Who knew that a family drama that took place during the depression would be such a hit? 'The Waltons' premiered in 1971, lasted nine seasons, spawned six TV movies, and won several Emmy's. The show was all about John and Olivia Walton and their eight children.
Fun facts about 'The Waltons' (Source; Wikipedia)
The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer's Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show is centered on a family in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II.
The series pilot aired as a television movie entitled The Homecoming: A Christmas Story and was broadcast on December 19, 1971. Beginning in September 1972, the series originally aired on CBS for a total of nine seasons. After the series was canceled by CBS in 1981, NBC aired three television movie sequels in 1982, with three more in the 1990s; on CBS. The Waltons was produced by Lorimar Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution in syndication.
The main story takes place in Walton's Mountain, a fictional town at the foot of a mountain in fictitious Jefferson County, Virginia.
The actual place upon which the stories are based is in Nelson County, Virginia and is the community of Schuyler.
The time period is from 1933 to 1946, during the Great Depression and World War II, during the presidential administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S Truman. The year 1933 is suggested by a reference to the opening of the Century of Progress exposition in Chicago, a brief shot of an automobile registration, and it is divulged in episode 18 that the date is in the spring of 1933. The last episode of season one, "An Easter Story", is set in February-April 1934. The year 1934 takes two seasons to cover, while some successive years are covered over the course of a few months.
The series finale, "The Revel", revolves around a party and the invitation date is given as June 4, 1946. A span of 13 years is therefore covered in nine seasons. There are some chronological errors, which ostensibly do not hinder the storyline.
A Thanksgiving reunion show, A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion, filmed in 1993, takes place in 1963, and revolves around President John F. Kennedy's assassination; A Walton Wedding, made in 1995, is set in 1964; and, the latest reunion show, A Walton Easter, filmed in 1997, is set in 1969. Ralph Waite portrays his usual character, John Walton, in this show, despite the viewer learning in The Homecoming: A Christmas Story that John dies in 1969.
The series began relating stories that occurred 38 years in the past, and ended with its last reunion show set 28 years in the past.
After completing high school, John-Boy attends fictional Boatwright University in the fictional nearby town of Westham. He later goes to New York City to work as a journalist.
During the latter half of the 1976-77 season, Grandma Esther Walton suffers a stroke and returns home shortly before the death of her husband, Grandpa Zeb Walton (reflecting Ellen Corby's real-life stroke and the death of Will Geer, the actors who portrayed the characters).
During the series' last few years, Mary Ellen and Ben start their own families; Erin, Jason and John Boy are married in later television movie sequels.
World War II deeply affects the family. All four Walton boys enlist in the military. Mary Ellen's physician husband, Curtis "Curt" Willard, is sent to Pearl Harbor and is reported to have perished in theJapanese attack on December 7, 1941. Years later, Mary Ellen hears of sightings of her "late" husband, investigates and finds him alive (played by another actor), but brooding over his war wounds and living under an assumed name. She divorces him and later remarries.
John-Boy's military plane is shot down, while Olivia becomes a volunteer at the VA hospital and is seen less and less; she eventually develops tuberculosis and enters an Arizona sanitarium. Olivia's cousin, Rose Burton, moves into the Walton house to look after the brood. Two years later, John Sr. moves to Arizona to be near Olivia. Grandma appears in only a handful of episodes during the eighth season (she was usually said to be visiting relatives in nearby Buckingham County).
Six feature-length movies were made after the series' run; set from 1947 through 1969, they aired between 1982 and 1997.
You can catch the cast of 'The Waltons' and other celebrities at 'The Hollywood Show' it's happening all weekend long at the Westin LAX.