Thursday, December 26, 2013

Saturtainment: Big Brother Jake (1990)

It was perhaps the most successful original series the Family Channel produced before it was sold to Fox. However, you'd be hard pressed to find it anywhere today, either on cable or video.

Fitness expert Jake Steinfeld top-lined Big Brother Jake, which lasted 4 seasons on the network (1990-4). The concept will remind some of a failed ABC series from a few years prior, the Barney Miller spin-off, Fish, which had the title character, a retired cop (Abe Vigoda) and his wife converting their home into a group home. The diff here is that Jake, who was raised in foster care, went on to become a stuntman, and is returning home to Brooklyn and the foster home to help oversee a new generation of kids to show them there is a way to succeed out of a hardscrabble childhood.

The only other "name" in the cast is Barbara Meek, whose only other notable gig was on Archie Bunker's Place at the end of its run. Unfortunately, none of the kids on this show went on to higher profile gigs that I know of, and, as I said earlier, the series now languishes in the vaults somewhere. I'm not sure who'd have the rights to the show, since Family Channel ownership has changed twice since the series ended nearly 20 years ago.

Here's a sample clip. Part of the intro has been edited out.

Rating: B-.


magicdog said...

I remember this show and it was harmless. It was not unlike the sitcoms of past decades.

You're right in comparing it to "Fish".

hobbyfan said...

And, like Fish, it's not airing anywhere at the moment, and that's a crime unto itself.