Show Type: Drama/Sitcom
First Telecast: March
August 29, 1981
March 1977 - May 1977,
Tuesday 9:00-10:00 on ABC
August 1977 - March
1981, Wednesday 8:00-9:00 on ABC
March 1981 - August
1981, Saturday 8:00-9:00 on ABC
Dick Van Patten
Joan Bradford (1977).....
Sandra Sue "Abby" Abbott
Nicholas Bradford (age
Bradford (age 14).....
Elizabeth Bradford (age
Nancy Bradford (age
Bradford Stockwell (age 19).....
Joannie Bradford (age
Bradford (age 21).....
Bradford (Pilot Only).....
Bradford (age 23).....
Greg "Doc" Maxwell (1977-1979).....
"The Pearl" Stockwell (1979-1981).....
Brian Patrick Clarke
comedy-drama focused on a family with eight very independent children, aged 8 to
the series began, Tom, the father, was a newspaper columnist
for the Sacramento, California Register, and Joan was his wife of
25 years. The death of actress Diana Hyland during production of the spring
of 1977 episodes of Eight Is Enough forced major changes, however. Hyland had
completed only four shows and was written out of the remainder
as being "away." When the series returned with new episodes that
fall, Tom Bradford had become a widower, his wife having died, at least in the
story line, about "a year ago." With
the help of his best friend, Doc Maxwell, Tom set about keeping order among his
large brood while re-entering, in middle-age, the singles world. He soon found romance
in the person of Abby, a pretty schoolteacher who came to the Bradford home to tutor
one of the youngsters. Their romance blossomed, and on a special two-hour telecast
on November 9, 1977, Tom and Abby were married.
the series continued, Abby pursued and got her Ph.D. in education and began counseling
work at Memorial High (as well as at home!). The Bradford kids all became involved with
and romances as they grew, and in a special episode in September 1979, David and Susan
each got married, in a double wedding - David to attorney Janet,
and Susan to pro baseball pitcher Merle "The Pearl" Stockwell (who later signed with the New York Mets). David then went to work for a
construction firm, while Susan set about producing the first Bradford grandchild
- Sandra Sue, born in October 1980. Meanwhile, Joannie got a job at a television station,
and became engaged to Jeffrey Trout (played by Nicholas Pryor).
The series was based on the book
Eight Is Enough by Thomas Braden.