Friday, November 23, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 5-6: The Waltons

*We hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving free of family drama, pageant-related jealousies, and getting conked on the head.

*The Thanksgiving Story premiered November 15, 1973, at 8:00 P.M. on CBS. On Thanksgiving of that year, a week later, CBS aired a rerun of the show, followed by the 1966 movie Duel at Diablo. ABC aired college football (Alabama at LSU) followed by a Charlie Chaplin documentary, and NBC went with the 1964 My Fair Lady.

*The Waltons aired 9 seasons, 1972-1981 and was a solid ratings earner in its early years, peaking at #8 one season.

*The Flip Wilson Show aired on NBC 1970-1974 and was a huge hit, but it crashed pretty quickly, not entirely due to The Waltons. It was an hourlong variety show that is mostly seen today in cut-down 30-minute versions.

*Toma aired 1 season (1973) on ABC. The series was based on a real-life New Jersey cop. The behind-the-scenes story of this show sounds better than the show itself (which, despite what Wikipedia says, I remember being aired in reruns on WOR briefly). Maybe someday we'll do a Toma episode!

*Earl Hamner Jr. also wrote multiple Twilight Zones and Gentle Bens in addition to creating Falcon Crest.

*Find out more about the Waltons Museum here.

*Hamner's Apple's Way lasted just two seasons (1974-1975) and 28 episodes on CBS at 7:30 on Sundays.

*As we mention on the podcast, we recommend All About the Waltons for much, much more info on the series, the performers, and everything else related to The Waltons.

*Thanksgiving has been celebrated for centuries (exact origins are uncertain), but two significant developments occurred in The Waltons era: FDR and Congress set the holiday in the USA as the next-to-last Thursday of November in 1939 and the fourth Thursday in November in 1941.

*Jenny Pendleton (Sian Barbara Allan) only appeared in two episodes, none after this one. She and Richard Thomas were an off-screen couple for a while.

*Jon Walmsley (Jason) has had a distinguished career as a musician.

*Richard Thomas and John Ritter do indeed both appear in the 1990 It adaptation. Thomas' Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), yet another movie partly inspired by Seven Samurai, was Roger Corman's then-biggest-budget feature ever. The apparent attempt to cash in on the Star Wars craze featured a screenplay by John Sayles and special effects spearheaded by James Cameron.

*Speaking of Thomas, he left the series after the seventh season and was replaced by Robert Wightman but came back for the reunion movies. If you want to see how the series handles the transition of John Boys, see Season 8, episode 9, The Waiting.

*The series is complete on DVD and streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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