Michelle “Shelley” Marie McCallum (I picture Jane Krakowski) was born on March 31, 1980, into a Catholic family. She married her husband on May 26, 1999, after meeting him at work less than one year earlier, while completing a 1-year medical billing certificate program. Shelley’s family is from Columbia, Maryland, the second largest city in Maryland, about a half hour from Baltimore. Shelley is strong-willed, and sometimes stubborn.
Shelley’s parents were tragically killed in a car accident, while driving across the country in August of 1999, when Shelley was pregnant with the couple’s first child. Shelley received a lot of money from her parents, as her father was a very successful anesthesiologist.
Michael Anthony McCallum (I picture Matthew Lillard with glasses) born on September 7, 1971, making him 9 years old than his wife, Shelley. He graduated from high school a year early at 16 and went to Stony Brook University, where he graduated in 3 years with a heavy course load and summer classes, then went to medical school. When he meets Shelley in 1998, he is finishing up his last year of his emergency medicine residency at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Throughout his engagement with Shelley, he converted to Catholicism, though he was not religious previously. Michael works the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Michael’s father, Dennis Anthony McCallum, died in 1977, after being hit by a car after drinking. Michael’s father became an alcoholic in the year after Michael was born, so his parents did not have any other children, although they did not divorce. Michael’s mother, Mary Carol McCallum (Dianne Wiest), works as a realtor and lives in Brentwood, New York on Long Island in Suffolk County. She prides herself on being independent.
Allison “Allie” Taylor McCallum (Noelle Sheldon) is the oldest child of Shelley & Michael. She was born on February 28, 2000. She is friendly, kind, and accepting. She loves to cook.
Ava Lynn McCallum (Aubree Young?) is the younger child of Shelley & Michael. She was born on January 2, 2005.
Emma Espinoza is a friend of Allie’s, who she meets on the bus. She is Allie’s age, born February 1, 2000, and is Hispanic. She is shy, but more because she is embarrassed; she opens up very quickly. She has strong morals
Emma’s mom, Jamie Espinoza (Francia Raisa) was born on May 16, 1978. She works 11 AM to 7 PM at Hooter’s. Emma is embarrassed by what her mother does.
Jana Catherine Jarvis has been Allie’s best friend since the start of middle school. She was born on October 3, 1999 and lives in the city in which their school is located. She is very shy, and is overweight.
Jana’s mom, Dawn Catherine Curtis (Julie Berman) is a certified nursing assistant who work long hours. She got pregnant with Jana at 16, dropped out of high school, completed her GED, and became a CNA. She never married Jana’s father.
Jana’s dad, Scott Matthew Jarvis (Jesse Lee Soffer) is an accountant. When Jana’s mom got pregnant when he was 18, he stayed in school and got a part-time job, then went on to college.
The name of the McCallum family’s hometown is never revealed. It is a small town on the Chesapeake Bay, that only has an elementary school, so children are bused to a neighboring city for middle and high school. It is near Baltimore since that is where Michael works.
The setting of the show is often the McCallum family home. It is a large old renovated farmhouse. The majority of it was renovated when they moved in, but it still maintains its old character with old farmhouse sinks in the kitchen and laundry rooms, original, refinished hardwood and white doors throughout (including a revolving from kitchen to dining room, and pocket doors in the entry and into 1st floor bath), and archways. The kitchen (and laundry room) has beautiful, white modern cabinets with an island and stainless steel appliances. The living room possesses built-ins. Nothing structural was fixed before the family bought the house, so they got a good price, but that may cause issues in the future.