The CW is rebooting The Waltons, giving the wholesome fictional family new life 50 years after they first appeared on television. In the spirit of the holiday season, the network has just announced three new specials to be released in the fourth quarter of this year. Along with The Waltons' Homecoming, other projects to be announced include the animated projects The Scooby-Doo Reunion Special and Beebo Saves Christmas.
A complete reboot with no connection to the original series, The Waltons' Homecoming will mark the 50th anniversary of The Homecoming: A Christmas Story. That was the TV movie that served as the launchpad for The Waltons by introducing the family to TV audiences in December 1971. It was not initially intended to spawn a TV series, but the success of the movie resulted in the show entering production at CBS. It spanned nine seasons and spawned several movies that continued the story.
Per THR, the new take on The Waltons will feature a similar story, revolving around the Walton family in the same time period but with all-new actors. Bellamy Young (Prodigal Son,Scandal) stars as family matriarch Olivia Walton with Logan Shroyer (This Is Us) co-starring as John Boy Walton. Richard Thomas, who played John Boy in The Waltons, will serve as the narrator. Additional cast members haven't yet been revealed.
A logline for The Waltons' Homecoming reads: "In 1933, the Walton family is concerned that patriarch John Sr. won't make it home for Christmas. John writes that he will make it home after all, but when a storm threatens his arrival, Olivia sends John Boy to look for his dad - a journey that will change his life."
There's no plan at this time to turn The Waltons' Homecoming into a full-fledged TV series, but as was the case with The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, anything is possible. The CW chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz said that "nothing is ever really one and done" when it comes to television these days. He added that if enough fans tune in to see the movie when it airs, then the network could consider a series reboot of the show.
The Waltons, which was created by Earl Hamner Jr., aired on CBS and NBC between 1972 and 1981. A series of six TV movies would also be released between 1982 and 1997. After Patricia Neal played Olivia in The Homecoming, the role was played by Michael Learned in the series. The cast of the show also included Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite, Will Geer, Ellen Corby, Jon Walmsley, Judy Norton Taylor, Mary Elizabeth McDonough, Eric Scott, David W. Harper, Kami Cotler, and Curtis Willard.
Magnolia Hill Productions will produce The Waltons' Homecoming in association with Warner Bros. TV. Sam Haskell serves as executive producer, Lev L. Spiro will direct, and Jim Strain is writing and co-executive producing. A release date hasn't yet been set, but The Waltons' Homecoming will air on The CW in late 2021. The Scooby-Doo Reunion Special and Beebo Saves Christma will arrive around the same time. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.