Series: Eight Is Enough

Eight is Enough is an American comedy-drama series running from March 15, 1977 until August 29, 1981 on ABC, centered around the Bradford family with eight children living in Sacramento, California.

The show was modeled after syndicated newspaper columnist Thomas Braden, a real-life parent with eight children who wrote a book with the same name.


  • Actor Existence Failure: The actress who played Joan Bradford, Diana Hyland, died of cancer after only appearing in four episodes. So Tom became a widower in season 2.
  • Based on a True Story: As stated above, it was based on the family of newspaper columnist Thomas Braden.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Well the title does refer to the fact there are eight children.
  • The Other Marty: David, the oldest son, was played by Grant Goodeve for most of the series. In the pilot, he was played by none other than Mark Hamill!
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: When the second season premiered, it was revealed that Joan had passed away.
  • Playing Gertrude: Abby Bradford, who at age 30 is only a few years older than Tom's oldest children. (In the fall of 1977, David Bradford had just turned 23, while his sisters Mary was 22 and Joanie was 21.) In real life, Laurie Walters, the actress who played Joanie, was six months older than Betty Buckley, the actress hired to play her stepmother, Abby.
  • Second Love: After Joan passed away, Tom fell in love with a teacher named Sandra Sue "Abby" Abbot. They eventually married.
  • Wedding Day: Two of the series' most memorable episodes revolve around weddings, both aired during sweeps periods (and predictably, both did very well in the Nielsens). The first aired in November 1977, when Tom and Abby are married; the second came in October 1979, when two of Tom's children David and Susan are married in a double ceremony.
    • David who would be divorced sometime in the 1980s was remarried in a 1989 reunion movie, An Eight Is Enough Wedding.