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Trivia / The Waltons

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  • Acting for Two: Ronnie Claire Edwards played both Corabeth and her lookalike sister Orma Lee.
  • The Cast Showoff: The producers gave Jon Walmsley (who played Jason) plenty of opportunities to show off his singing talents on the show.
  • The Character Died with Him: After Will Geer died following the sixth season, the show opened season 7 with an episode depicting the aftermath of Grandpa's (offscreen) death. The same episode also deals with the death of Flossie Brimmer, whose actress (Nora Marlowe) had likewise died during the show's hiatus.
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  • Channel Hop: More of a Company Hop, since the original TV movie was made in-house by CBS while the series itself came from Lorimar.
  • "Common Knowledge": Rumors have persisted that the show was supposed to last only one season. These allegations suggest that CBS greenlit the show to placate Republican senators who complained about The Rural Purge, and the show was placed opposite the hugely successful The Flip Wilson Show as an excuse to cancel it and then tell Congress that the American public doesn't want to watch rural shows anymore. In truth, CBS greenlit the show off the success of the made-for-TV movie The Homecoming, which had most of the cast of The Waltons (only John, Olivia, and Grandpa were recast). The network's lack of faith has been debunked by an advertisement CBS put out during the first season as the show was on the verge of cancellation, with glowing reviews and the tagline: "This show is so beautiful, it has to die." That ad reportedly saved the show.
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  • Creator Backlash: Jerry Goldsmith's much-loved theme music wasn't much liked by the man himself. He preferred the theme he did for the Pilot Movie as it was more authentic for the period setting; but the series producers wanted a new theme, thinking the theme for The Homecoming was too gentle.
  • Defictionalization: A variant. The real-life Walton's Mountain (actually Schuyler, Virginia) is home to both Earl Hamner Jr.'s original childhood home and the Walton's Mountain Museum, which contains sets and artifacts from The Waltons. In October 2019, a life-size model of the house from the show opened as a five-bedroom bed-and-breakfast on property adjacent to the museum. Many of the surviving cast members were on hand for the grand opening.
    • Ike Godsey's store is also part of the re-creation of the show, and houses the gift shop. This includes a large selection of books either about the area or written by local authors; among the selection is Lessons From the Mountain by Mary Elizabeth McDonough (Erin Walton), a book about her experiences making the show.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Richard Thomas and Ralph Waite both directed episodes.
  • Fake American: Jason Walton was played by British actor Jon Walmsley.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Why Jerry Goldsmith returned (he also scored The Homecoming) to write the series theme and score some early episodes.
  • The Other Darrin:
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    • Every adult character (with the exception of Ellen Corby's Grandma Walton) was played by a different actor in The Homecoming film.
    • John-Boy, after being virtually absent for two seasons following the departure of Richard Thomas from the cast, reappeared in Season 8 with Robert Wightman in the role. Thomas would return to the role in some of the reunion films.
  • Real-Life Relative: Will Geer's daughter Ellen Geer played Eva Mann in "The Ceremony" and Ronie Cotter in "The Pledge".
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: When Ellen Corby had a massive stroke that impaired her speech and mobility, she left the show for a while but then came back, with her character depicted as also having had a stroke.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • Inverted. When the writers wanted to give John-Boy a romance with the character of Jenny Pendleton, Richard Thomas suggested that they audition his real-life girlfriend, Sian Barbara Allen. She won the role, leading to their interactions in "The Love Story" being so moving and believable that it netted Thomas an Emmy.
    • Played straight but then subverted with Michael Learned and Ralph Waite, whose chemistry as the Walton parents was so strong that the actors considered dating for real... and didn't.
      Michael Learned: We were both single. So I drove out to Malibu, but we just looked at each other and said, ‘Nah, I don’t think so.’ So all of our lovemaking was on-screen!
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Richard Thomas (John-Boy) is utterly believable as the son of Michael Learned (Olivia) - they even have the same unusual eye color. Similarly, Eric Scott (Ben) and Kami Cotler (Elizabeth) bear strong resemblance to one another.
  • The Wiki Rule: Yep.
  • Written by Cast Member: Ellen Corby (Grandma) wrote two episodes, "The Separation" and "The Search."
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