April 25, 1987: ALF crash lands onto UK TV

ALF-1987ALF is a 1986 American children’s television sitcom that first aired in the UK in 1987. It was the first television series to be presented in Dolby Surround.

The title character is Gordon Shumway, a friendly extraterrestrial nicknamed ALF (an acronym for Alien Life Form), who crash lands in the garage of the suburban middle-class Tanner family. The series stars Max Wright as father Willie Tanner, Anne Schedeen as mother Kate Tanner, and Andrea Elson and Benji Gregory as their children, Lynn and Brian Tanner. ALF was performed by puppeteer Paul Fusco, who co-created the show with Tom Patchett.

Produced by Alien Productions, ALF originally ran for four seasons and produced 99TV-UK-04-25-1987 episodes, plus three one-hour episodes that were divided into two parts for syndication, totalling 102 episodes.

To capitalize on the success of the series, a spin-off animated series was produced between 1987 and 1988 as ALF: The Animated Series, set on ALF’s home planet of Melmac. This was a prequel series, set on Melmac before the planet exploded. The show focused on ALF, his family, his friends, and girlfriend Rhonda and their various exploits. Each episode was book-ended by a live-action sequence involving ALF talking to the television viewers, setting up the episode and commenting on it afterward. [Wikipedia]

 

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