Home »

Eight is enough

The meaning of «eight is enough»

Eight Is Enough (stylized as eight is enough) is an American television comedy-drama series that ran on ABC from March 15, 1977, until May 23, 1981. The show was modeled on the life of syndicated newspaper columnist Tom Braden, a real-life parent with eight children, who wrote a book by the same title.

The show centers on a Sacramento, California, family with eight children (from oldest to youngest: David, Mary, Joanie, Susan, Nancy, Elizabeth, Tommy, and Nicholas). The father, Tom Bradford (based on Tom Braden, played by Dick Van Patten), was a newspaper columnist for the fictional Sacramento Register. His wife Joan (based on Joan Braden, played by Diana Hyland) was a homemaker and took care of the children.

In reality, actress Hyland had been diagnosed with breast cancer early in 1977 and underwent a mastectomy. She was able to join the cast when production started, but the cancer had spread and her health suddenly began to rapidly deteriorate; she had filmed only four episodes before falling ill. She died on March 27, 1977, and her character's death was written into the second season of the series.

The second season began in the fall of 1977 with Tom as a widower. He eventually met and fell in love with Sandra Sue "Abby" Abbott (Betty Buckley), a widowed schoolteacher who came to the house to tutor Tommy when he broke his leg in a football game. They were married in one of the series' TV movie broadcasts on November 9, 1977. The role went to Buckley after being approved by network chief Brandon Tartikoff, who felt that the character of Miss Collins, the sympathetic high school gym teacher she had played in the 1976 film Carrie, would translate seamlessly to the series.[1]

In the fourth season, in another of the series' TV movie broadcasts in September 1979, both David and Susan were married in a double wedding. As the series progressed, Abby got her Ph.D. in education and started a job counseling students at the local high school, oldest daughter Mary became a medical doctor, and second-youngest son Tommy became a singer in a rock-and-roll band.

In the pilot, the role of David was played by Mark Hamill, Nancy was played by Kimberly Beck, and Tommy was played by Chris English. When ABC screened the pilot, they were unhappy with the performances of Beck and English, who were let go and replaced respectively by Dianne Kay and Willie Aames. Hamill sought to get out of his 5-year contract on Eight Is Enough to take the opportunity to star in George Lucas' Star Wars; Lorimar Productions granted his request and the role was re-cast with Grant Goodeve.[citation needed]

The show was developed by writer William Blinn and was a Lorimar Production. It was originally distributed by Worldvision Enterprises. For the first three years the show filmed interior scenes at The Burbank Studios now known as the Warner Bros. Ranch. From the fourth season the show filmed interiors at MGM Studios in Culver City.

contact us full version