Family TV: Kid-tested, parent-approved
A look back at TV shows that brought family into focus.
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'Little House on the Prairie' (1974-1983)( NBC )
Who they are: The Ingalls are a frontier family trying to make it in Walnut Grove, Minn., circa 1870. The clan is made up of homesteader Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon), his prairie wife Caroline (Karen Grassle) and their four children, responsible eldest daughter Mary (Melissa Sue Anderson), tomboy Laura (Melissa Gilbert, above) and little sisters Carrie (Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush) and Grace (Brenda and Wendi Turnbaugh). Much of the show involved the Ingalls' Walnut Grove neighbors, like shopkeeper Nels Oleson (Richard Bull), his gossiping wife Harriet and their bratty kids Nellie (Alison Arngrim) and Willie (Jonathan Gilbert).
What the kids like: Narrator Laura's schoolgirl crushes, sibling rivalry with Mary and overall independence, along with Nellie and Willie's shenanigans.
What the parents can't get enough of:The show's dramatic story lines, which covered the spectrum from family values and faith to alcoholism and adoption.