Gary David Goldberg, the creator of the classic sitcom Family Ties, has died, according to Variety. He was 68.
Goldberg died in Montecito, Calif. after a battle with brain cancer.
Born in Brooklyn, Goldberg began his television writing career in the '70s working on qsuch shows as The Bob Newhart Show, The Last Resort and Lou Grant, the latter of which earned him his first Emmy.
Question: Hi, Televisionary. I'm hoping you can settle an argument that I had with someone when I was in the fifth grade. After the closing credits of Family Ties, we see a picture of a dog and the name "UBU Productions." Does the man say, "Sit, Boo-boo, sit — good dog," which is what it sounds like, or, "Sit, Ubu, sit — good dog," which is what would make sense?
Answer: You answered your own question, Dave (and I could've sworn I did, too, some time ago, but I couldn't find it). It's: "Sit, Ubu, sit — good dog," followed by a bark. Ubu was the production company founded by Gary David Goldberg, the creator of Family Ties, and Ubu was a dog he had in college.
Question: I was talking about this with my girlfriend and could swear I read somewhere that Family Ties was originally supposed to be about the parents but ended up being about the kids when they become popular. Truth or urban legend? Thanks, and keep up the good work.
Answer: Not only is it true, Peter, it was foreshadowed by Michael Gross, who played man of the house Steven Keaton, though he probably didn't know it at the time. In 1982, while shooting an episode of the series in which Keaton kids Alex (Michael J. Fox), Mallory (Justine Bateman) and Jennifer (Tina Yothers) run amok when Steven and wife Elyse (Meredith Baxter Birney) are away, the actor engaged in a bit of unintentional soothsaying. "Maybe after several episodes, Meredith and I will die, and then the series could really take off," he joked to TV Guide. "We could be kille