Harper Valley PTA (TV series)

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Harper Valley PTA
Harper Valley PTA (TV series).jpg
Also known as'Harper Valley'
Created bySherwood Schwartz
Based onCharacters created by
George Edwards
StarringBarbara Eden
Fannie Flagg
Jenn Thompson
Anne Francine
Bridget Hanley
Mills Watson
George Gobel
Opening theme"Harper Valley PTA", originally performed by Jeannie C. Riley
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes30
Running time30 minutes (per episode)
Production company(s)Redwood Productions (season 1)
Ten-Four Productions (season 2)
DistributorUniversal Television
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original networkNBC
Original releaseJanuary 16, 1981 – August 14, 1982
Related showsHarper Valley PTA (1978 film)

Harper Valley PTA (known simply as Harper Valley during its second season) is an American sitcom based on the 1978 film of the same name, which was itself based on the 1968 country song of the same name recorded by singer Jeannie C. Riley and written by Tom T. Hall. The series, starring Barbara Eden who reprised her role from the film, aired on NBC from January 16, 1981 to August 14, 1982.


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, the only other cast member from the film to return). 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.

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.

At various times, Stella had to deal with her devious twin, Della Smith (played by Barbara Eden wearing a black wig), much as she had when she was on her more famous series, I Dream of Jeannie when she played her evil twin sister, Jeannie II.

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. Cable television network TV Land showed reruns of the show in 2000.

Broadcast history[edit]

Season Time
1980–81 Friday at 8:00–8:30
1981–82 Thursday at 8:00–8:30 (October 29 – November 19, 1981)
Saturday at 8:00–8:30 (December 12, 1981 – January 2, 1982; April 10 – May 1, 1982)
Saturday at 8:30–9:00 (January 23 – February 27, 1982)


Season 1 (1981)[edit]

No. Title Original air date
1"To Dunk or Not to Dunk"January 16, 1981 (1981-01-16)
2"A Husband for Stella"January 23, 1981 (1981-01-23)
3"Mail and Female"January 30, 1981 (1981-01-30)
4"Don Juan and Two"February 6, 1981 (1981-02-06)
5"The Life of Reilly"February 13, 1981 (1981-02-13)
6"Stella the Reilly Girl"February 20, 1981 (1981-02-20)
7"Moonlighting Becomes You"March 6, 1981 (1981-03-06)
8"A Tree Grows in Harper Valley"March 13, 1981 (1981-03-13)
9"Dirty Tricks"March 20, 1981 (1981-03-20)
10"Stella and Howard"March 27, 1981 (1981-03-27)
11"Mayor Bobby"April 3, 1981 (1981-04-03)
12"Bad Day at Harper Valley"April 10, 1981 (1981-04-10)
13"My Fair Stella"May 1, 1981 (1981-05-01)

Season 2 (1981–82)[edit]

No. Title Original air date
14"Make Room for Buster"October 29, 1981 (1981-10-29)
15"Good for the Goose"November 5, 1981 (1981-11-05)
16"Reunion Fever"November 12, 1981 (1981-11-12)
17"The $500 Misunderstanding"November 19, 1981 (1981-11-19)
18"Stella Scam"December 12, 1981 (1981-12-12)
19"Harper Valley Christmas"December 19, 1981 (1981-12-19)
20"Low Noon"December 26, 1981 (1981-12-26)
21"Flora's Dinner Party"January 2, 1982 (1982-01-02)
22"The Show Must Go On"January 23, 1982 (1982-01-23)
23"Firechief Follies"January 30, 1982 (1982-01-30)
24"Svengali of the Valley"February 6, 1982 (1982-02-06)
25"Stella Della"February 20, 1982 (1982-02-20)
26"Stella Rae"February 27, 1982 (1982-02-27)
27"Harper Valley Hoedown"April 10, 1982 (1982-04-10)
28"Grizzly Gap"April 17, 1982 (1982-04-17)
29"The Return of Charlie's Chow Palace"April 24, 1982 (1982-04-24)
30"Harper Valley Sentinel"May 1, 1982 (1982-05-01)

External links[edit]