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 the moment.
Richard Thomas, who starred because the original 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 “wholesome and heart-warming holiday movie that highlights the importance of family and kindness,” additionally stars Bellamy Young, Ben Lawson and Marcelle LeBlanc.
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Thomas advised Fox News that he’s thrilled the beloved sequence is getting the reboot remedy in time for the vacations.
“My opinion is that ‘The Waltons’ is a 50-year-old classic,” mentioned the 70-year-old. “Classics are eventually adapted, updated, remade and reexamined. I’m just happy that our show is in that category, and I hope the new version finds its audience as ours did in 1971. Good luck to them.”
The original CBS household drama, which centered on the lives of a Virginia mountain household in the course of the ‘30s and ‘40s, aired from 1972 to 1981. It is believed that the network greenlit the series in response to hearings in Congress about the lack of family-friendly programming.
While the show initially didn’t sway audiences, it shortly grew to become the second-highest-rated sequence in all of primetime by Season 2, Forbes reported. During its 9 seasons, it earned 13 Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes and a Peabody Award – simply to call a number of. Six made-for-television films have been launched after the sequence ended.
Many of the original cast members advised Fox News they totally supported the reboot. They’re hoping it will 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 support anything that puts our fellow actors to work,” mentioned Michael Learned, who starred as matriarch Olivia Walton. “’The Waltons’ is all about family, which is timeless. I was invited to a preview. However, a family emergency kept me from attending. I love every member of the original cast as if they were my own. Best wishes to the new cast.”
Mary McDonough, who performed her daughter Erin Walton, agreed.
“I have’t seen it yet, but I am looking forward to watching,” mentioned the actress/creator. ‘I hear lovely things about the new ’Homecoming.’ Looking ahead to seeing the brand new ‘Erin.’ Many Walton fans have requested me for years why there is not a present like ‘The Waltons’ to share with their children. Now there’s. I feel it’s time for a contemporary household present.”
Judy Norton, who performed Mary Ellen Walton, mentioned curious viewers shouldn’t count on a duplicate of the original present. However, she careworn that the brand new TV movie honors Hamner’s dedication to household. She additionally famous that the community, together with the brand new cast, has revered the present’s legacy throughout filming.
“Think of it like getting a new step-parent,” the actress defined. “They are not meant to replace your parent, but to be another part of your life. Although we appreciate all the love and support our viewers have given to ‘The Waltons’ these past 50 years and hopefully many more years to come – you are welcome to embrace this new rendition – not as a copy – but as something new.”
The 63-year-old shared that now could be the right time to revisit a narrative like “The Waltons.”
“The story of love, family and the support of one another is timeless,” she mentioned. “The show is about the human spirit. The innate kindness and compassion of man when demonstrated at its very best. Something we can all achieve – together. This show gave me so much, but what I treasure most is the ‘family’ it has given me.”
Kami Cotler, who performed younger Elizabeth Walton, attended a screening for “Homecoming.” She acknowledged what number of fans have expressed hesitation about watching the movie in out of concern that CW is making an attempt to switch “the original family.”
“I don’t think anyone is replacing anything,” she defined. “I think the reboot is honoring the timelessness and beauty of Earl Hamner’s story. Moreover, if people want to see more programs like ‘The Waltons’ on TV today, then I recommend they give The CW’s ‘Homecoming’ a chance. It’s the way to let Hollywood know there is a market for family programming.”
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“… I’m encouraging people on my Facebook page to be mindful of how they post about the remake,” the now-educator continued. “The producer grew up with ‘The Waltons’ and wanted to bring a warm, holiday movie to the screen. Let’s trust they did the best they could with the resources available. These are nice folks, and there is always a chance the filmmakers or actors – including the children – will read your comments, so please remember to be kind with your words!”
Jon Walmsley, who performed Jason Walton, mentioned he isn’t shocked that “The Waltons” could be remade. The achieved instrumentalist shared he enjoys watching reboots of his favourite traditional movies.
“I’ve seen all four versions of ‘A Star is Born’ – each is different and they’re all great,” he boasted. “The fact that Earl Hamner’s characters and stories hold up 50 years after they were written is a testament to the quality 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 repeatedly scheduled sequence could possibly be potential, together with visitor appearances from among the original actors.
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“It would depend on the role,” he mentioned. “But I’d love to play a baddie, a character that was the opposite of Jason, my original ‘Waltons’ role.”
The original cast has remained shut through the years.
In 2017, 15 former cast 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 still close, which is a rare occurrence in television,” mentioned Walmsley. “Usually, a show ends and everyone goes their separate ways. We see each other periodically at fan events or weddings or funerals, and lately, on Zoom – just like real families. It’s always great to get together for a drink, a hug… and talk about what our kids are doing.”
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Today, he’s wanting to see how audiences will react to “Homecoming.”
“I think CW hopes to offer a program that families can watch together,” he mentioned. “In 1971, most families had one television set. Now everyone in the family has their own television, not to mention computers and mobile phones. ‘The Waltons’ provide not only an opportunity for family viewing but hopefully a window into a time when multi-generational families spent a great deal more time together.”
‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’ airs on Sunday, November 28 at 8 p.m. ET on CW. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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