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The Little House in the Praire

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The Little House in the Praire


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This family TV drama was aired on NBC from September 11, 1974 to May 18, 1982 for 10 seasons and 208 episodes of 45-48 minutes each.

It was based on the 30's series of Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, followed the life of the Ingalls family on the midwest frontier.

The members of the Ingalls family were Charles (Michael Landon), Caroline (Karen Grassle), Mary (Melissa Sue Anderson), Laura (Melissa Gilbert), Carrie (Sidney and Lindsay Greenbush) and Grace (Wendi and Brenda Turnbaugh) and the later adopted Albert (Matthew Laborteaux), James (Jason Bateman) and Cassandra (Missy Francis). Both the Greenbush and Turnbaugh sisters were twins who played the roles of Carrie and Grace respectively.

The family settles into a small house on the banks of Plum Creek near the small town of Walnut Grove, Minnesota during the late 1800s.

Other characters of the Little House community of Walnut Grove include teacher Miss Beadle (Charlotte Stewart) who was later succeeded by two other teachers, Laura Ingalls and then Etta Plum (Leslie Landon), Dr. Hiram Baker (Kevin Hagen), Rev. Robert Alden (Dabbs Greer), Mr. Lars Hanson of the Hanson lumber mill (Karl Swenson), and the well-to-do Olesons, owners of the local mercantile, and also the primary rivals of the Ingalls family (except Nels Oleson); that family consisted of Nels Oleson (Richard Bull), Harriet Oleson (Katherine MacGregor), Willie Oleson (Jonathan Gilbert), and Nellie Oleson (Alison Arngrim).

Family friends include the Edwards family which included Mr. Edwards (Victor French), the Garvey family and the Carters, who, in the final season, move into the Ingalls' little house.

A spin-off series of sorts, Little House: A New Beginning, centered around Laura and Almanzo, aired in 1982. A new family, the Carters, move into the Ingalls' old home. Meanwhile, Almanzo and Laura take in their niece, Jenny Wilder (Shannen Doherty), when Almanzo's brother dies and raise her alongside their daughter, Rose. The Wilders appear prominently in some episodes, while in others, they appear only in early scenes used to introduce the story or its characters

The explanation given for the original characters' absence was that they moved to Burr Oak, Iowa to build a much better life. The series did not achieve high ratings, thus they were canceled after 19 episodes.

The story would survive a few more years in movie format with the release of Little House: Look Back to Yesterday (1983), Little House: Bless All the Dear Children (1983), and Little House: The Last Farewell (1984).

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