‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Opens Up About Filming Holiday Dinner Scenes Out of Season

by Jennifer Shea
David Livingston/Getty Images

In many ways, The Waltons was like any other TV show. It involved its fair share of artifice and production tricks alongside the real camaraderie of its cast.

In a recent episode of “Ask Judy,” The Waltons star Judy Norton held forth about shooting the holiday dinner scenes out of season and whether the food on their television table was real. She then opened up about what it was like to sit down to a turkey dinner complete with food you can’t eat. (And several months away from Thanksgiving, to boot.)

“We did tend to shoot out of season,” Norton conceded. “But hey, I’m all up for a great turkey dinner any time of the year.”

“And the food was always real,” she added. But “we didn’t always get to eat it.”

For example, she said, in the Thanksgiving episode of Season 8, “The Waiting,” there’s a dinner table scene in which the food is all laid out, and Jason is supposed to start carving the turkey. But the eating part of the meal never happened, according to Norton.

“We never ate any of that fabulous food,” she explained.

Watch Norton open up about the holiday dinner scenes on The Waltons here:

Judy Norton Enjoys Dishing on The Waltons For Her YouTube Channel

Norton seems to be enjoying breaking down episodes of The Waltons for her YouTube channel. According to Best Life, she said during one “Ask Judy” Q&A that it’s been fun to re-watch old episodes of the show. In many cases, she’s seeing them decades after she filmed them or last saw them.

“With the show having filmed all these episodes between 40 and 50 years ago, sometimes it’s a little vague for me,” she said. “I was a teenager when we started. So many of these episodes I have not watched for years and years. So it’s been fun for me to go back and watch them again, remember different things about them. And I’m starting to put the puzzle pieces together.”

The CW Reboot of Show Is a Supplement, Not a Replacement

Meanwhile, The Waltons’ Homecoming premiered on the CW last month. While the original cast did not have major roles in the TV movie reboot, they wished it well and said they looked forward to seeing it.

Richard Thomas, who played John Boy on the original show, said it was about time for a reboot.

“My opinion is that ‘The Waltons’ is a 50-year-old classic,” the Waltons star told Fox News. “Classics are eventually adapted, updated, remade, and reexamined. I’m just happy that our show is in that category, and I hope the new version finds its audience as ours did in 1971. Good luck to them.”

For her part, Norton said the CW and the new cast together had produced a reboot that stayed faithful to the vision of the original while still carving out its own path.

“Think of it like getting a new step-parent,” Norton told Fox. “They are not meant to replace your parent, but to be another part of your life. Although we appreciate all the love and support our viewers have given to The Waltons these past 50 years and hopefully many more years to come, you are welcome to embrace this new rendition not as a copy, but as something new.”

In any event, the original cast members seem to agree: this holiday season, more Waltons is something to be thankful for.