The Walton household is again.
The CW is commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” by airing a brand new TV movie titled “The Waltons’ Homecoming” that premieres on Nov. 28. The 1971 movie first launched “The Waltons” to audiences, resulting in a profitable sequence that’s nonetheless celebrated at this time.
Richard Thomas, who starred as the unique John-Boy Walton, will function the narrator on “Homecoming” within the place of the late Earl Hamner Jr., passing the torch to Logan Shroyer.
“The Waltons’ Homecoming,” which is described as a “healthful and heart-warming vacation film that highlights the significance of household and kindness,” additionally stars Bellamy Younger, Ben Lawson and Marcelle LeBlanc.
Thomas instructed Fox Information that he’s thrilled the beloved sequence is getting the reboot therapy in time for the vacations.
“My opinion is that ‘The Waltons’ is a 50-year-old basic,” mentioned the 70-year-old. “Classics are ultimately tailored, up to date, remade and reexamined. I am simply glad that our present is in that class, and I hope the brand new model finds its viewers as ours did in 1971. Good luck to them.”
The unique CBS household drama, which targeted on the lives of a Virginia mountain household throughout the ‘30s and ‘40s, aired from 1972 to 1981. It’s believed that the community greenlit the sequence in response to hearings in Congress in regards to the lack of family-friendly programming.
Whereas the present initially didn’t sway audiences, it rapidly turned the second-highest-rated sequence in all of primetime by Season 2, Forbes reported. Throughout its 9 seasons, it earned 13 Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes and a Peabody Award – simply to call just a few. Six made-for-television motion pictures have been launched after the sequence ended.
Most of the authentic solid members instructed Fox Information they absolutely supported the reboot. They’re hoping it would introduce the household to a brand new technology of viewers. Ralph Waite, who served as beloved patriarch John Walton Sr., handed away in 2014 at age 85.
“I assist something that places our fellow actors to work,” mentioned Michael Realized, who starred as matriarch Olivia Walton. “’The Waltons’ is all about household, which is timeless. I used to be invited to a preview. Nonetheless, a household emergency stored me from attending. I really like each member of the unique solid as in the event that they have been my very own. Finest needs to the brand new solid.”
Mary McDonough, who performed her daughter Erin Walton, agreed.
“I’ve’t seen it but, however I’m trying ahead to watching,” mentioned the actress/creator. ‘I hear beautiful issues in regards to the new ’Homecoming.’ Trying ahead to seeing the brand new ‘Erin.’ Many Walton followers have requested me for years why there is not a present like ‘The Waltons’ to share with their youngsters. Now there may be. I feel it is time for a recent household present.”
Judy Norton, who performed Mary Ellen Walton, mentioned curious viewers shouldn’t anticipate a duplicate of the unique present. Nonetheless, she burdened that the brand new TV movie honors Hamner’s dedication to household. She additionally famous that the community, together with the brand new solid, has revered the present’s legacy throughout filming.
“Consider it like getting a brand new step-parent,” the actress defined. “They don’t seem to be meant to exchange your dad or mum, however to be one other a part of your life. Though we admire all of the love and assist our viewers have given to ‘The Waltons’ these previous 50 years and hopefully many extra years to return – you might be welcome to embrace this new rendition – not as a replica – however as one thing new.”
The 63-year-old shared that now could be the right time to revisit a narrative like “The Waltons.”
“The story of affection, household and the assist of each other is timeless,” she mentioned. “The present is in regards to the human spirit. The innate kindness and compassion of man when demonstrated at its perfect. One thing we are able to all obtain – collectively. This present gave me a lot, however what I treasure most is the ‘household’ it has given me.”
Kami Cotler, who performed younger Elizabeth Walton, attended a screening for “Homecoming.” She acknowledged what number of followers have expressed hesitation about watching the movie in out of concern that CW is trying to exchange “the unique household.”
“I do not suppose anybody is changing something,” she defined. “I feel the reboot is honoring the timelessness and great thing about Earl Hamner’s story. Furthermore, if folks wish to see extra applications like ‘The Waltons’ on TV at this time, then I like to recommend they provide The CW’s ‘Homecoming’ an opportunity. It is the best way to let Hollywood know there’s a marketplace for household programming.”
“… I am encouraging folks on my Fb web page to be aware of how they submit in regards to the remake,” the now-educator continued. “The producer grew up with ‘The Waltons’ and wished to convey a heat, vacation film to the display. Let’s belief they did the very best they might with the assets accessible. These are good of us, and there may be at all times an opportunity the filmmakers or actors – together with the kids – will learn your feedback, so please bear in mind to be sort along with your phrases!”
Jon Walmsley, who performed Jason Walton, mentioned he isn’t stunned that “The Waltons” can be remade. The completed instrumentalist shared he enjoys watching reboots of his favourite basic movies.
“I’ve seen all 4 variations of ‘A Star is Born’ – every is completely different and so they’re all nice,” he boasted. “The truth that Earl Hamner’s characters and tales maintain up 50 years after they have been written is a testomony to the standard and timelessness of his writing.”
The 65-year-old mentioned he would even be open to taking up a task if the brand new TV movie led to a sequel or sequence. Forbes teased that if sufficient viewers tune in, a often scheduled sequence could possibly be doable, together with visitor appearances from among the authentic actors.
“It might rely upon the position,” he mentioned. “However I would like to play a baddie, a personality that was the other of Jason, my authentic ‘Waltons’ position.”
The unique solid has remained shut over time.
In 2017, 15 former solid members headed to Virginia for a reunion on the Waltons Mountain Museum. The occasions additionally coincided with the one-year anniversary of Hamner Jr., the present’s creator. The Schuyler native handed away in 2016 at age 92.
“Amazingly, we’re all nonetheless shut, which is a uncommon prevalence in tv,” mentioned Walmsley. “Often, a present ends and everybody goes their separate methods. We see one another periodically at fan occasions or weddings or funerals, and these days, on Zoom – identical to actual households. It is at all times nice to get collectively for a drink, a hug… and discuss what our youngsters are doing.”
At the moment, he’s desirous to see how audiences will react to “Homecoming.”
“I feel CW hopes to supply a program that households can watch collectively,” he mentioned. “In 1971, most households had one tv set. Now everybody within the household has their very own tv, to not point out computer systems and cell phones. ‘The Waltons’ present not solely a chance for household viewing however hopefully a window right into a time when multi-generational households spent an ideal deal extra time collectively.”
‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’ airs on Sunday, November 28 at 8 p.m. ET on CW. The Related Press contributed to this report.