Family Ties

Family Ties is an American sitcom that aired on NBC for seven seasons, premiering on September 22, 1982, and concluding on May 14, 1989. The series, created by Gary David Goldberg, reflected the move in the United States from the cultural liberalism of the 1960s and 1970s to the conservatism of the 1980s.[3] This culture was particularly expressed through the relationship between young Republican Alex P. Keaton (portrayed by Michael J. Fox) and his ex-hippie parents, Steven and Elyse Keaton (portrayed by Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter).

The show won multiple awards, including three consecutive Emmy Awards for Michael J. Fox as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Family Ties
Family Ties title
Created byGary David Goldberg
StarringMeredith Baxter
Michael Gross
Michael J. Fox
Justine Bateman
Tina Yothers
Brian Bonsall
Theme music composerJeff Barry
Tom Scott
Opening theme"Without Us" performed by
Dennis Tufano and Mindy Sterling (season 1)[1]
Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams (seasons 2–7)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes176 + one film (list of episodes)
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time24 minutes
Production company(s)Ubu Productions
Paramount Television
DistributorParamount Domestic Television
CBS Paramount Domestic Television
CBS Television Distribution
Original networkNBC[2]
Picture format(NTSC) 480i
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseSeptember 22, 1982 –
May 14, 1989
Related showsThe Art of Being Nick (TV pilot)
Day by Day


Set in suburban Columbus, Ohio, during the Reagan administration, Steven and Elyse Keaton (Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter) are baby boomers, liberals and former hippies,[3] raising their three children: ambitious, would-be millionaire entrepreneur Alex (Michael J. Fox); fashion-conscious, gossipy Mallory (Justine Bateman); and tomboy Jennifer (Tina Yothers). Married in 1964, Elyse is an independent architect and Steven, a native of Buffalo, New York, is the station manager of WKS, a local public television station.

Much of the humor of the series focuses on the cultural divide during the 1980s when younger generations rejected the counterculture of the 1960s and embraced the materialism and conservative politics which came to define the 1980s.[4] Both Alex, and, to a lesser extent, Mallory, embrace Reaganomics and exhibit conservative attitudes: Alex is a "Young Republican", and Mallory, while not overtly political, is a more materialistic young woman in contrast to her feminist mother.[3] Mallory was also presented as a vacuous airhead, who was fodder for jokes and teasing from her brother. Jennifer, an athletic tomboy and the youngest child, shares more the values of her parents and just wants to be a normal kid. Steven and Elyse had a fourth child, Andrew (or "Andy", for short), who was born in early 1985. Andy is the youngest, on whom Alex doted and quickly molded in his conservative image. The Keatons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Regarding the concept, show's creator Goldberg observed, "It really was just an observation of what was going on in my own life with my own friends. We were these old kind of radical people and all of a sudden you're in the mainstream...but now you've got these kids and you've empowered them, and they're super intelligent, and they're definitely to the right of where you are. They don't understand what's wrong with having money and moving forward."[5] A recurring theme involved Alex hatching a conservative or greedy scheme, which led to a humorous misadventure, which ended with Alex being forced to apologize for his choices. According to Goldberg, "We actually had this structure that we'd inherited from Jim Brooks and Allan [Burns] , which was six scenes and a tag...And then the last scene became Alex apologizes, in every show, we just left it up. Alex apologizes. Some version of it."[6] Nevertheless, Fox's likeable portrayal of Alex proved to be an important part of the show's success. Goldberg again stated, "With Alex, I did not think I was creating a sympathetic character. Those were not traits that I aspired to and didn't want my kids to aspire to, actually...But at the end of Family Ties, when we went off the air, then The New York Times had done a piece and they said, 'Greed with the face of an angel.' And I think that's true...[Michael J. Fox] would make things work, and the audience would simply not access the darker side of what he's actually saying."[5]


Family Ties cast
Cast of Family Ties (from left): Tina Yothers, Brian Bonsall (added in season five), Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter, Michael J. Fox, and Justine Bateman.

Main cast

Main stars Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross are exactly the same age, sharing the same birthday on June 21, 1947. In the series, their characters were intended to be approximately five or six years older, given that their "son", played by Michael J. Fox, was in fact only fourteen years younger than Baxter and Gross in real life.[7]

Recurring cast

Guest stars

The show had been sold to the network using the pitch "hip parents, square kids."[8] Originally, Elyse and Steven were intended to be the main characters. However, the audience reacted so positively to Alex during the taping of the fourth episode that he became the focus on the show.[3][8] Fox had received the role after Matthew Broderick turned it down.[9]

Supporting cast and characters includes neighbor, and Alex's best friend, Irwin "Skippy" Handelman (Marc Price); Mallory's Sylvester Stallone-esque artist boyfriend, Nick Moore (Scott Valentine); Lauren Miller (Courteney Cox) and Alex's feminist, artist girlfriend Ellen Reed (Tracy Pollan, whom Michael J. Fox later married in 1988). In season 3, episode 17, Elyse gave birth to her fourth child, Andrew (who was played by Brian Bonsall from season 5 onward). Twins Garrett and Tyler Merriman played baby Andrew.


Theme song

The theme song, "Without Us" (credited in season one as "Us"), was composed by Jeff Barry and Tom Scott in 1982. During the first season, it was originally performed by Dennis Tufano and Mindy Sterling.[10][11] For the rest of the show's run, the song was performed by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams.

Connection to Day by Day

During its final two seasons, Family Ties was scheduled on Sunday nights often followed by Day by Day, another series from Ubu Productions. Michael Gross and Brian Bonsall brought their respective roles of Steven and Andy Keaton to the Day by Day episode "Trading Places", which reveals that Steven went to college with Brian Harper (Doug Sheehan).


SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedNielsen ratings[12]
First airedLast airedRankRating
122September 22, 1982April 4, 198356[13]N/A
222September 23, 1983May 10, 19844216.0 [14]
324September 20, 1984March 7, 1985522.1
FilmSeptember 23, 1985N/AN/A
424September 26, 1985May 1, 1986230.0
530September 25, 1986April 30, 1987232.7
628September 13, 1987March 13, 19881717.3
726October 30, 1988April 9, 19893514.5 [15]


Emmy Awards

  • 1986: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Michael J. Fox)
  • 1987: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Michael J. Fox)
  • 1987: Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
  • 1987: Outstanding Technical Direction
  • 1988: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Michael J. Fox)

Golden Globes

  • 1989: Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series (Michael J. Fox)

TV Land Awards

  • 2008: Character You'd Pay to Do Your Homework for You (Michael J. Fox)
  • 2011: Fan Favorite, Presented by Ben Stiller

Young Artist Awards

  • 1985: Best Young Actress in a Television Comedy Series (Justine Bateman)
  • 1985: Best Young Supporting Actress in a Television Comedy Series (Tina Yothers)
  • 1986: Best Young Actor Starring in a Television Series (Marc Price)
  • 1988: Best Young Actor Under Nine Years of Age (Brian Bonsall)
  • 1989: Best Young Actor Under Ten Years of Age in Television or Motion Pictures (Brian Bonsall)


NBC aired reruns of Family Ties weekday mornings from December 1985 until January 1987. In the fall of 1987, the series went into syndication in the United States. Currently, it airs on UP and Antenna TV. Reruns previously aired on MeToo, Disney Channel, FamilyNet, WGN America, TBS, YTV, Nick at Nite, TV Land, Hallmark Channel and The Hub.

In Canada, reruns of Family Ties began airing on CTS, a Christian-based network, on September 6, 2010. On May 15, 2011 Netflix began to stream season 1-7 on its "watch instantly" streaming service.[16]

In Australia, reruns aired on Eleven (a digital channel of Network Ten) in the afternoons and late night until June 2013. As of November 2015, two episodes are shown on weekdays between 11 am and midday. Family Ties was a perennial favourite seen on the Nine Network from 1983 to 2008. Prior to Eleven, the show screened on pay TV network TV1.

In the UK, Family Ties aired on Channel 4 from July 1985.

Home media


CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released all seven seasons of Family Ties on DVD in Region 1, as of August 13, 2013. The second through fifth season releases contain special features, gag reels and episodic promos. The second season contains interviews with Michael Gross and Michael J. Fox along with other cast members. The fourth season contains the made-for-TV-movie, Family Ties Vacation. Paramount has also released the first three seasons on DVD in Region 4.

On November 5, 2013, CBS Home Entertainment released Family Ties - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.

On November 11, 2014, CBS Home Entertainment re-released a repackaged version of the complete series set, at a lower price, but did not include the bonus disc that was part of the original complete series set.[17]

DVD name No. of
Release dates
Region 1 Region 4
The Complete First Season 22 February 20, 2007 April 9, 2008
The Second Season 22 October 9, 2007 September 4, 2008
The Third Season 24 February 12, 2008 April 2, 2009
The Fourth Season 24 August 5, 2008
The Fifth Season 30 March 10, 2009
The Sixth Season 28 April 9, 2013
The Seventh Season 26 August 13, 2013
The Complete Series 176 November 5, 2013/November 11, 2014 TBA


All seven seasons of the series were made available for streaming through Netflix (removed again August 15, 2015[18]) and Amazon Video as well as Hulu Plus.[19]

As of February 2019, all seven seasons are still available on Prime Video (included with Amazon Prime membership), and also available on CBS All Access, but no longer available on Netflix or Hulu.[20] The first season is also available for free (with commercials) on the CBS website.[21]

References in other media

Over a decade after the cancellation of Family Ties, Michael J. Fox's final episodes on Spin City featured numerous allusions to the show. In these episodes, Michael Gross played a therapist for Fox's character Michael Patrick Flaherty[22] and the episode contained a reference to an off-screen character named "Mallory".[23] In the episode, after Flaherty becomes an environmental lobbyist in Washington D.C., he meets a "conservative junior senator named Alex P. Keaton."[24] Meredith Baxter also portrayed Mike Flaherty's mother, Macy Flaherty, in the episodes "Family Affair" (Parts 1 and 2).

The cast of Family Ties publicly reunited for the first time on February 7, 2008 for an interview on The Today Show.[25]


  • Fox, Michael J. (2002). Lucky Man: A Memoir. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-0-7868-6764-6.
  • Goldberg, Gary David. "Comedy Stop: What Would Alex Keaton Do?." The New York Times, March 3, 2008.
  • Haglund, David. "Reagan's Favorite Sitcom: How Family Ties spawned a conservative hero." Slate. March 2, 2007.
  • Hurst, Alex. "Remembering an icon from the 'Me-Decade'." The Daily Pennsylvanian, April 24, 2001.
  • Patterson, Thomas. "What would Alex P. Keaton do?." CNN, November 1, 2006.
  • Saenz, Michael. "Family Ties". - Museum of Broadcast Communications
  • Stewart, Susan. "The Parents Ate Sprouts; the Kid Stole the Show." The New York Times, February 25, 2007.


  1. ^ Biography for Dennis Tufano on IMDb
  2. ^ Clements, Erin (October 7, 2015). "Family Ties cast reflects on show 3 decades later: 'We all loved each other'". USA Today.
  3. ^ a b c d Saenz, Michael. "Encyclopedia of Television: Family Ties". Museum of Broadcast Communications.
  4. ^ Kiehl, Stephen (June 7, 2004). "What he left behind: From Tom Clancy to Alex P. Keaton, Ronald Reagan's legacy extends beyond the political and into the cultural". The Baltimore Sun.
  5. ^ a b Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV" by Ben Shapiro, Broadside Books, 2001, p. 125
  6. ^ Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV" by Ben Shapiro, Broadside Books, 2001, p. 127
  7. ^ Baxter, Meredith (2011). Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering. Random House LLC.
  8. ^ a b Haglund, David (March 2, 2007). "Reagan's Favorite Sitcom: How Family Ties spawned a conservative hero". Slate.
  9. ^ The Biography Channel - Matthew Broderick Biography Archived February 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Amazon Video: Family Ties Retrieved February 18, 2013
  11. ^ Netflix: Family Ties Retrieved February 18, 2013
  12. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present (Ninth Edition). Ballantine Books. p. 1690-1691. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.
  13. ^ |1982-83 Ratings History|
  14. ^ |1983-84 Ratings History|
  15. ^ |1988-89 Ratings History|
  16. ^ Netflix: Family Ties (1982–1988) Seasons 1–7
  17. ^ Lambert, David (August 22, 2014). "Family Ties - 'The Complete Series' Gets Re-Released in a New 'Unlimited' Box". Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  18. ^ Knolle, Sharon (July 27, 2015). "What's Leaving Netflix in August 2015". Moviefone.
  19. ^ Amazon Video: Family Ties Retrieved January 23, 2013
  20. ^ "Family Ties - Watch Episodes on Prime Video, CBS All Access, and Streaming Online | Reelgood". Reelgood. February 11, 2019.
  21. ^ "Family Ties - Watch Full Episodes -". CBS. February 11, 2019.
  22. ^ Wallace, Amy (March 20, 2000). "Putting His Own Spin on 'City's' season finale". Los Angeles Times.
  23. ^ Shales, Tom (May 24, 2000). "Michael J. Fox, Playing 'Spin City' to a Fare-Thee-Well." The Washington Post. p. C1.
  24. ^ Michael J. Fox Database Archived November 19, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Family Ties: Reunited After Almost 20 Years!". Archived from the original on August 11, 2007. Retrieved February 7, 2008.

External links

Alex P. Keaton

Alex P. Keaton is a fictional character on the United States television sitcom Family Ties, which aired on NBC for seven seasons, from 1982 to 1989. Family Ties reflected the move in the United States away from the cultural liberalism of the 1960s and 1970s to the conservatism of the 1980s. This was particularly expressed through the relationship between Young Republican Alex (Michael J. Fox) and his hippie parents, Steven (Michael Gross) and Elyse Keaton (Meredith Baxter). President of the United States Ronald Reagan once stated that Family Ties was his favorite television show.

Arrested Development (season 3)

The third season of the television comedy series Arrested Development aired between September 19, 2005 and February 10, 2006, on Fox in the United States. It consisted of 13 episodes, each running approximately 22 minutes in length. The third season was released on DVD in region 1 on August 29, 2006, in region 2 on April 23, 2007 and in region 4 on December 6, 2006. This was the final season of Arrested Development to be aired on Fox, as they had decided to cancel the series. However, Netflix revived the show in 2013 for a fourth season.

The show's storyline centers on the Bluth family, a formerly wealthy, habitually dysfunctional family and is presented in a continuous format, incorporating hand-held camera work, narration, archival photos, and historical footage.

Brian Bonsall

Brian Eric Bonsall (born December 3, 1981) is an American rock musician, singer, guitarist and former child actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Andrew "Andy" Keaton, the youngest child on the NBC sitcom Family Ties from 1986 until 1989, and Alexander Rozhenko, the son of Worf and K'ehleyr, on Star Trek: The Next Generation from 1992 to 1994.

Family (2006 film)

Family (also known as Family – Ties of Blood) is a 2006 Indian gangster film directed by Rajkumar Santoshi. The film features Amitabh Bachchan, Aryeman Ramsay, Akshay Kumar and Bhumika Chawla in lead roles. It was released on 12 January 2006.

Family Ties (2006 film)

Family Ties (Hangul: 가족의 탄생; RR: Gajokeui tansaeng; lit. "Birth of a Family") is the second film by South Korean director Kim Tae-yong. Mismarketed as a slapstick comedy through its promotional posters, the film is actually a generation-to-generation view of two families through love and life.

Family Ties (The Vampire Diaries)

"Family Ties" is the fourth episode of the first season of The CW television series, The Vampire Diaries and the fourth episode of the series overall. It originally aired on October 1, 2009. The episode was written by Andrew Kreisberg and Brian Young and directed by Guy Ferland.

Family Ties (novel)

Family Ties is a novel by Danielle Steel, published by Delacorte Press in June 2010. The book is Steel's eighty first novel.

Fat Joe

Joseph Antonio Cartagena (born August 19, 1970), better known by his stage name Fat Joe, is an American rapper and actor from the Bronx, New York. He began his music career as a member of hip hop group Diggin' in the Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.), then forged a solo career and set up his own label, Terror Squad, to which he signed Big Pun, Remy Ma, Tony Sunshine, Cuban Link, Armageddon, Prospect, Triple Seis and DJ Khaled as well as discover producers Cool & Dre.

Fat Joe's debut solo album, Represent, was released in 1993 and spawned the single "Flow Joe", which reached number one on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs. His most commercially successful album to date was Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.) (2001); it was certified platinum by the RIAA and internationally certified silver by the BPI, as well as reaching the top 100 on multiple music charts.

He is best known for the songs "Lean Back" with Terror Squad, "What's Luv?" featuring Ashanti & Ja Rule, "Make It Rain" featuring Lil Wayne and "All the Way Up" with Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Dre.

Fat Joe has appeared in several films, including Scary Movie 3 and Happy Feet, as well as Spike Lee's Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It.In 2018 he began hosting a podcast on Tidal, Coca Vision, where he discusses music, friendships, and pop culture with some of the industry's most entertaining voices. He has an upcoming album called Family Ties which is scheduled to be released in late 2019.

Justine Bateman

Justine Tanya Bateman (born February 19, 1966) is an American writer, director, producer, and actress. Her acting work includes Family Ties, Satisfaction, Men Behaving Badly, The TV Set, Desperate Housewives, and Californication. Five Minutes, the film short she wrote, directed, and produced, premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival. Bateman earned her Computer Science and Digital Media Management degree from UCLA in 2016.

Laços de Família

Laços de Família (English: Family Ties) is a Brazilian telenovela produced and aired by Rede Globo in its 8 p.m. schedule, from June 5, 2000 to February 3, 2001. With a total of 209 chapters (150 in the international version displayed in countries such as Portugal), it was written by Manoel Carlos, in collaboration with Maria Carolina, Vinícius Vianna, Flávia Lins e Silva and Fausto Galvão, and directed by Moacyr Góes and Leandro Neri with general direction of Ricardo Waddington, Rogério Gomes and Marcos Schechtman.

It starred Vera Fischer and Carolina Dieckmann and actors Reynaldo Gianecchini, José Mayer, Tony Ramos, as the respective protagonists of the plot, and actress Deborah Secco as the main antagonist of the story.

List of Family Ties episodes

The NBC sitcom Family Ties aired from September 22, 1982 to April 9, 1989 with a total of 176 episodes produced.

Meredith Baxter

Meredith Ann Baxter (born June 21, 1947) is an American actress and producer. She is known for her roles on the ABC drama series Family (1976–80) and the NBC sitcom Family Ties (1982–89), credited as Meredith Baxter Birney. A five-time Emmy Award nominee, one of her nominations was for playing the title role in the 1992 TV film A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story.

Michael Gross (actor)

Michael Edward Gross (born June 21, 1947) is an American television, movie and stage actor. He has played both comedic and dramatic roles, such as Steven Keaton from the sitcom Family Ties (1982–89) and the graboid hunter Burt Gummer from the Tremors film franchise.

Michael J. Fox

Michael Andrew Fox (born June 9, 1961), known professionally as Michael J. Fox, is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, author, and film producer with a film and television career spanning from the 1970s. He starred in the Back to the Future trilogy where he portrayed Marty McFly. Other notable roles have included Mike Flaherty on the ABC sitcom Spin City (1996–2000) and his portrayal of Alex P. Keaton on the American sitcom Family Ties. He has won five Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, a Grammy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 at age 29, and disclosed his condition to the public in 1998. He partly retired from acting in 2000 as the symptoms of his disease worsened. He has since become an advocate for research toward finding a cure; he created the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and Sweden's Karolinska Institutet gave him an honoris causa doctorate on March 5, 2010 for his work advocating a cure for Parkinson's disease.Since 1999, Fox has mainly worked as a voice-over actor in films such as Stuart Little and Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire. On the CBS TV show The Good Wife, he earned Emmy nominations for three consecutive years for his recurring role as crafty attorney Louis Canning. He has also taken recurring guest roles and cameo appearances in Boston Legal, Scrubs, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Rescue Me, and Designated Survivor. He has written 3 books: Lucky Man: A Memoir (2002), Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist (2009), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned (2010). He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2010. He also was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2000.

Stargate SG-1 (season 10)

Season ten of Stargate SG-1, an American-Canadian television series, began airing on July 14, 2006 on Sci Fi Channel (United States). The final season of the series concluded after 20 episodes on March 13, 2007 on Sky 1, which overtook the Sci-Fi Channel in mid-season. The series was developed by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner. Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Joseph Mallozzi, and Paul Mullie served as executive producers. Season ten regular cast members include Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Beau Bridges, Claudia Black, and Michael Shanks.

The season (and the Ori arc of the show) is continued with direct-to-DVD film Stargate: The Ark of Truth.

The O.C. (season 2)

The second season of The O.C. commenced airing in the United States on November 5, 2004, concluded on May 19, 2005, and consisted of 24 episodes. It aired Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET in the US on FOX, a terrestrial television network. In addition to the regular 24 episodes, two special episodes aired before the season premiere. "The O.C.: Obsess Completely" documented the show's influence on popular culture in its first year. The following week, "Welcome to The O.C.: A Day in the Life," provided a behind-the-scenes look at the show.Continuing the stories about the characters living in Newport Beach, California, the second season would be "no longer about Ryan's past; now it's going to be about Ryan's future", said Josh Schwartz, The O.C.'s creator. Schwartz added that this season would "slow down the storytelling a little bit (...) and evolve the characters". The focus of the series was on the romantic developments between Ryan and Marissa, and Seth and Summer, while Sandy and Kirsten face choices that could ruin their 20-year marriage, Julie's past comes back to haunt her, and Ryan's ex-con brother Trey gives living in Newport a try. The season was released on DVD as a seven-disc boxed set under the title The O.C.: The Complete Second Season on August 23, 2005 by Warner Bros. Home Video. On September 7, 2008 the season became available to purchase for registered users of the US iTunes Store. In the United Kingdom the season premiered January 11, 2005 on Channel 4. In Canada the season aired on CTV Television Network and in Australia it was broadcast by Network Ten.

Whistler (TV series)

Whistler is a Canadian television drama centring on the aftermath of the mysterious death of a local snowboard legend. The series was set in the ski resort of the same name and aired for two seasons from 2006 to 2008. It was created by Kelly Senecal and developed by Patrick Banister, John Barbisan, Mindy Heslin, and Susan James.

Will Mackenzie

Will Mackenzie (born July 24, 1938) is an American television director and actor.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Mackenzie began his professional career as an actor, making his Broadway debut in 1965 in the original production of the musical Half a Sixpence. During the original run of Hello, Dolly!, he stepped into the role of Cornelius Hackl created by Charles Nelson Reilly, and he also appeared in the plays Sheep on the Runway by Art Buchwald and Scratch by Archibald MacLeish and a revival of Much Ado About Nothing. Off-Broadway he was featured in As You Like It and directed a revival of I Do! I Do! with David Garrison and Karen Ziemba.On television, Mackenzie made guest appearances in Route 66, ABC Stage 67, That Girl, The Mod Squad, Rhoda,

Baretta, and All in the Family, and he had a recurring role in The Bob Newhart Show. His sole feature film credit as an actor was in The Landlord.Mackenzie made his television directorial debut with The Bob Newhart Show and went on to direct multiple episodes of The Stockard Channing Show, Too Close for Comfort, Bosom Buddies, WKRP in Cincinnati, Gimme a Break!, Newhart, Moonlighting, Family Ties, Day by Day, Major Dad, Phenom, The Boys are Back, Dharma & Greg, Everybody Loves Raymond, Scrubs, and Reba.Mackenzie has been nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Direction of a Comedy Series five times and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Direction of a Drama Series once.

He won the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Direction of a Drama Series twice for Moonlighting and the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Direction of a Comedy Series once, for Family Ties episode "A, My Name Is Alex". He also directed the 1989 romantic comedy Worth Winning.

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