Family Ties was a sitcom drama series that ran from 1982-1989 on NBC. (It was one of the first of family comedies that emerged in the 1980s.) Although it had a rocky start in the ratings, Family Ties rose to be number 2 after it was placed in the prized time-slot right after The Cosby Show and had remained there from 1984 until 1987.The synopsis is centered on the Keaton family, where ex-hippie liberals Steve (Michael Gross) and Elyse (Meredith Baxter Birney) who four children, Alex (Michael J Fox), Mallory (Justine Bateman), Jennifer (Tina Yothers) and Andrew (Brian Bonsall), who was born in 1985. What was unique about Family Ties was that it blended family comedy with politics. The 1960s flower children, Steven and Elyse clashed with the 1980s conservative, Alex. The show, in a way, showed the changing values during the Reagan era. Besides political views, Family Ties covered a number of controversial topics ranging from suicide to racism to drug addiction. Skippy was a neighbor who had a never-ending crush on Mallory. Ellen was Alex's first serious girlfriend. After breaking up with her, he became seriously involved with Lauren, a psychology student and Nick Moore was Mallory's serious boyfriend. Many episodes promote conservative and other positive values. Alex P. Keaton is considered to be a conservative hero, and in fact the show was Ronald Reagan's family and he even offered to appear in an episode.