If you grew up in the 1980s, Family Ties was everything. The show debuted in 1982 and had a successful seven-year run, helping to catapult cast members like Michael J. Fox and Justine Bateman into superstardom. The show followed the lives of the Keaton family, which consisted of ex-hippie/liberal parents Elyse (Meredith Baxter) and Steven (Michael Gross) and their four kids, Reaganite Alex (Fox), his two sisters Mallory (Bateman) and Jennifer (Tina Yothers), and later, little brother, Andy (Brian Bonsall). Maybe the most deft portrayal of the American family at the time, the show went on to win three Emmys and a Golden Globe.
Saratoga native Scott Valentine, who debuted in the third episode of Season 4 as Mallory’s delightfully oddball boyfriend Nick Moore, went on to become one of the series’ breakout stars, appearing in 45 episodes. Nick became such a popular supporting character that he had a short-lived spin-off series created around him, after the show officially wrapped in 1989.
Now, for the first time in 35 years, Valentine will be reuniting, albeit via Zoom, with all of the core cast members of Family Ties—Baxter, Gross, Fox, Yothers and fellow supporting actor, Marc Price, who portrayed Keaton neighbor Irwin “Skippy” Handelman—to look back on the groundbreaking series and catch up with his fellow actors. The reunion will be hosted by daily streaming series Stars in the House, which was created by Sirius XM’s Seth Rudetsky and his producer husband James Wesley in the wake of the pandemic, and will air on Tuesday, November 10 at 8pm. The episode will stream live on Stars in the House‘s YouTube channel, as well as its website.
“This is the first time that they’ll have the [Keaton] family and two key guests—me and Marc—back together,” Valentine tells Saratoga Living. “It’s for a great cause, too.” (All Stars in the House episodes raise money for the Actors Fund, which supports out-of-work TV and Broadway actors.) “The last show we taped was over 30 years ago,” he says. Though he’s stayed in the best touch with Price and, more recently, Gross—as well as occasionally run into Baxter around the neighborhood in Los Angeles (at one point, her daughter was dating one of his sons)—he’s excited to see everyone again in one place. “Literally, everyone from the cast are all just good people,” says Valentine.
The Stars in the House reunion episode will be interactive, with viewers able to ask real-time questions to the cast members and have the chance to have their names read by the stars live on air.
“We’re so thankful that our audiences continue to generously donate to StarsInTheHouse.com, which goes directly to The Actors Fund, helping anyone in the artistic community with essential needs like financial support to buy groceries, pay rent and pay doctor’s bills,” said Rudetsky and Wesley in a dual statement. “We’re overwhelmed with gratitude that we raised over $15,000 during Tuesday’s all-day ‘Vote-a-thon’ broadcast.” Added the co-costs: “During this time of what seems like unending national stress, we find that our audiences are drawn to reunions of what we call ‘comfort TV,’ those TV shows from yesteryear that brought us all so much joy. Some of our most popular episodes featured TV shows like Taxi, Frasier and Melrose Place, and we have no doubt the Family Ties reunion is going to be one of our most viewed!”
This is not the first time the cast has reunited—though the first time all of the members, plus Valentine and Price, will be together in one virtual “room.” Back in 2015, Entertainment Weekly hosted a reunion for its 25th anniversary issue.
Valentine, who recently moved back to the Saratoga area, is currently the managing director of hedge fund Excelsior Capital Partners. He’s still acting, too, having recently appeared in a 2019 short, Cardboard by Your Name.