Harper Valley PTA (TV series)

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Harper Valley (PTA)
Harper Valley PTA (TV series).jpg
Format Sitcom
Created by Sherwood Schwartz
Starring Barbara Eden
Fannie Flagg
Jenn Thompson
Anne Francine
Bridget Hanley
Rod McCary
Mills Watson
George Gobel
Allison Harvey
Opening theme "Harper Valley PTA", originally performed by Jeannie C. Riley
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 30
Production
Running time approx. 0:30
(per episode)
Production company(s) Ten-Four Productions
Distributor Universal Television
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run January 16, 1981 – May 1, 1982

Harper Valley PTA is an early 1980s American television sitcom based on the 1978 film Harper Valley PTA, which was itself based on the 1968 song recorded by country singer Jeannie C. Riley, written by Tom T. Hall.

Synopsis[edit]

The series went on to flesh out the story in the song, as it told of the adventures of Stella Johnson (Barbara Eden), a single mother to teenager Dee (Jenn Thompson), who lived in the fictional town of Harper Valley, Ohio. The town was dominated by the namesakes of the founder, the Harper family, most prominently represented by the mayor, Otis Harper, Jr. (George Gobel). Mrs. Johnson's flouting of the small town's conventions, and exposure of the hypocrisy of many of its other residents, provided the series' humor.

If there was a catch-phrase to the show, it would be the line that Flora Simpson Reilly (Anne Francine) uttered every time she was defeated by Stella (which was almost always), "Someday I will get you, Stella Johnson!" Other actors and actresses in the show included Fannie Flagg, Mari Gorman, Bridget Hanley, Rod McCary, Allison Harvey and Edie McClurg.

In the show's early episodes, Mrs. Johnson had been recently elected to the board of directors of the PTA and this was the source of most of the show's plots; later it was decided that this idea had been carried about as far as was practical and the PTA aspect was dropped from the show, which was then retitled Harper Valley. During this phase, Stella's relationship with Dee was more prominent and actor Mills Watson joined the cast as Stella's eccentric uncle, Winslow Homer Smith. Nicknamed Buster, he was an inventor, whose inventions never worked the way they were supposed to. Stella still did battle with the Reillys on occasion.

The show ran from January 1981 to August 1982 on NBC; it was later released into syndication to local stations briefly in the mid-1980s, even though there were too few episodes made for it to be normally syndicated. The Cable TV network TV Land showed reruns of the show in 2000.

Episode list[edit]

Season 1 (1981)[edit]

Title Airdate
1 "To Dunk or Not to Dunk" 1981·Jan·16
2 "A Husband for Stella" 1981·Jan·23
3 "Mail and Female" 1981·Jan·30
4 "Don Juan and Two" 1981·Feb·06
5 "The Life of Reilly" 1981·Feb·13
6 "Stella the Reilly Girl" 1981·Feb·20
7 "Moonlighting Becomes You" 1981·Mar·06
8 "A Tree Grows in Harper Valley" 1981·Mar·13
9 "Dirty Tricks" 1981·Mar·20
10 "Stella and Howard" 1981·Mar·27
11 "Mayor Bobby" 1981·Apr·03
12 "Bad Day at Harper Valley" 1981·Apr·10
13 "My Fair Stella" 1981·May·01

Season 2 (1981-1982)[edit]

Title Airdate
14 "Make Room for Buster" 1981·Oct·29
15 "Good for the Goose" 1981·Nov·05
16 "Reunion Fever" 1981·Nov·12
17 "The $500 Misunderstanding" 1981·Nov·19
18 "Stella Scam" 1981·Dec·12
19 "Harper Valley Christmas" 1981·Dec·19
20 "Low Noon" 1981·Dec·26
21 "Flora's Dinner Party" 1982·Jan·02
22 "The Show Must Go On" 1982·Jan·23
23 "Firechief Follies" 1982·Jan·30
24 "Svengali of the Valley" 1982·Feb·06
25 "Stella Della" 1982·Feb·20
26 "Stella Rae" 1982·Feb·27
27 "Harper Valley Hoedown" 1982·Apr·10
28 "Grizzly Gap" 1982·Apr·17
29 "The Return of Charlie's Chow Palace" 1982·Apr·24
30 "Harper Valley Sentinel" 1982·May·01

External links[edit]