Growing Pains is a sitcom about an upper-middle-class family living in Long Island. The father, Jason Seaver, was a psychiatrist forced to stay at home with his kids while his wife worked as a reporter. They had three children: Mike, a "bad boy" troublemaker; Carol, a "goody-goody" honors student; and Ben, the youngest who often found himself caught in the middle of his sibling's schemes.
Though generally not considered a remarkable show, the program was very popular at the time, with cast member Kirk Cameron (Mike) becoming something of a teen idol. Today, the show is remembered for two things in particular. First, Cameron converted to evangelical Christianity during his tenure on the show and began to make demands on the writers and producers not to include "immoral" elements. This possibly led to the firing of actress Julie McCullough (who played Mike's fiancée) for her past appearances in Playboy magazine. Three producers also quit in 1991 as a result of Cameron's actions. (Reportedly, when the cast reunited for their first TV-movie, Cameron made peace with his former cast members over his past actions.)
The other notable element was the addition of Leonardo DiCaprio as a regular cast member in the last season. The actor was an unknown at the time, as he was just beginning his acting career. After Growing Pains he went on to do mostly film roles, gaining an Oscar nomination the following year.
Growing Pains had one spinoff, Just the Ten of Us. The actors who played the Seavers later reunited for two made-for-TV movies, in 2000 and 2004.
|Alan Thicke||Dr. Jason Seaver||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|Joanna Kerns||Maggie Seaver||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|Kirk Cameron||Mike Seaver||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|Tracey Gold||Carol Seaver||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|Jeremy Miller||Benjamin "Ben" Seaver||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|Kelsey Dohring||Chrissy Seaver||o||o|
|Leonardo DiCaprio||Luke Brower||*|
| Orange/Red/o indicates a recurring or guest role during that season.|
Dark Green indicates top billing during that season.
|Andrew Koenig||Richard "Boner" Stabone||*||*||*||*|
|Julie McCullough||Julie Costello||*|
|Chelsea Noble||Kate MacDonald||*||*||*|
|Season One||September 24, 1985||May 13, 1986||22|
|Season Two||September 30, 1986||May 19, 1987||22|
|Season Three||September 18, 1987||May 4, 1988||26|
|Season Four||October 19, 1988||May 3, 1989||22|
|Season Five||September 20, 1989||May 2, 1990||26|
|Season Six||September 19, 1990||April 24, 1991||24|
|Season Seven||September 18, 1991||April 25, 1992||24|
|The Growing Pains Movie||November 5, 2000|
|Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers||October 16, 2004|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
|Season Sets (Region 1)|
|The Complete First Season||February 7, 2006||purchase||4|
|The Complete Second Season||April 26, 2011||purchase||3|
|The Complete Third Season||May 21, 2013||purchase||3|
|The Complete Fourth Season||April 14, 2015||purchase||3|