Remembering a nostalgic favorite: ‘The Waltons’

The Waltons

The Waltons were America’s favorite family for an entire decade; the characters, set in rural Virginia during the Great Depression and World War II, won over the hearts of everyone who watched the show on CBS.

The Waltons

The Waltons were first introduced in a television movie called The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, which aired on December 19, 1971. The film was such a hit that CBS decided to produce one season to see if it was a fluke or if The Waltons would be a success.

The pilot aired on September 14, 1972, and that one season turned into nine! The Waltons experienced such extreme success due to its relatability, strong and likable characters, and good family values.

The Walton family consisted of grandparents Zebulon “Zeb” and Esther Walton, their son John and his wife, Olivia Walton, and their seven children. The eldest son was called John-Boy, and as the protagonist and narrator of the series, he was almost everyone’s favorite.

The Waltons

John-Boy’s character was based on the life of the show’s creator, Earl Hammer, and he narrated the show as John-Boy as a grown man looking back on his life.

Times were hard for the Waltons, and throughout the thirteen-year time span of the characters’ lives, we see them go through what life must have been like in rural Virginia during the 30s and 40s.

The audience watched as the younger kids, who were barefoot and joyful in the first few seasons, became teens and adults, dealing with the trials of an impoverished life.

All four Walton boys enlisted in the military, and for many Americans, their service and the show, as a whole, was an accurate depiction of what their country was all about: loyalty, family, and hard work.

The Waltons

Although CBS was not sure that the show would be successful since the American audience was starting to shy away from rural family programs, everyone loved The Waltons, and the show had nine successful seasons before being canceled.

In 1982, NBC aired three movie sequels, and then another three were aired in the 90s by CBS. While the movies were not quite as popular as the show, most people who watched The Waltons were excited to see what had happened to some of their beloved characters.

The Waltons won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 1973, and five of its actors won an Emmy Award for their impressive performances.

In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Waltons No. 34 on its list of the 60 Best Series of All Time, and the show remains in syndication today.

As one of the most popular families on television, the Waltons will not soon be forgotten.

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Remembering a nostalgic favorite: \'The Waltons\'