Bronson Pinchot into one of the most quotable characters on TV in the 1980s and 1990s, with his immigrant Balki Bartokomous offering up tons of catchphrases worth office-cubicle repetition. And who could be a better foil than Mark Linn Baker, who returned to TV fame in recent months with an intriguingly bizarre cameo on The Leftovers.
There are still a bunch of other TGIF shows that we wish would also be a part of Hulu's deal, such as Just the 10 of Us and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but 800 hours of programming is nothing to scoff at. So don't forget that Friday, September 29, is the day when all your favorite TGIF shows will be available for streaming on Hulu. And heaven help us if Steve Urkel impressions make a comeback. Head to our summer premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are heading our way soon.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.