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The CW is getting into the holiday movie business by resurrecting a beloved title from TV’s past: The Waltons.
Original movie The Waltons’ Homecoming is one of three specials the network has ordered for the fourth quarter of 2021. The others are The Scooby-Doo Reunion Special, an animated spoof of TV cast reunions, and Beebo Saves Christmas, an animated show centered on the Legends of Tomorrow character.
The Waltons’ Homecoming will mark the 50th anniversary of The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, which premiered in December 1971 and introduced the Walton family to TV audiences. Though it wasn’t considered a backdoor pilot at the time, the movie’s success led CBS to order The Waltons to series; it ran for nine seasons and spawned several follow-up movies in the 1980s and ’90s.
The new movie will star Bellamy Young (Prodigal Son, Scandal) as matriarch Olivia Walton and Logan Shroyer (This Is Us) as the family’s oldest child, John Boy. It follows a similar story to the original: In 1933, the Walton family is concerned that patriarch John Sr. won’t make it home for Christmas. John writes that he will make it home after all, but when a storm threatens his arrival, Olivia sends John Boy to look for his dad — a journey that will change his life.
Richard Thomas, who played John Boy in the original series, will narrate the film. Magnolia Hill Productions produces in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive producer Sam Haskell, writer/co-EP Jim Strain and director Lev L. Spiro are all veterans of Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings on Netflix.
As with the original The Homecoming, the new movie isn’t necessarily planned as more than a piece of holiday programming. However, “nothing is ever really one and done” in TV anymore, CW chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz told reporters Tuesday. Should the movie deliver a big audience, Pedowitz said he’d consider a series reboot of the show, which created was by Earl Hamner Jr.
The Scooby-Doo Reunion Special will bring the Mystery Inc. gang to the Warner Bros. lot to reminisce about their favorite cases and how they were filmed. They soon discover, however, that the studio has its own monster problem. Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Unscripted Television produce in association with Warner Horizon and Abominable Pictures.
Beebo Saves Christmas will find the fuzzy toy-turned-furry god venturing to the North Pole in search of the true meaning of Christmas after an efficiency-minded elf decides the holiday would be better without Santa Claus. The voice cast includes Ben Diskin, Kimiko Glenn, Yvette Nicole Brown, Keith Ferguson, Chris Kattan, Ernie Hudson and Victor Garber.
Matt Maala (Legends of Tomorrow) and Kevin Shinick (Disney XD’s Spider-Man) wrote Beebo Saves Christmas. Sam Register, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, David Madden, Phil Klemmer, Grainne Godfree, Marc Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu exec produce.
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