Popular Family Drama that aired on CBS from 1972 to 1981. The Waltons is about the life and trials of the Walton family in the 1930s and 1940s.The Waltons are a large country family in rural Virginia who run a saw mill on Walton Mountain in the grinding struggle to make ends meet in the The Great Depression. As the initial lead character and narrator in his adulthood, Eldest son John-Boy Walton, noted, they didn't have much money, but they had a lot of love and fortitude to keep the whole brood going through thick and thin.The remarkable thing is that this series began on CBS around the same time as its notorious "rural purge" in which shows like The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres were cancelled en masse as not appealing to the desirable audience demographics from 1968 through 1973. It was expected to die a quick death like the few remaining survivors of the "rural purge" would eventually do. Instead of dying a quick death against The Mod Squad and The Flip Wilson Show as expected, the show soon killed them and went on for a successful nine-year run. Some have called it the lone survivor of the "rural purge" although the show began during it, not right before it. The show and its cast also picked up several Emmy Awards and a Peabody.Series creator Earl Hamner, Jr. based the show on his own childhood experiences, which he had previously mined for the 1961 novel Spencer's Mountain (itself adapted as a 1963 film starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara). Prior to the actual series, CBS aired a Pilot Movie in 1971 called The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, which featured Patricia Neal as Olivia Walton and Edgar Bergen as Grandpa; these roles would be re-cast for the series.
The Waltons includes examples of the following tropes: