(Los Angeles Times) The odds were against "The Waltons" when it premiered on CBS on Sept. 14, 1972.
It was a cynical and turbulent time. U.S. troops were still fighting in Vietnam. The Watergate break-in had made headlines over the summer. And the presidential election that would see Richard Nixon win in a landside for a second term against Democratic challenger George McGovern was just two months away.
"The Waltons," which was based on the childhood memories of the show's creator and narrator, Earl Hamner Jr., was a wholesome family drama that began during the Depression of the 1930s and continued through World War II. The hourlong series focused on the tightknit Walton clan: John (Ralph Waite) and Olivia (Michael Learned), their seven children and John's parents (Ellen Corby and Will Geer), all of whom lived together in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural Virginia.
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