Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Debuting with two back-to-back episodes on March 8, 2006, the half-hour ABC sitcom Sons & Daughters was clearly influenced by Fox's Arrested Development in its depiction of a large, extended, and extremely dysfunctional American family. Series co-creator Fred Goss headed the cast as human-resources rep Cameron Walker, who lived with his second wife, Liz (Gillian Vigman), and their two children, eight-year-old Ezra (Noah Matthews) and four-year-old Marni (Lexi Gold Jourden). The "spoiler" in the Walker household was Henry Walker (Trevor Einhorn), Cameron's profoundly embittered 14-year-old son from his previous marriage to the bipolar Paige (Melinda Allen). Elsewhere, Cameron's sister, Sharon (Alison Quinn), was mired in a sexless marriage with Don Fenton (Jerry Lambert), an auto-parts salesman and frustrated actor. Sharon's stepsister, Jenna (Amanda Walsh), a single mom struggling to make ends meet as a waitress, seemed to have a gift for invariably choosing the proverbial wrong guy. Rounding out this family group were Cameron and Sharon's high-strung and highly judgmental parents, Colleen (Dee Wallace Stone) and Wendal (Max Gail), and their outspokenly anti-Semitic aunt Rae (Lois Hall). To maintain a semblance of spontaneity, each episode was only partially scripted, allowing the actors to ad-lib and improvise within the framework of the story (Fred Goss had previously employed this technique on his Bravo network series Significant Others). Sons & Daughters was executive produced by Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels.