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Non-Traditional TV Families In GIFs

A generation ago, the average, traditional family was composed of a father, mother, and at least two children. Divorce rates were low, kids moved out in their early 20s to form their own families, same-sex couples had no hope of raising their own children, and surrogacy was something out of a science-fiction novel. Today, all of that has changed, leading us to contemplate what exactly is a traditional family. So we’ve compiled a list of 17 non-traditional families on television, past, present and future. If you want to explore more about new family structures, read our New Social Systems Deep Dive Report:

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2. Who’s The Boss? (1984 - 1992)

Tony Micelli, a retired baseball player, becomes the housekeeper for Angela Bower, a successful NY advertising executive. Together they raise their kids with help from Angela's man-crazy mother.

5. The O.C. (2003 – 2007)

The series centered on Ryan Atwood, a troubled youth from a broken home, who is adopted by a wealthy and philanthropic couple. Ryan and his surrogate brother Seth deal with life as outsiders in the high-class world of Newport Beach.

10. Hannah Montana (2006 – 2011)

Singer and actress Miley Cyrus stars as Hannah Montana, a typical California junior high school student by day and a pop teen sensation by night. Her father has raised Miley and her brother, Jackson, alone since the death of their mother. Both children have a close and supportive relationship with their father, who handles their teenage angst with a mixture of humor and country charm.

11. 90210 (2008 – present)

In this reinvention of a ‘90s classic, a traditional family comprised of a mom, dad and their daughter is shaken up when they adopt a black child, Dixon, and move to Beverly Hills. Dixon's girlfriend, Silver, was raised by her sister (Kelly) because her mother was an alcoholic. Kelly also had a child of her own with an absentee father (Dylan). As a result, Kelly was raising two kids.

13. Modern Family (2009-present)

This mockumentary revolves around three inter-related families whose patriarch, Jay Pritchett (played by Ed O'Neill), is remarried to a much younger Colombian woman with a precocious son. Jay's daughter has a husband and three children, while his son and life partner have adopted a Vietnamese baby. This blended family has it all: stepchildren, adopted children, second marriages between characters from different generations, and a gay couple.

14. Ben and Kate (2012 – present)

This new network comedy follows a pair of odd-couple siblings and their friends as they push each other out of their comfort zones and into real life. What happens when an optimistic dreamer moves in with his overly responsible little sister to help raise her five-year-old daughter? It’s not a stepfamily, but it is representative of the alternative family dynamic gaining prevalence in today’s culture.

17. “The Fosters” (Air date TBD)

ABC Family recently ordered this comedy-drama pilot about two lesbians raising a “21st century,” multi-ethnic mix of foster and biological kids. Jennifer Lopez has been named the Executive Producer.

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