Full House, a classic show that made its debut on ABC in 1987 in the center of the Post Network Era it was a courageous take on what we had all known the traditional family to be. It is evident that with the ever booming rapid growth of cable television, networks such as ABC were scrambling to find something that would stick, re-imagine how we viewed family, appeal to core audiences while still being universal thematically at the same time. Each character on the show was crafted with a particular audience in mind. When you look back you can see that the cult following for Full House consisted of a majority of females. Women swooned over heartthrob Jesse Katsopolis, girls could identify with the daughters as they grew up and dealt with teenage struggles, boy problems, and who could forget the cute and funny moments with adorable baby Michelle. With this revised idea of what we deemed the nuclear family, networks such as ABC drove family narratives in their sitcoms that didn’t rely on style to captivate audiences.
Life lessons were the core of Full House which made it timeless. The scene below demonstrates how social issues were tied with relatability. You had 3 male parental figures that presented themselves as non-threatening. Whenever an emotional scene took place the adults would address it. In the scene below DJ is dealing with body issues and her father speaks to her encouraging her. Scenes like the one below exemplify family struggles, which is why from a narrowcasting perspective one could see why this show was a hit with its core audience. Teen girls specifically ,could identify with DJ and her struggles.
Narrowcasting induced a wave of nostalgia that we see today. Full House is the phenomenon that it is because of its hit success back then and its current rerun syndication viewership today with females in the 18-34-year-old range. Nickelodeon still airs it every night and is remembered because of the societal issues. Where other TV shows in the post-network era had style and outrageous graphics, ABC struck gold with a different kind of sitcom and different kind of family. Full House was safe wholesome television that touched on issues without pushing the envelope. It was a show that would teach life lessons in households for years to come.