'The Hogan Family' Didn't Have A Proper Finale
‘The Hogan Family’ changed its name more than once, ending up as we know it nowadays. All the bickering behind the scenes led fans to remember more of the issues outside it than the actual show. Sadly, it still is remembered as a sitcom quarrel to this day.
Why the Show Ended Up Failing
There are various opinions as to why the sitcom actually failed. One of the main reasons is the dispute between Valerie and Cacciotti and the show’s producers. The constant bickering was out to the public eye and people tended to focus more on what was going on outside the show than the actual show.
Then there was also the lack of consistency. First, it was titled ‘Valerie’, afterward, due to the actress leaving the show, they ended up changing in season three to ‘Valerie’s Family’. Finally, as a result of Valerie’s lawsuit, it was once again changed in season four to ‘The Hogan Family’, completely excluding the former main character.
Not That Funny for a Sitcom
In the 80s, there was no lack of funny sitcoms. The show just did not have enough character to it. The only outstanding character was that of Jason Bateman. Otherwise, it just was not pulling enough laughter out of people. After Valerie’s leaving, there were still a long of disagreements and the show went downhill. It ended up being canceled due to a lack of audiences.
Where Are They Now?
Despite the later failure of the show, for the first seasons, the show was even in the Nielsens for a while. It had a good number of viewers still and some of the talents did not go unseen, as you will be able to read.
Valerie Harper – The Star of the Show, at First
Valerie Harper was no ordinary woman. Born in the Big Apple, she started off as a Broadway dancer, but soon she traded the stages for a big part on TV. She started off as Rhoda Morgenstern in ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’, winning three Primetime Emmys for her outstanding performance.
In 1986, she got her big shot with her own show ‘Valerie’. However, greed got the best of her and she ended up being fired from her own show, being later replaced by Sandra Duncan. However, this did not stop the actress in her, she still had a lot to give.
Valerie after ‘Valerie’
After her part on the sitcom, Valerie starred in almost 20 movies including ‘A Friend to Die For’, ‘The Great Mom Swap’ and ‘My Mom and the Girl’. Besides TV movies, she was also involved in more than 30 series and did voice work for ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘American Dad!’.
The Sad End of Valerie
In 2009, the actress was diagnosed with lung cancer. According to The New York Times, Harper and her husband Cacciotti decided not to move her into hospital care as they should have had they followed the doctor’s advice. In 2013, she announced that leptomeningeal carcinomatosis and was given a three-month life expectancy.
Despite what the doctors predicted, the actress continued working throughout her disease and ended up passing in August 2019. Her death was announced by the couple’s only daughter Cristina Cacciotti. The actress beat every doctor’s expectation and kept working on her craft until the very end.
Josh Taylor – The Father of the Family
Before ‘Valerie’, Taylor had already made a name for himself. Born in Illinois, after visiting Los Angeles for the first time, he set his mind on becoming an actor. He first got his big break in the long-running soap opera ‘Days of Our Lives’ as Chris Kositchek. From 1977 to 1987, with a two-year break in the middle, the actor was part of the hit.
For two years there was an overlap, the actor was actually playing two different roles, working in both ‘Days of Our Lives’ and ‘Valerie’. According to NBC, Taylor dropped the first one and concentrated in building his character in ‘Valerie’, which, as we know, was later changed to ‘The Hogan Family’. After the sitcom failure, in 1997, Taylor went back to ‘Days of Our Lives’ but this time as Roman Brady. To this day, at the age of 76, the actor is still playing that same role.
Family Man and Fit Until the End
After his divorce with Sandahl Bergman, already with a grown-up daughter, the actor managed to find love again. In 1999, he married Lisa Tremblay and the couple has been happily married for more than 20 years. The couple had two kids, Jason and Tristen. Fun fact: He decided to turn his garage into a gym and stay fit, which is probably why he still looks so young!
Sandra Duncan – The Helpful Sister
After Valerie was forced to leave the show, the producers decided to bring in Sandra Duncan, as Taylor’s character’s sister, and what a pleasant surprise it was! The actress was a great addition to the show and she was certainly one of the reasons why it kept going until its 6th season.
Although she took part in a lot of TV shows and even movies, her true passion was the stages. She starting hitting the theater stages in 1958, long before she appeared on our TV screens. In 2018, she starred in the play ‘Love Letters’ and that is her last known work.
The Actress, the Singer, the Dancer, the Mother, the Wife
Leaving her career behind was never an option and finding the right man to stand beside this force of nature was not an easy task. Her first marriage to actor Bruce Scott and second to Dr. Thomas Calcaterra did not work out because she was not willing to be a stay-at-home wife.
In 1980, she married actor Don Correia and they have been happily married and living in New York. The couple shares two sons, Jeffrey, born in 1982, and Michael, born in 1984. Her first two marriages might not have lasted long, but this year, in July, the couple will be celebrating 40 years of marriage. It looks like she finally found the one.
Jason Bateman – A Star on the Rise
It is crazy to think, looking back, how long Bateman came. ‘The Hogan Family’ was actually one of the first shows he participated in. From there on, the world was his to take. The actor, who is also a director and a producer, took his craft to another level and is nowadays a true celebrity.
The first show he took part in was ‘Little House on the Prairie’ as James Cooper Ingalls and, at the early age of 12, his talent was immediately recognized and his career took off. At the beginning of the 2000s, he had the opportunity to join ‘Arrested Development’ and started hoarding awards!
Despite being called dreamy by many fans on his Instagram page, the actor only has eyes for one woman in his life: Amanda Anka, his wife. The couple got married in 2001 and together they share two daughters Francesca Nora, born in 2006, and Maple Sylvie, born in 2012. The family is often seen on walks together! Such a lovely family, don’t you think?
Dan Ponce – The Life of the Party
Born in Massachusetts, the actor is best known for his role in ‘The Hogan Family’ as Willie Hogan, the irresponsible twin. After starring in the show, he stepped out of the spotlight and very little is known about his life nowadays. In 2005, the former actor married Rachel Swan and the two share a boy and a girl.
His career might not have taken off as some of the other cast members, but a friendship was born. Ponce and his then-twin-brother in the show are still best friends to this day. They were, reportedly, each other’s best men at each other’s wedding. We cannot say he left the show empty-handed!
Jeremy Licht – Brains for Days
In the sitcom, Licht was known as the brainy twin. However, aside from that role, he has only had another major role in ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’. Same as Ponce, he keeps to himself nowadays, being MIA (Missing In Action) from the public eye.
The actor first married Carol-Ann Merrill and for five years they were an item. However, in 2001, the couple got a divorce. Licht was to find love again in the arms of Kimberly Wallis. The couple had their first child, Casey Noah, at the end of 2008 and, later on, in 2013, they welcomed their son Jordan Zoey.
The Controversy Behind the Scenes
The show portrayed an image of a stay-at-home mom who took care of the children while her husband was absent most of the time due to his job. However, along the way, this ended up changing with the mother, portrayed by Valerie Harper, tragically passing away in a fatal car accident.
Yet, this was an almost unprecedented situation. Why would the producers kill off the main character in the second season? Well, it turns out that there were issues behind the scenes more prominent than the actual show. According to the Los Angeles Times, the actress demanded more money for her role and her involvement in the production and it was refused.
Not the First time
Back in 1975, the actress had already pulled this stunt along with her husband Tony Cacciotti, and it worked – the first time. The actress did receive a raise after her tantrum. However, when she tried it in the new show, that was initially titled ‘Valerie’, the producers put their foot down and gave her a firm “no”. Furthermore, the producers claimed that it was very difficult to work with both her and Cacciotti.
The Moral of the Story is…
Work hard, play harder. Even though not all the actors came to be rising stars, they still gave it their all. Some of them are still big celebrities to this day and are not to be forgotten any time soon. It’s a certainty that the show might not have been the biggest success of all times, but it sure got a few laughs out of us. Do you remember the show? Did you ever imagine what a big star Jason Bateman would become? Let us know!