Friday, July 11, 2014

The Waltons Revisited: 5 Interesting Facts

*This feature remains among the most popular in the Insight's nearly four-year history. It's being re-posted for all new reader's to enjoy. :-)

The Waltons' was one of my favorite shows when I was growing up in the 1970s for a variety of reasons. Tens of millions of people joined my family and me every Thursday night at 8 p.m. to watch the latest episode. Today, the iconic television show can still be seen in reruns, or online, which has helped to create a new generation of fans. 

Here are 5 surprising facts about this timeless TV show:

1. Earl Hamner is widely known as the author, whose book Spencer's Mountain inspired a movie and the subsequent television show. 

But, that marvelous writer also developed the idea for the 1981-1990 CBS nighttime soap opera 'Falcon Crest'.

2. 'Spencer's Mountain' was released in theaters in 1963. Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara portrayed John and Olivia Walton. 

3. 'The Homecoming' was a Christmas special that served as the series pilot. Andrew Duggan and Patricia Neal portrayed Clay and Olivia Spencer. Edgar Bergen (a famous ventriloquist, whose radio show included his most popular pupped 'Charlie McCarthy) portrayed Grandpa Walton.

Each of the actors who portrayed the Walton children (Richard Thomas, as John-boy, etc.) remained in the cast when the pilot was greenlighted for a regular television series.

4. 'The Waltons' ran on CBS from 1971 through 1981. CBS believed that the show wouldn't succeed, so it slotted it on Thursday night at 8 p.m. against 'The Flip Wilson' Show (NBC) and 'The Mod Squad' (ABC). 

'The Waltons' not only beat those two popular series, it went on to become television's most highly-rated show for many years.

5. After 221 episodes, the series was canceled in 1981. However, NBC picked up 'The Waltons', releasing three 2-hour TV movies in 1982. The show returned to CBS for an additional three TV movies (1993, 1995 and 1997). 

According to current information, none of the major networks have interest in creating any further reunion movies. 

Goodnight John-boy and good morning

'Hollywood' believed that a show based upon so-called 'traditional values' wouldn't be accepted by the public. But, 'The Waltons' proved that flawed ideology to be wrong. 

More importantly, Earl Hamner's message (based upon his family life in Virginia during the 'Great Depression') has been, is and will always be lived by good families across the globe.

(Photo courtesy of


My illustrated children's book: Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile officially became a Top 10 Amazon best-seller as of January 29, 2014. The print and ebook editions were initially released in August, 2014.

This amazing real-life story remains within Amazon's Top 100 rankings this month (April, 2014). The book previously appeared within Amazon's Top 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10 illustrated children's books during the past five months. 

I couldn't be more pleased at the worldwide response to this story. Every connection helps to raise awareness about an important children's cause. 

Children's Alopecia Project

50% of all proceeds from the sale of our book (in both print and ebook forms) are being donated to the Children's Alopecia Project (CAP).

What a ride

This incredible and unexpected ride began in the spring of 2011. By August 2013, the book was published by the Children's Alopecia Project in print form. We have been very pleased with sales of that edition. Use, or share, this link --->>Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to purchase the printed book directly from CAP.

I published a special ebook edition within weeks of the print book release. After starting in the tens of thousands (in terms of Amazon's children's book rankings), Maddie broke into the Top 50 just prior to Christmas. It climbed through the 30s and settled in the upper 20s before breaking into the Top 10.  

Use, or share, this link --->>Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to see a 'free-view' of the special ebook edition. 

I've included extra bonus features in this version that provide background information, extra photos, and illustrations. Each item helps to tell the complete story of this book's birth. 

Here's a link to this great (print and online) article that the Reading Eagle recently published about our story Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile: Book chronicles Wyomissing teen's journey since being diagnosed with alopecia


Thank you to Stacey Stauffer (Fox 29 Philadelphia). She interviewed Madison Woytovich, her parents (Jeff and Betsy Woytovich) and me about the latest chapter in this inspiring story. Here's a video link to Stacey's wonderful feature. 


Visit my Examiner Contributor Pageor my Yahoo Contributor Page.


Let's connect on Twitter @SeanyOB, through Facebook, or on LinkedIn.

Feel free to click on any of my interviews with famous athletes and sports' personalities...

Martin Brodeur: Discusses His Record-Setting Shutout Total and Key Rivalries 
Jaromir Jagr: Current NHL Forward and Future Hall of Famer
Philadelphia Flyers' Bernie Parent: Postgame reflections 
Bobby Clarke: Philadelphia Flyers' Legend Talks Hockey
Ron Hextall Recalls His Greatest Season
Kerry Fraser: NHL Referee is Still Making the Right Calls

Vince Papale: Former Philadelphia Eagle/Subject of the Movie "Invincible"
Kevin Turner: Former Philadelphia Eagle Discusses ALS-Concussion Link

Ron Meyer: Blessed2Play Sports Talk Show Has Global Reach
Allison Baver: US Olympian Facing Every Challenge

Here's a selection of my interviews with broadcasters, actors, models and more...

This mini-tome is a collection of stories and poems for readers who don't take themselves too seriously. I hope that you enjoy it and am always interested in your feedback. 

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