The Waltons (1972 - 1981)
A popular, long-running drama about a close-knit family in rural, Depression-era Virginia, based on the experiences of series creator and narrator Earl Hamner Jr. Sentimental and often moving, the Emmy-winning series told stories of family trials, triumphs and values with great simplicity and honesty. Its genesis was a superb 1971 teleplay, 'The Homecoming: A Christmas Story,' which starred Patricia Neal. The TV-movie also featured Richard Thomas and several others who became series regulars.