‘The Waltons: Homecoming’ Showrunner Explains His Vision for the Future of the Franchise

by Taylor Cunningham

The Waltons: Homecoming showrunner Sam Haskell has big plans for his classic TV reboot.

“We hope this franchise can continue so that they see it should be on every week. That is my goal,” he told Gold Derby. “I really believe it and the possibility of it. I’ve done a lot of work… but I’ve never gotten such a response from anything I’ve ever done.”

Last year, the Emmy-winning producer brought the iconic family back to the screen with a recreation of The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, which originally aired as a made-for-TV movie in 1971.

In Haskell’s adaptation, John Boy actor Richard Thomas returns to replace the late Earl Hamner Jr. as the narrator. And the tale tells the story of the same Depression-Era family living in its wholesome Virginia mountain community. But a new batch of stars joins in.

The plot loosely follows the story from five decades ago. In it, John-Boy is helping his family prepare for John Sr.’s holiday homecoming. But after a snowstorm settles over Walton mountain, John Boy ” has to find his father and the journey through it will change his life forever.”

Getting the rights to the family wasn’t easy as the showrunner explained. But because of his obvious love of the original, the Hamner family knew that the franchise was “going to be protected.”

And as Haskell continued, he shared that the love began when he was a child listening to the classic opening tune.

“I loved The Waltons as a kid,” he shared. “And every time on Thursday that we heard the music, we all rushed to the living room to sit down in front of the television.”

‘The Waltons: Homecoming’ Gets a Sequel This Fall on the CW

The Waltons: Homecoming dropped on the CW during the holiday season and ended up being a major hit. The film became the second most-watched special on the network. And because of that, Haskell got the green light for a second special titled The Waltons: Thanksgiving.

The movie, which is slated to drop this November, will pick up where Homecoming left off in 1934 and show the town as it’s preparing for its annual Harvest Festival Fair.

According to Deadline, the story shows the family as it enjoys talent shows, carnival rides, and pie contests. But when a strange young boy comes to the fair, he changes everyone’s life in ways they couldn’t have imagined.

As Haskell noted, the franchise likely won’t end there. Thanks to the retelling of the famous tale, a new generation has become fans. And if all goes as planned, the movies will serve as a segue into a weekly series just like The Homecoming: A Christmas Story did so many years ago.