Christy (TV series)
|Created by||Catherine Marshall (author of novel)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||21
3 Television movies (list of episodes)
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Production company(s)||The Rosenzweig Company
|Original release||April 3, 1994– August 2, 1995|
Christy was based on the novel Christy by Catherine Marshall, the widow of Senate chaplain Peter Marshall. The novel had been a bestseller in 1968, and the week following the debut of the TV-movie and program saw the novel jump from #120 up to #15 on the USA Today bestseller list. Series regular Tyne Daly won an Emmy Award for her work on the series.
- Kellie Martin as Christy Huddleston
- Randall Batinkoff as Rev. David Grantland
- Stewart Finlay-McLennan as Dr. Neil MacNeill
- Tyne Daly as Alice Henderson
- Emily Schulman as Ruby Mae Morrison
- Tess Harper as Fairlight Spencer
- LeVar Burton as Daniel Scott (Season 2)
- Sally Smithwick as Bessie Coburn
- Collin Wilcox as Swannie O'Teale
Storyline and characters
The show starred Kellie Martin as Christy Huddleston, a new teacher arriving to the fictional Appalachian village of Cutter Gap, Tennessee, in 1912. The villagers have old-fashioned ways. For example, they maintain rules and vengeances similar to the Highland clans of old Scotland. They also have a strong belief in folk medicine. At the same time many of their ways are portrayed in an idealized fashion as well. The show emphasized their culture by making Christy, and most of the main cast, outsiders in one fashion or the other. These "outsiders" included a minister, David Grantland (played by Randall Batinkoff); and Quaker missionary woman Alice Henderson, played by Tyne Daly. The television show maintained the book's romance novel element by showing Christy drawn both to the minister and the doctor.
The show's last episode was a cliffhanger concerning Christy's fate in the town and with the two rival male love interests. Later TV movies resolved the love triangle according to the ending of the novel.
Christy was developed for television by Emmy Award winning writer Patricia Green.
Reception and cancellation
The series developed a small following among readers of the novels and families, though it struggled in the ratings, as it came on in a period of two years where CBS lost strong affiliates to Fox due to NFL football rights and issues with CBS that had built up years before. The series was cancelled by the network to make way for an attempt to program for younger audiences, but the show's fanbase remained strong despite the cancelation.
- Season one
- Pilot, Part 1 - April 3, 1994
- Pilot, Part 2 - April 3, 1994
- Lost and Found - April 7, 1994
- Both Your Houses - April 14, 1994
- A Closer Walk - April 21, 1994
- Judgement Day - April 28, 1994
- Eye of the Storm (aka Journeys of the Heart part 1) - May 5, 1994
- Amazing Grace (aka Journeys of the Heart part 2) - May 5, 1994
- Season two
- The Sweetest Gift, Part 1 - November 24, 1994 (Special; Thanksgiving)
- The Sweetest Gift, Part 2 - November 24, 1994 (Special; Thanksgiving)
- To Have and To Hold - April 15, 1995
- The Hunt - April 22, 1995
- A Man's Reach - April 29, 1995
- Secret Story (aka Ghost Story) - June 14, 1995
- Echoes - June 21, 1995
- The Lie - June 28, 1995
- Green Apples - July 5, 1995
- The Hostage - July 12, 1995
- Babe in the Woods - July 19, 1995
- Second Sight - July 26, 1995
- The Road Home - August 2, 1995
In 2000, the family-friendly network PAX TV produced three made-for-TV movies based on unresolved stories from the novel and original CBS series in response to demand from loyal fans, though Kellie Martin did not return as Christy, with Lauren Lee Smith taking over the role. On November 19, 2000, PAX aired Christy: Return to Cutter Gap. The second and third films aired in 2001 as a two part mini-series entitled Christy, Choices of the Heart. Part 1, entitled Christy: A Change of Seasons aired on May 13, 2001 and Part 2, entitled Christy: A New Beginning aired on May 14, 2001. Stewart Finlay-McLennan (who played Doctor MacNeill), Bruce McKinnon (Jeb Spencer), Mike Hickman (Birds-Eye Taylor), Andy Stahl (Tom McHone), and Dale Dickey (Opal McHone) were the only original TV-series cast members to appear in the telefilms.
Syndication and DVD release
20th Century Fox released the complete series on DVD in Region 1 on March 20, 2007.
There is an annual festival dedicated to Christy, the novel, TV Series and movies held every year in Townsend, TN. It's held each summer and is a gathering of those dedicated to the preservation of "Christy" and Southern Appalachian culture. It is called "ChristyFest".
- "USA Today best-selling books," USA Today, April 14, 1994, page 4D.
- Karen Pierce. "Who will the lucky husband be? 'Christy' insiders keep mum on subject," The Daily Times (Maryville, TN), November 17, 2000 (no page number).