‘The Waltons’ TV-Movie Remake Brings in Big Numbers for The CW

by Megan Molseed
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This past Sunday night, the CW gave a special shout-out to the fiftieth anniversary of the famous Waltons 1971 television movie, The Homecoming: A Christmas Story with a much-anticipated remake.

This original 1971 television flick was, of course, the movie that started it all; inspiring the wildly popular and iconic television the Waltons. So, of course, this brand-new CW remake was certainly long-anticipated for fans of the beloved series.

But, how did this reflect in the ratings? Did viewers tune in and find the same folksy charm that made the original story such an iconic pop-culture favorite?

According to the most recent numbers, The Waltons’ Homecoming remake film averaged an impressive 960,000 total viewers for the CW special on Sunday night. Certainly a big night for the cable channel network.

In fact, this holiday special ended up pulling in the highest number of viewers for the CW since last spring.

‘The Waltons’ Reboot Brings Viewers Back

In the Sunday evening Waltons holiday special, viewers returned to the Waltons’ living room in 1933 as the beloved family was preparing for the Christmas holiday.

However, the Christmas celebrations are stalled as the tight-knit family waits for the family’s patriarch, John Sr. who is portrayed by Ben Lawson to return to his family for the holidays after working on a job far away from home.

John Sr.’s long bus ride was slowed down even more by an approaching snowstorm. Tragedy strikes when the bus skids off the road in the snowy and icy weather.

The CW’s Waltons Homecoming remake also stars Scandal’s Bellamy Young as Olivia, the Walton’s matriarch. Logan Shroyer who portrays teenage Kevin of This Is Us stars as John-Boy; Marcelle LeBlanc as Mary Ellen among others round out the cast.

Of course, one of the best pieces of this Walton’s holiday special remake was the narrator of the film.

While the original Waltons narrator was creator Earl Hamner Jr.

However, this time around, one favorite Waltons player, the original John-Boy himself, Richard Thomas fills the narrator role.

Was the CW Reboot Too Contemporary?

While the ratings spoke loudly as Waltons fans tuned in to the much-anticipated remake, the response wasn’t necessarily the greatest after the holiday film’s premiere.

Many viewers took to Twitter to discuss the issues they found in this reboot. Some found the film’s poor sound quality and other mechanical issues to be distracting.

Some Twitter users, however, took issue with some moments in the Walton’s Holiday Special that didn’t seem to be following the iconic family’s traditional ways of addressing one another.

“Since watching the original is our family’s Christmas Eve tradition, can’t help making comparisons,” one Twitter user says of the reboot.

“The plot changes were fine but the language and family dynamics were too contemporary,” the tweet continues. “Certain (admittedly bad) historical realities were ignored; it took me out of the setting.”

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