The stars of Family Matters – Where are they now?

When the sitcom Family Matters first aired on ABC in 1989, the creators of the show waited with bated breath to see what the reaction would be. Would people like it? Would it stand the test of time? As a spin-off to the popular prime-time sitcom, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters had big shoes to fill. However, the first season saw it ranking as number 39 in the Nielsen ratings, before it climbed higher and higher to spot 15 in its second season, and staying consistently within the top 30 throughout its nine seasons. At first, the show focused on Carl Winslow, who was a police officer from Chicago, and his family including his wife Harriette, his daughters Laura and Judy, plus his son Eddie. However, it seemed as though the audience weren’t as invested in the Winslow family as they were in someone else… Nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel, played expertly by Jaleel White, became the talking point of Family Matters, eventually being promoted to the main star of the show. Twenty years after the show ended, however, what are Steve Urkel and the Winslow family up to now?

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Family Matters quickly grew to become a firm favorite within American households, particularly in the African American community. With nine seasons under its belt, this sitcom became one of the longest-running U.S comedy shows with a primarily African American cast – being just pipped to the post by The Jeffersons, which ran for 11 seasons. People fell in love with the Winslow family, along with all of their friends and neighbors. However, it was clear to producers that there was one character in particular that people couldn’t get enough of. Steve Urkel started off as a recurring character for the first season, before being upgraded to a main character from the second season onwards. As a stereotypical nerd, with his instantly recognizable voice muttering his popular catchphrases, it was clear that Urkel was going to catapult Family Matters to the dizzying heights of fame. Let us not forget the other incredible cast members who made up the show, however, including Laura Winslow who was the object of Steve Urkel’s affections. Plus we had the joys of Mother Winslow, Carl’s super savvy mom, and hilarious characters such as Urkel’s cooler self, Stefan Urquelle – also played by Jaleel White.


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The show was first aired on ABC, from 1989 through to 1997, but CBS couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. In early 1997, CBS purchased the rights to Family Matters and another sitcom, Step by Step, for an impressive forty million dollars. They knew how popular the show was and they couldn’t wait to turn it into part of its new Friday night lineup. Unfortunately, after poor ratings throughout its ninth season, CBS decided they wouldn’t be renewing the show for its tenth and final proposed season – even though scripts and plots were written for it. This meant that what was the finale of Family Matters was aired without a big song and dance. That was it; the show was over. It has been twenty years since the show was basically cut short, with little warning, but what has the cast members been up to since?

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