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Series / Eight is Enough

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"There's a magic in the early morning we've found
When the sunrise smiles on everything around
It's a portrait of the happiness that we feel and always will
Oh, eight is enough to fill our lives with love!"
- Theme song

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.


  • Based on a True Story: As stated above, it was based on the family of newspaper columnist Thomas Braden.
  • Bookends: The later opening credits start out with Nicholas involved in some mischief, unaware that Tom is right behind him and caught him in the act. Those credits end with Tom giving Nicholas a big hug.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: For the first two seasons, the theme for Eight Is Enough was a jaunty instrumental. During the season two finale, eldest son David (Grant Goodeve) performed a song called "Eight Is Enough". A version of this tune, still with Goodeve on lyrics, became the official theme starting with season three and remained so for the rest of the show's run. (Both versions can be hound here.)
  • Laugh Track
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Well the title does refer to the fact there are eight children in the Bradford fanily.
  • May–December Romance: Arguably Tom and Abby, but in the series reunion special aired in 1987 Tom mentioned he just turned 50, so he would've been just over 40 when he started dating 30 year old Abby. However there was almost a 20 year age difference between the actors in real life.
  • Musical Episode: "The Best Little Telethon in Sacramento". Joanie is in charge of rounding up talent for the TV station's telethon. Turning to her family. Elizabeth and Nicholas, the two Bradfords most eager to perform, are constantly given the brush-off by Joanie. Guess which pair of siblings end up stealing the show.
  • Practically Different Generations: Nicholas is over a decade younger than his siblings.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: When the second season premiered, it was revealed that Joan had passed away.
  • Second Love: After Joan passed away, Tom fell in love with a teacher named Sandra Sue "Abby" Abbot. They eventually married.
  • Wedding Episode: 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.