23 April 2004 | richard.fuller1
One of the Most Short Lived and Mind Boggling Shows Ever!
Remembered only for having Eileen Brennan in it, A New Kind of Family was a briefly seen show about a woman with three kids living with a woman with one kid. I guess it would be trimmed up years later and became "Kate & Allie" which was more successful.
Eileen Brennan I knew was the mother of the three kids. I also recalled David Hollander, unmistakeable child actor of the seventies, was one of the kids.
Wow, look who the other two kids were. Laurie Hendler of Gimme A Break and Rob Lowe of Saint Elmo's Fire. Didn't remember them that well.
But what makes this show really stand out was the mother and her one kid. It wasn't Gwynne Gilford and Connie Ann Hearn that anyone who has seen this will recall, it was that they were replaced with a black mother and her one child.
So I decided to check out this show here and see who all the cast was. Big surprise for me to see Telma Hopkins (of Tony Orlando & Dawn, as well as Gimme A Break) and Janet Jackson (Good Times and the Super Bowl Halftime with Justin Timberlake) were the token replacements.
The show offered no explanation for Hopkins and Jackson's arrival or Gilford and Hearn's departure. There was no chemistry between any of the cast members.
At best it was a cute idea, but it is very surprising to see how many people were connected to this show and what they went on to do.
Clearly it was nothing more than a vehicle for Brennan, who then had done supporting work in Last Picture Show and Murder By Death.
Just surprising to think of Janet Jackson, David HOllander, Laurie Hendler, Rob Lowe, Eileen Brennan and Telma Hopkins all together in a show and nothing came of it. Had the show lasted, I wonder if they would have pursued a romance between Brennan and McCann? Ah well.