Thirtysomething is an American television drama about a group of baby boomers in their late thirties. It was created by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick for MGM/UA Television Group and The Bedford Falls Company, and aired on ABC. It premiered in the U.S. on September 29, 1987. It lasted four seasons, with the last of its 85 episodes airing on May 28, 1991. The title of the show was designed as thirtysomething by Kathie Broyles, who combined the words of the original title, Thirty Something. In 1997, "The Go Between" and "Samurai Ad Man" were ranked #22 on TV Guide′s 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. In 2002, Thirtysomething was ranked #19 on TV Guide′s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time, and in 2013 TV Guide ranked it #10 in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time.
CAPSULE: The decision whether or not to circumcise the newborn Leo brings up larger questions: is he Jewish and what does that mean? Hope gives birth to her and Michael's new son Leo. After bringing the baby home, Michael tells Hope they must decide about a bris. Michael's mother Barbara arrives with her ""friend,"" Ben Titleman. Hope likes him, but Michael finds the situation of another man with his mother makes him uncomfortable. Before long both Ben and Melissa are asking about a mohel to perform the bris. Michael and Hope talk with Gary and Ellyn, respectively, about problems including the circumcision, which Michael is leaning toward and Hope against. That night when Michael brings up the subject, Hope wants him to explain it, why it's necessary and why he wants it done. Melissa drops by DAA with some pictures of Leo and some old relatives of the Steadman family. There's a surprise visitor, also: Rabbi Franklin, a mohel who assumes he is doing a job for Michael. He says Ben contacte
CAPSULE: Nancy feels that the hysterectomy has adversely affected her sex drive. Shots of Nancy teaching a class at the art center are intercut with her being examined by Dr. Eilertson. She asks about diminished sex drive after a hysterectomy and he tells her it should be no problem. Later at a gallery she sees a younger male student who she'd noticed before in class (and who seemed to notice her.) At DAA, Miles chews out Angel and Hollis, upsetting them. Angel comes to Elliot's office to hide out. Elliot arrives home to find Nancy tired and testy. The always-perceptive Ethan notices the changes in his mother, too. Nancy sees the student again and has a fantasy about him. But back at home with Elliot, she tells him she has no desire to make love. At DAA, Angel begins to work on an important account with Elliot, and they both are enjoying it. Later Elliot stops by Nancy's class and she argues with him, accusing him of gawking at the nude young female model. Nancy talks with Dr. Silverma
CAPSULE: Melissa starts a fledgling relationship with Miles. Ellyn and Jeffrey look for a new apartment. Melissa gets a job photographing five notable Philadelphians for a magazine. She's a bit apprehensive, though, when she finds out that one of her subjects is Miles Drentell. As an interviewer from the magazine questions an expansive Miles, Melissa does her job. After the session, Miles and Melissa talk and there seems to be some surprising attraction. He asks to see her portfolio--over dinner. Elsewhere, Ellyn and Richard are rushing around, late for work. To Ellyn's surprise, Jeffrey agrees to her suggestion that they find a new place to live together. Ellyn tells Michael she's not going out with Miles, but she does. At the restaurant things are awkward at first, but soon Melissa relaxes. She begins to talk about Michael and herself when they were younger, then catches herself. She tells him he's not what she expected. Later at DAA, Michael thinks that Miles let him take the rap fo
CAPSULE: An offer of a new job for Susannah leads to her and Gary taking a bold and unexpected step in their relationship. Ellyn finds out that Jeffrey is going back to his first wife. Early in the morning Richard is getting ready to leave on a business trip, but Ellyn makes him stay for coffee. He seems very distant this morning, but gives her an extra kiss and says ""I love you"" before he leaves. Susannah has received a great job offer from a foundation in New York, but she tells Gary that of course she won't take it in light of their new situation (her pregnancy). At Race St., Susannah finds that a leaky roof's collapse has ruined boxes and boxes of records. The situation there makes her long for the job in New York, and she now tells Gary she's thinking of going to see about it. Ellyn calls Indianapolis to talk to Jeffrey and finds that, unbeknownst to her, he has gone on to Los Angeles. At a gathering at the Steadmans' Gary and Susannah talks separately with Michael and Hope about
CAPSULE: Amidst a big company layoff, Michael is visited by a mystery man. It's Halloween time and Ethan is fighting with his mother. He wants to be Freddy Krueger; Nancy says no. At DAA Michael comes into Miles' office and finds him lying on the floor to relieve back pain. In the office is the original 3-D nodel of DAA. Miles tells Michael he's in the office that used to belong to co-founder Duncan Arthur, who died there of a heart attack. He also tells Michael that a 10% reduction in the work force is needed and that it's his job to fire the people. Michael tells Elliot, who refuses to give him any input once he hears that Hollis and Angel are on the list. Working late that evening, Michael hears a squeaking noise. It's the janitor pushing his bucket. Melissa is at DAA working with Elliot when Miles comes in the office. She's a bit frosty to him. Michael shows Elliot the list of layoffs. Hoillis is on it, but Angel is not. The door to Michael bathroom opens eerily, by itself. Michael
CAPSULE: Hope tries to do it all, including throwing a surprise birthday party for Michael. Her relentless perfectionism might be rubbing off on Janey. Contractors and repairmen are tearing up the Steadmans' kitchen causing Hope to fall behind with the laundry, groceries, etc. She thinks she's short-changing Michael in the domestic department, and when she gets a request from Princeton to write something about herself for the alumni directory, she feels even more inadequate. Hope imagines herself back in college, facing criticism from a professor over what she's done with her life. (This fantasy recurs throughout the episode.) She wants to throw a surprise pary for Michael; Melissa and Nancy are dubious. Janey's pre-school teacher tells Hope that Janey got very upset when she couldn't cut perfectly on the dotted lines with scissors. At DAA, Ernest, a new aide to Miles, brings him pain medication for his back. Michael and Elliot have a very important presentation to make to new Japanese
CAPSULE: Melissa gets a big photo assignment at the same time that her mother breaks her leg. Melissa is ecstatic about a job she's up for, doing a photo shoot in New York for Vanity Fair magazine. After she tells Hope, she lunches with her mother Elaine, who glosses over the news rather quickly, seeming more concerned about her daughter Jill in New York and her own role in a community theatre production. Melissa travels to New York City and stays at her sister Jill's apartment. When she mets photo editor Megan Alexander the next day, Melissa is told that the job is photographing writer Brendan Norris, who is so tempermental about publicity that ""everyone"" else has turned down the job. When she returns from the interview, Jill informs her that their mother has broken her leg. Melissa returns from Philadelphia and takes over care of her mother from Aunt Muriel. Elaine insists that her husband Murray, who is out of town, not be called back. Elaine doesn't pay much attention to the news o
CAPSULE: The ""friends of friends"" Gary and Ellyn become closer, but it's Billy Sidel that Ellyn is really interested in. Ellyn haltingly tells her therapist that she wants to terminate her treatment. Gary is at the market check-out line flirting with the attractive young clerk. Is she perhaps a little interested in him? With Susannah out of town, Gary has arranged for a sitter so that he and Ellyn can go to a movie. At the theatre Ellyn spies Billy Sidel, the friend of Hope and Michael's that she once went on a blind date with. When he speaks to her after the movie, there's a little bit of tension since Gary is around, but Ellyn and Billy are obviously glad to see each other. Later Ellyn calls Billy and begins to leave a rambling message on his machine when he picks up the phone. Hours later they are still talking and making plans to see each other. (But ""not a date?"" Ellyn wants to be assured.) Gary once again flirts with the friendy clerk, Claire. Ellyn tells Hope and Michael about t
CAPSULE: Nancy's continuing treatment for her cancer places more and more of a strain on her and her family. Nancy gets a phone call one morning about exhibiting her paintings at a show. She later goes to her Victory Partners meeting where the group leader teaches ""guided imagery,"" a visualization technique. Nancy gets a disturbing image of dark, rolling clouds, however. At DAA Michael has been nominated for an Opus award. Ethan comes home to his parents with a bruise where someone hit him. At a chemotherapy treatment, Nancy tries visualizing again, but sees herself in a coffin. Feeling bad after the chemo, Nancy hasn't been able to work on painting for the exhibit. She gets nauseous in front of both kids. Ethan tries to help her out and brings a glass of water. Later Nancy tries to teach Ethan some defensive tactics against bullies, but Elliot ends up showing him how to throw some punches. Concerned about Ethan, Nancy goes to see his soccer coach Ted Brown. While talking to him about
CAPSULE: Everyone gathers at the Steadman house for a New Year celebration. Gary and Melissa help Hope prepare for the night's New Year's Eve party. Ellyn is worried because she didn't invite Billy; Hope urges her to call him. Guest begin to arrive: Elliot with his kids (Nancy was too tired to come), Angel and Mark from DAA (plus Mark's wife Kate), Peter Montefiore with a woman friend Patsy and her daughter Melody, and Russell Weller. As the festivities start, Hope receives a phone call from her mother, informing her that an old friend from school died. Michael seeks her out, but Hope won't talk about it. Gary is frustrated that Susannah is snowbound in New York and leaves to ""get some air."" Elliot meanwhile is enjoying himself--and drinking quite a bit. Ethan and Melody, who is a couple of years older, are stuck together watching TV. Russell and Peter run into each other and the meeting is awkward, as neither has called the other after their previous involvement. Ellyn gives in and ca
As she prepare for a gallery exhibit devoted to her work, Melissa examines her past relationships with the men in her life and wonders why they have been such failures.
While Ellyn and Billy are living together temporarily, an old girlfriend of Billy's arrives upon the scene, causing some problems.
On a business trip to Baltimore, Elliot confronts issues with his mother and with his religious faith. Ethan too is wondering if religious faith can help his own mother.
Amidst the celebration over the success of Nancy's cancer surgery, a terrible and unexpected tragedy strikes another member of the group.
Susannah returns for Gary's funeral. Melissa is an emotional wreck in the aftermath. She and Susannah come to terms with each other.
Bachelor and bachelorette parties for Billy and Ellyn provide the backdrop for a look at the various couples' relationships with each other and their fideliity.
Ellyn and Billy get married. Predictably, all does not go smoothly, as Ellyn gets a bad case of pre-wedding jitters.
Michael tries to come to terms with Gary's passing. Among the living, he has problems with Susannah and with Miles and Peter at work.
Michael's fortunes seem to be rising at DAA, but Elliot is more dissatisfied than ever and is ready to quit the job, leading to conflict between the two.
Hopr volunteers at a shelter for the homeless and gets personally involved in the life of a woman and her daughter there. She accuses Michael of having lost his social conscience.
The stress of working at DAA becomes too much for Michael.
Melissa goes to Hollywood to photograph a sitcom star who comes to rely on her advice.
Michael gets a job offer in California. While out there, he runs into Elliot and they talk about forming another partnership. But Hope is adamantly against the move, so much so that her and Michael's marriage is threatened.