Eight is Enough

Eight is Enough TV Show

Eight is Enough was a family comedy/drama that ran from 1977 to 1981 on ABC.  This show was based on the life of a real person, Thomas Braden, who was a newspaper columnist who had eight children.  The show aired for 5 seasons and 112 hour long episodes and had a couple of reunion shows in 1987 and 1989.  Dick Van Patten played the patriarch of the family, Tom Bradford, and the show also kick started the careers of a few little known stars like Willia Aames (Tommy Bradford) and Ralph Macchio (Jeremy Andretti).  You diehard fans will remember that Luke Skywalker played the role of David Bradford in the pilot episode, a role that was eventually picked up by Grant Goodeve.

This show was basically about life issues of Tom and Joan Bradford and their eight children.  From oldest to youngest, there was David, Mary, Joanie, Susan, Nancy, Elizabeth, Tommy, and Nicholas.  Only a few days after the first episode aired, Diana Hyland, the actress who played Joan Bradford, passed away, and they had her pass away on the show as well.  By season 2, Tom married again (a teacher named Joan).  Themes of the shows revolved around situations the family found themselves in.  For example, in the very first episode, 15 year old Elizabeth is busted for drugs, and later episodes featured issues common to families such as parties getting out of control, children wanting to get on birth control, injuries, cheating at school, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.