Movieguide® Award Winning Producer of THE WALTONS HOMECOMING: ‘I Love To Include God In Our Programs’

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Movieguide® Award Winning Producer of THE WALTONS HOMECOMING: ‘I Love To Include God In Our Programs’

By Movieguide® Staff

Producer of the Movieguide® Award-winning television program, THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING, recently sat down with Moveiguide® founder Dr. Ted Baehr to discuss the faith-filled program.

“I love to touch people. I love to make you laugh and cry. I love to talk about faith,” Haskell told Movieguide® after winning the Epiphany Prize®. “I love to include God in our programs. I love to create programs that families can come together and watch together.”

Not only is THE WALTONS reboot full of faith, but it also promotes family values. Haskell notes that his upbringing in Amory, Mississippi, included a weekly routine of watching THE WALTONS as a family.

“Families rarely can find something that everyone can enjoy, and I believe THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING brings that back,” he said. “I loved it so much as a kid. I knew exactly what to do with this. And so we created a new world for the Waltons in the same time period, 1933, Depression-era America, in the mountains of Virginia, and we made a show that people really responded to.”

Haskell pointed out that there is a major market for family-friendly, faith-based content despite Hollywood’s obvious slant to edgy and often immoral content.

Haskell said that the TV special couldn’t have come at a better time than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When I think about programming during a pandemic, none of us could have ever predicted that this was coming. In a million years, I would have never predicted this,” he recalled. “But if we can give people something to hang on to, if we can give people something to nurture their faith, instead of destroying their faith, if we can get people to turn more to God, and to ask for strength, strength to help us, strength to protect us, strength to help us be better leaders, strength to helping us be better people, then we’ll get through this pandemic. And if the pandemic stays, then we’ll develop the skills to handle it.”

Haskell said that while major studios are not afraid to tackle stories with faith, it has to be executed the right way.

“I love discussing it [faith] organically,” he explained. “I’ve had people say to me, ‘How do you do this and maintain your demeanor and your kindness and your encouragement?’ I said, ‘because that’s the way I like to treat other people and I hope that other people will react to me the way I react to them in this regard.'”

“I honestly believe that we attract more goodness with goodness than we ever could with anything else,” he added. “The fact that they’re all responding to this kind of programming says that I’m doing it the right way. It makes a difference when you do it the right way.”

Movieguide® honored THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING with the Epiphany Prize® and also awarded lead actress Bellamy Young the Grace Prize® for her performance in the show.

“We are so honored,” Haskell said of the award. “We are so honored that THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING is winning your 2022 Epiphany Prize®. One of the great honors of my life is to have had the consistent support of your organization and recognizing what we’re trying to do, and that it tells other people that we are executing properly.”

A portion of Movieguide®’s review for THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING reads:

In THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING, premiering on The CW TV Network, the father of a Christian family in Appalachia during the Great Depression tries to get home for Christmas, but a big snowstorm intervenes. John, the father, has to work in Charlottesville, miles away from home, to provide for his family. Although there is no Christmas vacation, John manages to arrange his schedule to come home for Christmas. However, a big snowstorm intervenes. When the road to Charlottesville is closed, the oldest son, John-Boy, borrows the car of two spinsters to go off to find his father. Will there be a Merry Christmas with answered prayers?

HOMECOMING is a well-made, emotional, powerful, retro movie. It has a great sense of jeopardy. Even better is the family’s constant references to faith, Jesus, church, and powerful prayers. A Christmas Eve service has MOVIEGUIDE® friends Marilyn McCoo and her husband, Billy Davis, singing great Christmas hymns. There are some unnecessary “d” obscenities, so caution is advised for younger children. Otherwise, THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING is an emotive movie that families should be delighted to watch.