Full House is an American sitcom television series. Set in San Francisco, the show chronicles widowed father Danny Tanner, who, after the death of his wife Pam, enlists his best friend Joey Gladstone and his brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis to help raise his three daughters, D.J. Tanner,Stephanie Tanner, and Michelle Tanner.
The show originally ran in primetime from September 22, 1987, to May 23, 1995, on ABC. The series ran as part of ABC’s TGIF Friday comedy lineup for its first four seasons before moving to Tuesday nights, where it aired for the remainder of its run. The series originally ran for 8 seasons and 192 episodes.
After news reporter Danny Tanner’s wife Pam is killed in a car crash (revealed in the final season to be caused by a drunk driver), he recruits his brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis (an exterminator turned rock musician) and quirky best friend Joey Gladstone (a comedian) to help raise his three daughters, D.J., Stephanie, and Michelle, in his San Francisco home. Over time, the three men as well as the children bond and become closer to one another.
Danny (in season 2) becomes co-host of a local morning television show, Wake Up, San Francisco, and is teamed up with Rebecca Donaldson. When Jesse meets Rebecca, they eventually fall in love. In season 4, Jesse and Rebecca get married. Then (in season 5), they have twin sons, Nicky and Alex Katsopolis. Throughout the series, Jesse struggles to decide on what he wants to do with his life. In season two, he partners up with Joey in an advertising business. In season five, he decides to more fully pursue a music career. Joey also holds a few different jobs in addition to stand-up comedy and the advertising business with Jesse. He gets a break when the local children’s show host at Danny’s TV station is retiring, and he creates the character “Ranger Joe.” Additionally (in season 6), D.J. gets a steady boyfriend named Steve, though the two break up in season seven.
|Season||Original air dates||Nielsen Ratings|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Ranking||Households (in millions)|
|1||September 22, 1987||May 6, 1988||#53||9.6324|
|2||October 14, 1988||May 5, 1989||#27||11.8758|
|3||September 22, 1989||May 4, 1990||#23||14.0913|
|4||September 24, 1990||May 3, 1991||#15||14.8029|
|5||September 17, 1991||May 12, 1992||#8||15.99777|
|6||September 22, 1992||May 18, 1993||#10||14.7098|
|7||September 14, 1993||May 17, 1994||#12||13.3764|
|8||September 27, 1994||May 23, 1995||#24||11.8296|
Bob Saget was the producers’ first choice to play Danny Tanner, but because of his work as an on-air contributor to CBS’s The Morning Program, he was unable to be in the pilot, so John Posey was cast as Danny for the pilot (it is included on the Season 1 DVD).
John Stamos’ original character name, “Jesse Cochran,” was changed after season one to “Jesse Katsopolis”. The change in last names was due to Stamos wanting his character to better reflect his Greek heritage.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen nearly left the show after the first season because their real-life mother was concerned about them missing out on having a “normal” childhood. After a significant raise in salary from the show’s producers, she agreed to let them continue. To comply with child labor laws, twins Ashley and Mary-Kate were cast to alternate during tapings. The girls were jointly credited as “Mary Kate Ashley Olsen” in seasons two through seven because the producers did not want audiences to know that the Michelle character was played by twins.
All seven of the original cast members remained with the show through its entire eight-year run. During the show’s run, five main characters were added to the main cast. Andrea Barber (D.J.’s best friend Kimmy Gibbler) had a recurring role in seasons one through four, but was made a regular in season five. Lori Loughlin (Rebecca Donaldson [later Katsopolis]) originally appeared as a recurring character in six episodes in season two as Danny’s co-host on “Wake Up, San Francisco,” however, producers decided to write her character into the show and give her a permanent role in season three.
Season five saw the debut of characters Nicky and Alex Katsopolis, who were the twin sons of Jesse and Rebecca. The “baby versions” were played by Daniel and Kevin Renteria. Beginning in season six, Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit played Nicky and Alex as toddlers for the rest of the series.