Reality TV Families = Scripted Ones?
The Osbournes (The Osbournes, 2002-2005)
Most like: The Simpsons (The Simpsons, 1989-present)
Dysfunctional family of five (counting daughter Aimee Osbourne, who refused to appear in her family's reality show)? Check. A bumbling father, a troublemaking oldest son, a smart middle daughter, and a forgiving matriarch who holds the family together? Check. A tendency to court controversy — and forever change the television landscape? Check and mate.
The Kardashians (Keeping Up With the Kardashians, 2007-present)
Most like: The Bradys (The Brady Bunch, 1969-1974)
Here's the story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls — until she married a dark-haired man and began bringing up a big, blended brood in their large California home. Like their groovy forbears, the Kardashians have used their flagship show to launch several spin-offs...though as of yet, The Kardashian Clan Variety Hour is but a dream.
The Hogans (Hogan Knows Best, 2005-2007)
Most like: The Hennessys (8 Simple Rules, 2002-2005)
Hulk Hogan famously went to great lengths to protect his teenage daughter Brooke from boys — much like John Ritter's Paul Hennessy, whose strict, embarrassing behavior initially formed the foundation for ABC's family sitcom. The professional wrestler would approve of dating ''rules'' like ''Use your hands on my daughter and you'll lose them after.''
The Carters (House of Carters, 2006)
Most like: The Partridge Family (The Partridge Family, 1970)
Just like the Partridges, the Carters are a musically talented family of five who got started in show business young. Both families also experienced offscreen tragedy after their respective series ended; Partridge star Danny Bonaduce has had numerous issues with addiction, while 25-year-old Leslie Carter died this year of an apparent overdose.
The Duggars (19 Kids and Counting, 2008-present)
Most like: The Camdens (7th Heaven, 1996-2007)
The Duggars and the Camdens are both giant, God-fearing families, alike in dignity if slightly different in size. (The Camdens have seven clean-cut kids; the Duggars could form their own G-20.) And in each clan, the kids marry young and quickly begin creating giant broods of their own. Maybe there's something in the white bread?
The Gosselins (Jon & Kate Plus 8/Kate Plus 8, 2007-2011)
Most like: The Bradfords (Eight Is Enough, 1977-1981)
It's not easy wrangling an octet of children — especially when one parent is out of the picture. Eight's Tom Bradford got remarried in Season 2, after the actress who played his wife suddenly fell ill; meanwhile, Kate Gosselin struck out on her own after her high-profile divorce from Jon.
The Lohans (Living Lohan, 2008)
Most like: The Gilmores (Gilmore Girls, 2000-2007)
Like Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, Dina and Ali Lohan are closer than the average mother-daughter pair. Perhaps that's because both Lorelai and Dina became mothers young. Either way, the Lohans' adventures were less gripping than those of the Gilmores — the reality show lasted just nine episodes, while the scripted series aired for seven seasons.
The Simmonses (Run's House, 2005-2009)
Most like: The Huxtables (The Cosby Show, 1984-1992)
Affluent patriarchs Rev Run and Cliff Huxtable preside over big families in gorgeous houses near Manhattan. Each advocates wholesome family values; the company that produced Run's House is called Good Clean Fun LLC, for Pete's sake. And both saw their family's show snag an NAACP Image Award — Cosby in 1988, and Run's in 2008.
The Simmonses (Gene Simmons Family Jewels, 2006-present)
Most like: The Keatons (Family Ties, 1982-1989)
Family Ties was pitched as a series about hip parents with square kids. That same logline applies to the KISS frontman's reality show, in which a rock star and a former Playmate of the Year raise two surprisingly normal kids. Flower-child values and erotic, demonic behavior apparently both skip a generation.
The Gottis (Growing Up Gotti, 2004-2005)
Most like: The Sopranos The Sopranos, 1999-2007)
These close-knit Italian-American clans live in large homes outside of New York City, feature members who go by ''Junior''... and know the real meaning of ''family business.'' And neither one is exactly surprised by your Godfather jokes.
The Browns (Sister Wives, 2010-present)
Most like: The Henricksons (Big Love, 2006-2011)
They're putting the ''fun'' in ''fundamentalist Mormonism''! Put together, these polygamous Utah tribes boast seven wives and enough children to make the Duggars green with envy. Both families also faced legal action as a result of their unorthodox lifestyle. So much for ''the more, the merrier.''
The Chapmans (Dog the Bounty Hunter, 2004-present)
Most like: The Bristows (Alias, 2001-2006)
Like Sydney and her father Jack, Duane ''Dog'' Chapman and his sons know a thing or two about kicking ass and taking names. And they each know how to rock some seriously awesome wigs. Er, wait — is that Dog's real hair?
The Louds (An American Family, 1973)
Most like: The Campbell-Tates (Soap, 1977-1981)
PBS's pioneering docudrama, unlike its soap parody counterpart, wasn't going for laughs, but both tribes grappled with infidelity, dissolving marriages, and bad '70s fashions. Each also made headlines by featuring one of the first openly gay ''characters'' on TV (Lance Loud in Family, Billy Crystal's Jodie Dallas in Soap).
The Roloffs (Little People, Big World, 2005-2010)
Most like: The Ingallses (Little House on the Prairie, 1974-1983)
Okay, stay with us. Both families are tight-knit, live on farms, and face major obstacles while performing everyday activities — earning a living, gathering food, protecting themselves from dangerous Indian fugitives, and so on. Fine, maybe that last one just applies to the Ingalls family.
The Braxtons (Braxton Family Values, 2011-present)
Most like: The Halliwells (Charmed, 1998-2006)
A gaggle of gorgeous sisters bicker and babble as they work together in the family business. (For the Halliwells: being witches. For the Braxtons: being famous-ish.) If Toni, Traci, Towanda, Trina, and Tamar ever decide to ditch music for Wicca, we have a feeling they'd quickly discover the Power of Five.