Now that more than a handful of TV revivals have proven themselves to be extended successes, barely any of yesteryear’s classics are off the table for potential returns. One rightfully qualifying example is the good-taste-eschewing sitcom Married with Children, ran for 11 seasons on Fox until 1997. Fans’ requests for Married with Children’s return definitely go back further than the recent revival trend, but now is the perfect time to make it happen, thanks to Modern Family ending its run on ABC.
Below, we’ll go over the reasons why now is the best possible time for Fox to bring a Married with Children to audiences, starting off with the main man himself.
Modern Family’s Ed O’Neill Now Has Time For Married With Children
In the 22 years that spanned between Married with Children‘s end and Modern Family‘s debut in 2009, Ed O’Neill’s biggest TV role was playing Joe Friday for the all-but-forgotten 2003 reboot L.A. Dragnet. (His most memorable roles, perhaps, were on John from Cincinnati and The West Wing.) I’m not trying to typecast the Emmy-nominated actor or anything, but it’s time for him to return to the role that started his legacy, hand in his pants and all.
While it would have been great had Ed O’Neill agreed to take on some kind of Married with Children revival in the past decade, his Modern Family schedule would have made it extremely difficult for the actor, now 73 years old, to have lent his talents and full attention to a completely different show for anything more than a one-off special. But without ABC’s 20+ episode seasons locking him down for so many months of the year, he’s free to return to Married with Children‘s Chicago setting, whether it be for only a few episodes or a bunch of them.
Katey Sagal’s Sitcom Chops Are As Strong As Ever With The Conners
After Married with Children wrapped in 1997, it wasn’t long before Katey Sagal landed her next iconic role as Futurama‘s Leela, and she followed that up with stellar runs on 8 Simple Rules, Superior Donuts and (my personal favorite) Sons of Anarchy. Most recently, Sagal has enjoyed a recurring role on ABC’s The Conners, and while her role isn’t wholly used for comedic value, it’s still clear how much command the actress has in any given show, in any given scene.
Katey Sagal does have a new project in the works with Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krysta Vernoff, which would obviously be a bump in the road to Married with Children if it goes forward. But considering her role on The Conners isn’t made to appear in every episode, she would seemingly have the time to rock a red ‘do as the luxuriously trashy Peggy Bundy.
Christina Applegate Could Probably Fit Married With Children Around Dead To Me
At this point in her career, Christina Applegate definitely doesn’t need for Married with Children to return to television, but audiences would not doubt love to see what she could bring to the role of Kelly Bundy with 22 additional years of acting experience. Applegate has been an audience favorite no matter what show she takes on, from Jesse to Samantha Who? to her Friends episodes to Up All Night.
Currently, Christina Applegate has amassed tons of audience and critical acclaim for her darker turn as Jen Harding on Netflix’s grief-infused dramedy Dead To Me, which she’s also an executive producer on. That said, the streaming series only runs for ten episodes per season, with Season 2 on the way later this year. Though Netflix productions take longer than those of a linear network drama, it would still presumably give Applegate a decent-sized window between seasons where she could fittingly reprise the role of Kelly Bundy for Married with Children.
David Faustino Definitely Has The Time And Energy
While that header might have come across as an insult at David Faustino’s expense, it definitely isn’t meant to reflect negatively on the actor and radio DJ’s steady career. Rather, it highlights the fact that Faustino has long been arguably the biggest proponent for Married with Children‘s return to TV in some shape or form. After all, it was his pitch about grown-up Bud Bundy that everyone seemed ready to return for a few years back, though nothing ever came of it, presumably because life is evil.
David Faustino’s TV roles haven’t been quite as prominent as those of his Married with Children co-stars, but the actor has supplemented that with work in the music industry, both as an MC and as a producer. Not to mention his long-running gig as a radio DJ, currently for Dash Radio. And if Married with Children fans weren’t already amped to see Bud Bundy back on the small screen, Faustino stoked that fire in 2019 by battling fellow sitcom child star Joey Lawrence on an episode of Drop the Mic.
The Bundys Need To Experience Woke America
With the exception of maybe the Griffins of Family Guy and the Reynolds of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (and a select few others), Married with Children‘s Bundy clan is one of the most morally deficient and repugnant families in TV history. Which, of course, is part of what made them so highly popular during the show’s eleven seasons. Married with Children was part of the first big wave of primetime programming on the still-new Fox network, along with The Tracy Ullman Show (which birthed The Simpsons) and 21 Jump Street. Fox had little problem with pushing envelopes at the time, but what about in 2020?
So many of the family’s actions are fairly toxic and off-putting by today’s standards, with Al’s No Ma’am club arguably being the poster child for those issues. While Al was often too self-deprecating and somewhat faithful to Peg to become a full #MeToo monster, his leery nature (which definitely rubbed off in all the wrong ways on Bud) and antagonistic nature against overweight women would make him and instant target for cancel culture in the current climate. Think this season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, but if Larry David also hated himself as much as everyone else.
As such, I would absolutely LOVE to see how Married with Children‘s creative team would handle Al Bundy living in a world filled with neo-feminism, Twitter tirades, amateur pornography and online shoe stores. It would be equally interesting to see how Peg would survive in such an all-inclusive world as well, though she wouldn’t be able to smoke in as many public places.
As far as the kids go, I would assume that Bud never came out of his room as soon as Internet porn went live, and that Kelly is still trying to figure out how a coiled phone cord into a cell phone. But if the characters had evolved intelligently enough, it would be equally interesting to see how they transitioned into full adulthood, and whether or not they were able to find and maintain the love and marriage spoken of in the iconic theme song.
Modern Family is set to wrap up its own 11-season run with a two-part finale on Wednesday, April 8. It’s not extremely likely that any big Married with Children news will break before that happens, but I’ve got the old Dodge’s engine ready to rumble in the garage if any news breaks. In the meantime, every episode can currently be streamed on Hulu.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn’t sound like that’s the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.