Harper Valley PTA (TV series)

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Harper Valley PTA
Harper Valley PTA (TV series).jpg
Also known as Harper Valley
Created by Sherwood Schwartz
Based on Characters created by
George Edwards
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
Running time 30 minutes (per episode)
Production company(s) Ten-Four Productions
Distributor Universal Television
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Original release January 16, 1981 – August 14, 1982

Harper Valley PTA (simply known as Harper Valley during its second season) is an American sitcom starring Barbara Eden which aired on NBC from January 16, 1981 to August 14, 1982. It is 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.


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.

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.


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]