Get ready, “The Waltons” fans. The show is back, and it even features Richard Thomas. Well, it’s coming in the form of a special, and Thomas won’t be reprising his role as John-Boy. But he’s taking a page out of the show’s original creator/writer Earl Hamner Junior’s book by signing on as the narrator.
Fans will remember the 1971 movie “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” as the starting point of the classic TV series. It set the stage for the fan-favorite series that enjoyed a run from 1972-1981, with a total of 212 episodes. Thus far, Richard Thomas is the only original cast member in the upcoming special to be announced. But depending on the direction the CW wants to go, Mary Ellen Walton actress Judy Norton still appears to be active.
The upcoming “The Waltons: Homecoming” special is set to mark the 50th anniversary of the original movie’s release. The 1971 movie came out on December 19. Though, there wasn’t an official date included with the announcement. But it’s safe to assume that the CW is aiming for a release around that time, in the spirit of the 50th anniversary.
The upcoming special will star Bellamy Young of “Scandal” fame as Olivia Walton, and Logan Shroyer from “This Is Us” as John-Boy.
What to Expect from the New ‘The Waltons’ Anniversary Special
It looks like “The Waltons: Homecoming” will be set in the same Depression Era time period as the original show. But aside from a few details, it’s hard knowing what to expect. Based on the announcement, however, it appears that the story loosely follows that of the original movie.
The special is appropriately set around Christmas. It sees The Walton family missing their father/husband John as the holiday approaches. John Walton was originally played by the talented Ralph Waite. When they find out that John plans on making it home for Christmas, Olivia sends John-Boy out to find him. But not everything goes according to plan.
“The Waltons: Homecoming is set to be directed by Lev L. Spiro. It’s being produced by Magnolia Hills Productions and Warner Bros. Television. Sam Haskell is set to produce, with Jim Strain writing and co-producing.
There is no word yet on who will be filling out the rest of the family’s cast, but the inclusion of Richard Thomas is sure to have fans excited. He left the original show after five seasons of playing John-Boy on the hit show.