Lifestories: Families in Crisis

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Lifestories: Families in Crisis
GenreAfter school special
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes15
Executive producersEve Silverman,
Francine Lefrak
Running time30 minutes
Original release
ReleaseAugust 1, 1992 (1992-08-01) –
February 8, 1996 (1996-02-08)

Lifestories: Families in Crisis is an American after school special drama television series that premiered on HBO on August 1, 1992.

The show

Lifestories: Families in Crisis deals with major issues involving individuals, mostly teenagers and young adults. The stories usually ended with the real person on which the story is based providing helpful information for others in a similar situation. Issues include a child molesting priest (played by Craig Wasson) terrorizing families, a college student with bulimia (played by Calista Flockhart) trying to deal with her problems, a football player addicted to steroids (played by Ben Affleck), substance abuse by a teenager, homosexuality and bi-sexuality involving teenagers, a teenage girl (Dina Spybey, in a Daytime Emmy Award-winning performance[1] as Becky Bell) who has an illegal abortion and dies, a young man (played by Sam Rockwell) who is ultimately convicted of vehicular homicide after crashing into a young woman's (played by Jorja Fox) car while drunk, a boy (Adam LaVorgna as Joey DiPaolo) who contracts HIV and has to live with the disease, homelessness in Philadelphia and the major impact it has on a teenager (Ward Saxton as Trevor Ferrell) and the depression and suicide of one popular athletic teenager and its lasting effect on his best friend.


No.TitleDirected byIssueCastOriginal air date
1[2]"The Secret Life of Mary Margaret: Portrait of a Bulimic"Allen CoulterEating DisordersCalista Flockhart, Christine Jones, John Cunningham, Judy Kuhn, Tovah Feldshuh, Amy HargreavesAugust 1, 1992 (1992-08-01)
A popular teen struggles with bulimia.
2"Deadly Secret: The Robert Bierer Story"Risa Bramon GarciaSuicideWil Wheaton, Curnal Achilles Aulisio, Sarah Trigger, Audra LindleyAugust 8, 1992 (1992-08-08)
A teenager reminisces about a friend who committed suicide.
3"Public Law 106: The Becky Bell Story"Juan José CampanellaAbortion, Parental Consent LawsDina Spybey, Debra Monk, Craig WassonAugust 15, 1992 (1992-08-15)
A pregnant teen obtains an illegal abortion to circumvent Indiana's Parental Consent Law.
4"Gunplay: The Last Day in the Life of Brian Darling"Daniel TaplitzGun safety; Gun controlBenari Poulten, Chris McKenna, Darren Higgins, Adam LeFevreSeptember 19, 1992 (1992-09-19)
A 10-year-old boy is accidentally killed when he and a friend play with a gun.
5"Blood Brothers: The Joey DiPaolo Story"Dean PitchfordAIDSAdam LaVorgna, Amy Aquino, Lawrence TaylorSeptember 26, 1992 (1992-09-26)[3]
A 13-year-old boy's HIV status is revealed to the public.
6"No Visible Bruises: The Katie Koestner Story"Juan José CampanellaDate rapeAli Thomas, Christopher C. Fuller, Suzanne Bertish, Julie Bowen, Lisa Nicole CarsonJanuary 12, 1993 (1993-01-12)[4]
A young woman (Katie Koestner) is the victim of date rape.
7"Dead Drunk: The Kevin Tunell Story"Juan José CampanellaDrunk drivingSam Rockwell, Jane Adams, Jorja FoxMarch 15, 1993 (1993-03-15)
A teen kills an 18-year-old girl while driving drunk. As part of his punishment, her parents request that he send them a one dollar check every week for the next eighteen years.
8"More Than Friends: The Coming Out of Heidi Leiter"Juan José CampanellaComing out, Sexual orientationSabrina Lloyd, Claire Danes, Angela BakerJanuary 24, 1994 (1994-01-24)
A teenage lesbian couple want to attend prom, but must deal with their community's reactions.
9"A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story"David Burton MorrisSteroid abuseBen Affleck, Kamala Lopez, Ernie Hudson, Bryan Genesse,March 23, 1994 (1994-03-23)
A teen football player turns to steroids to improve performance, and then must deal with the consequences.[5]
10"Brotherly Love: The Trevor Ferrell Story"Gordon EdelsteinHomelessnessWard Saxton, Lázaro Pérez, Brenda PressleyMarch 31, 1994 (1994-03-31)
An 11-year-old boy becomes an activist for the homeless in his community.
11"A Child Betrayed: The Calvin Mire Story"Juan José CampanellaChild molestation, Sexual abuse in the Catholic ChurchBlake Bashoff, Craig Wasson, Brian ReiserApril 11, 1994 (1994-04-11)
An altarboy is molested by a priest.
12"Confronting Brandon: The Intervention of an Addict"Iris DugowSubstance abuseAndrew Kavovit, Lisa Zane, Trevor Lissauer, Bodhi ElfmanMay 20, 1994 (1994-05-20)
A group of teens stage an intervention for a friend who is abusing alcohol and drugs.
13"POWER: The Eddie Matos Story"Jesús Salvador TreviñoGang violenceAlexis Cruz, Nestor Serrano, Socorro Santiago, Isaiah Washington, N'Bushe WrightJuly 12, 1994 (1994-07-12)
A teen drops out of school, joins a gang, and begins dealing drugs. Eventually, a gunshot wound confines him to a wheelchair.
14"A Dangerous Affair[3]"UnknownSafe sex, Sex education,Kim FreyJanuary 1, 1995 (1995-01-01)
Kim Frey narrates her own story, detailing how a brief romantic relationship in college resulted in a diagnosis of HIV.[6]
15"Someone Had to Be Benny"Juan José CampanellaRefusal of medical assistanceMichael Shulman, Donna Murphy, Suzanne CryerFebruary 8, 1996 (1996-02-08)
A terminally ill teenage boy sues for the right to stop his medical treatment.[7]


  1. ^ "Lucci Loses Emmy for 14th Time : Television: She's beat out of best actress honors by 'Another World's' Linda Dano. CBS' 'Young and Restless' wins the best drama series award". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 28 May 1993. Archived from the original on 22 February 2021. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  2. ^ Fergus, George. "Lifestories: Families in Crisis a Titles & Air Dates Guide". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b Fergus, George. "Lifestories: Families in Crisis a Titles & Air Dates Guide by George Fergus". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  4. ^ Smith, Matt (13 January 1993). "Students Question Date-Rape Program". Daily Press. Retrieved 4 November 2018 – via and "Program". Daily Press. 13 January 1993. p. B2. Retrieved 4 November 2018 – via
  5. ^ Scott, Tony. "Review: 'Lifestories — Families in Crisis a Body to Die for: The Aaron Henry Story'". Variety. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  6. ^ "TV Guide". Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  7. ^ "SOMEONE HAD TO BE BENNY(1996)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 17 January 2016.

External links