Faith-Focused THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING Earns CW Highest Viewership in Months
By Movieguide® Staff
According to recent TV ratings, THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING averaged 950,000 viewers and earned The CW Network its most-watched night since April 14.
The remake of the family-friendly show from 1972 premiered on Nov. 28.
A portion of Movieguide®’s review 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.
Movieguide® previously highlighted the show’s emphasis on faith and family, which lifted The CW Network to one of its most successful nights in months:
Richard Thomas, who played the original John Boy Walton in the 1972 show, will narrate the TV movie as Logan Shroyer continues THE WALTONS’ legacy as 2021’s John Boy.
The series, which ran for nine seasons, follows the Walton family during the Great Depression era. They exercise faith, despite financial trouble and the terrors of World War II.
“One of the great things about the show was that it brought people together. Young people could see a story about older people, and older people could remember their childhood. And the faith element was just — you can’t really tell the story about people in that part of America in 1933 without a faith element. That was a huge part of people’s lives, and it still is around the country.
“Dramaturgically speaking, we had many stories where faith and how people acted their faith out, where their prejudices were, where the benefits were. John had one point of view about going to church, which you didn’t do,” he added. “Olivia had another [point of view]. Grandpa was a pantheist, basically. It was such a big part of our storytelling and everyone had a different connection to it. So I think it’s completely valid still.”
The movie’s executive producer, Movieguide® Award-winner Sam Haskell, insisted that the show’s roots in the Christian faith remain for HOMECOMING.
“In my initial conversations with Mark Pedowitz, the chairman of the CW, I told him that there was going to be a faith element in this and he embraced it completely,” Haskell said. “And he feels as I do that putting faith and family and hope and joy front and center, it’s something this world needs right now. And I believe that The Waltons’ Homecoming is going to bring that to families. He and I both know that families watching something together is very rare these days. And this is the kind of program that can bring an entire family together.”
Haskwell previously won Movieguide® Awards for his work on DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS and DOLLY PARTON’S HEARTSTRINGS.
“We seek to provide entertainment that honors God, and that’s what this is about,” Haskell said at the Movieguide® Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry.