Beloved television series, The Waltons, is a long-running show which centres around a multi-generation American family. The series – created by Earl Hamner – follows the story of the Walton clan as they navigate their way through the good times and bad times of living in the US through The Great Depression and World War II.
Showcasing a simpler way of life, The Waltons was a big hit when it originally aired on television screens during the 1970s and was not only popular in the US, but overseas as well. And all these years later, the show is still watched by audiences today who enjoy seeing the Walton family take life at a slightly different pace than we are now used to.
But if you’re a complete newcomer to the show, where do you begin? With the very first episode of the series? Not necessarily.
The Walton family first appeared on screens via a TV movie. So, if you want to watch all of the Waltons stories, then you will need to start here first – but not before reading this blog post!
In this post I am providing a run-through of The Waltons. I am detailing the chronological viewing order for the show, which takes into account the ‘pilot’ movie, as well as some additional films that are connected to the series.
But before I get to that, here’s an explanation of The Waltons TV journey…
Understanding The Waltons
The Waltons story began in 1971, via a television movie called The Homecoming: A Christmas Story. The film – which aired on CBS – followed the story of the Walton family, as they prepare for the holiday season.
The Homecoming: A Christmas Story was initially conceived as a one-off picture, with no plans for follow-ups. However, the movie proved to be a ratings winner for CBS and the station quickly realised it had something special on its hands.
Rather than push ahead with another film, CBS saw the potential for a show, and ordered a season of programming centred around the family. During the transition from film to show, a number of cast members were replaced, but by the time the dust had settled, a series was born and it was called The Waltons.
The first episode of The Waltons hit television screens on September 14th 1972. The show then remained on air until April 19th 1973, providing 25 episodes of television in the process.
Due to the popularity of the show, The Waltons was then recommissioned for a second season, which began airing from September of the same year. This was then followed by a third season the next year, then a fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and finally a ninth season.
On June 4th 1981, after nine seasons and 221 episodes, The Waltons concluded its run. The episode, ‘The Revel’ provided the show with a finale, but this was far from the end.
The following year, NBC revived the series, but in the form of three reunion movies: A Wedding on Walton’s Mountain, Mother’s Day on Walton’s Mountain, and A Day of Thanks on Walton’s Mountain.
All three movies aired in 1982, and once they were done the Walton journey concluded. But this still wasn’t the end; there was life left in the property, and although it would take 11 years, the Waltons would return to television.
In 1993, CBS picked up the story with a new television movie: A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion. Two years later in 1995, the station aired a second movie called A Walton Wedding, followed by a third in 1997 called A Walton Easter.
And then that was it. Well, kind of.
A Walton Easter officially marked the end for the original Walton story. What had started out as a one-off movie, had been transformed into a long-running series, had spawned a collection of films, and most important of all, had left a lasting legacy along the way… and yet, it still wasn’t the end.
In 2021, rather surprisingly, The Waltons returned to television screens in a reboot of the entire franchise, via the TV movie: The Waltons’ Homecoming. Fifty years after they first arrived on television, the family were back for a new beginning, with a whole new cast!
Due to the success of this reboot, another movie followed in November 2022. This follow-up movie was called A Walton Thanksgiving.
The Waltons in order
If you wish to watch The Waltons in order, then I highly recommend you check out the list below. This is the chronological viewing order for The Waltons, which begins with the original TV movie, continues with the television show, then the six reunion movies, and finally the reboot!
- The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971) – TV movie
- The Waltons Season One (1972 – 1973) – TV series
- The Waltons Season Two (1973 – 1974) – TV series
- The Waltons Season Three (1974 – 1975) – TV series
- The Waltons Season Four (1975 – 1976) – TV series
- The Waltons Season Five (1976 – 1977) – TV series
- The Waltons Season Six (1977 – 1978) – TV series
- The Waltons Season Seven (1978 – 1979) – TV series
- The Waltons Season Eight (1979 – 1980) – TV series
- The Waltons Season Nine (1980 – 1981) – TV series
- A Wedding on Walton’s Mountain (1982) – TV movie
- Mother’s Day on Walton’s Mountain (1982) – TV movie
- A Day for Thanks on Walton’s Mountain (1982) – TV movie
- A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion (1993) – TV movie
- A Walton Wedding (1995) – TV movie
- A Walton Easter (1997) – TV movie
- The Walton’s Homecoming (2021) – TV movie
- A Walton Thanksgiving (2022) – TV movie
If you stick to the list above, you will have all of The Waltons adventures you could ever ask for. You will also follow the family from start to finish.
If you’re a fan of The Waltons, you may be interested to know that all of the television episodes of the original The Waltons show are currently available on Region 1 DVD.
The Waltons: Complete Collection DVD Box Set includes all nine seasons of the show, giving you 221 episodes in one neat box!
The Waltons: Complete Collection DVD Box Set is available from all good entertainment stockists, including Amazon US.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the viewing order for The Waltons – I hope it has proved useful. For more useful posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.
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