Family Matters is an American sitcom which originated on ABC from September 22, 1989, to May 9, 1997, and then aired on CBS from September 19, 1997, to July 17, 1998. A spin-off of Perfect Strangers, the series revolves around the Winslow family, a middle-class African American family living in Chicago, Illinois. Midway through the first season, the show introduced the Winslows' nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel (played by Jaleel White), who quickly became its breakout character and eventually the show's main character.Having run for nine seasons, Family Matters is the second longest-running U.S. sitcom with a predominantly African American cast; it follows The Jeffersons, which aired for 11 seasons. In terms of the number of episodes, Family Matters (with 215 episodes total) is ranked third after The Jeffersons (253 episodes) and Tyler Perry's House of Payne (254 episodes).HistoryThe series originally focused on the character of police officer Carl Winslow and his family: wife Harriette Winslow, son Eddie Winslow, elder daughter Laura Winslow, and youngest child Judy Winslow . In the pilot episode, "The Mama Who Came to Dinner", the family had also opened their home to Carl's street-wise mother, Estelle Winslow . Prior to the start of the series, Harriette's sister, Rachel Crawford, and her infant son, Richie Crawford, had moved into the Winslow household after the death of Rachel's husband.