Little House On The Prairie (NBC 1974-1982 with Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert)

USA / NBC – Ed Friendly Prod. / 5 feature length episodes and 204×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 11 September 1974 – 17 December 1984

Creator/Executive Producer: Michael Landon / Books: Laura Ingalls Wilder / Producers: Michael Landon, John Hawkins, Winston Miller, B.W. Sandefur, William F. Claxton / Theme Music: David Rose

Period drama series. Life for the loving Ingalls family as they worked their farm in Walnut Grove, Plum Creek. Youngest daughter Carrie Ingalls was played by identical twins Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush.

At one stage the Ingalls moved away from Walnut Grove to live in Winoka but quickly moved back.

Over the course of the show the girls obviously grew up and both Laura and Mary (who also went blind and ended up becoming a teacher of the blind) got married, Laura to Almanzo Wilder whilst Mary married her blind teacher Adam Kendall.

Following the departure of Mary, Charles and Caroline (Charles sold up up to John and Sarah Carter who had two young children) the final season was known as Little House:A New Beginning. It was an attempt to keep the series going with new leads but it was probably time to call it quits by then anyway although three TV Movies wrapped the series up Little House on the Prairie: A Look Back to Yesterday (12 Dec 1983), Little House: The Last Farewell (6 Feb 1984) and Little House: Bless All the Dear Children (17 Dec 1984) (Bless all the Dear Children was actually made in 1983 but ended up airing some 10 months after The Last Farewell which finished the series proper with the town being destroyed by the residents to stop it being taken over by a land developer.

Michael Landon also wrote and directed many of the episodes himself. The pilot was broadcast 30 March 1974.

In 2005 the ABC made their own version which stayed closer to the source books but it only lasted for a pilot and four episodes.

MICHAEL LANDON as Charles Ingalls
KAREN GRASSLE as Caroline Ingalls
MELISSA GILBERT as Laura Ingalls Wilder
MELISSA SUE ANDERSON as Mary Ingalls Kendall
KARL SWENSON as Lars Hanson
RICHARD BULL as Nels Oleson
KATHERINE MacGREGOR as Harriet Olson
ALISON ARNGRIM as Nellie Olseon Dalton
VICTOR FRENCH as Mr Isiaiah Edwards
MERLIN OLSEN as Jonathan Garvey
HERSHA PARADY as Alice Garvey
LINWOOD BOOMER as Adam Kendall
DEAN BUTLER as Almanzo Wilder