Television’s most wholesome family is coming back to the small screen. The CW’s The Waltons’ Homecoming, which premieres on Nov. 28, serves as a fresh reboot of the classic television series. While Logan Shroyer will play a new incarnation of John Boy Walton, original Waltons actor Richard Thomas returns to serve as the narrator of the television special, and he’s more than happy to pass the baton to the new cast.
“When we did the series originally, this country, we were very split because of all the issues going on,” Richard Thomas said on Wednesday, per Deadline. “The line went right down the middle of the dinner table, a lot of the time. It was the beginning of a sort of balkanization where the demographic was split within the household. There were more televisions. So one of the great things about the show was that it brought people together. Young people could see a story about older people, and older people could remember their childhood. And the faith element was just – you can’t really tell the story about people in that part of America in 1933 without a faith element. That was a huge part of people’s lives, and it still is around the country.”
Thomas added, “Dramaturgically speaking, we had many stories where faith and how people acted their faith out, where their prejudices were, where the benefits were. John had one point of view about going to church, which you didn’t do. Olivia had another [point of view]. Grandpa was a pantheist, basically. It was such a big part of our storytelling and everyone had a different connection to it. So I think it’s completely valid still.”
“In my initial conversations with Mark Pedowitz, the chairman of the CW, I told him that there was going to be a faith element in this and he embraced it completely,” said executive producer Sam Haskell. “And he feels as I do that putting faith and family and hope and joy front and center, it’s something this world needs right now. And I believe that The Waltons’ Homecoming is going to bring that to families. He and I both know that families watching something together is very rare these days. And this is the kind of program that can bring an entire family together.”
The Waltons’ Homecoming is set during the Depression Era, primarily following 17-year-old John Boy Walton, the eldest child of John (Ben Lawson) and Olivia Walton (Bellamy Young). His mother expects him to help her raise his sisters and brothers, and his father expects him to follow in his footsteps to help support the family, but secretly, John Boy wants to be a writer.
A synopsis for the new special reads, “Times are hard enough in 1933, but to make matters worse, it looked like it was going to be the Waltons’ first Christmas without John Sr. But then Olivia receives a letter that John Sr. is planning to make it home for Christmas after all, the family is thrilled and races to prepare for his homecoming. But when a storm threatens his arrival on Christmas Eve, and John Sr. is nowhere to be found, Olivia sends John Boy out into the night to find his daddy – a journey that will change his life forever.”
Lev L. Spiro directs. The cast features Ben Lawson as John Walton, Bellamy Young as Olivia Walton, Christian Finlayson as Jason Walton, Logan Shroyer as John Boy Walton, Tatum Sue Matthews as Erin Walton, Marcelle LeBlanc as Mary Ellen Walton, Samuel Goergon as Jim Bob Walton, and Callaway Corrick as Elizabeth Walton. Richard Thomas is the narrator.
At this time, the plan at The CW is only to air this one special, but if it’s a hit, there could be more of The Waltons on the way. Haskell says he wants to bring back every surviving member of the original cast for special cameo appearances. It will be interesting to see just how well something like The Waltons does with today’s audiences. This news comes to us from Deadline.
Topics: The Waltons