Silver Spoons title screen
|Created by||Martin Cohan
|Developed by||David W. Duclon
Michael G. Moye
|Directed by||Art Dielhenn
|Theme music composer||Rik Howard
|Ending theme||"Together" (Instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||116 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||David W. Duclon (1982–1984)
James Stein (1984–1985)
Steve Pritzker (1985–1986)
Jack Humphrey (1986)
George Burditt (1987)
|Running time||22 min|
|Production company(s)||Lightkeeper Productions
Embassy Communications (1986-1987)
|Distributor||Embassy Communications (1986-1988)
Columbia Pictures Television (1988-1996)
Columbia TriStar Television (1996-2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002-present)
|Original network||NBC (1982-1986)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||September 25, 1982– March 4, 1987|
Silver Spoons is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from September 25, 1982 to May 11, 1986 and in first-run syndication from September 15, 1986 to March 4, 1987. The series was produced by Embassy Television for the first four seasons, until Embassy Communications moved the series to syndication.
In the pilot episode, Ricky Stratton (Ricky Schroder) arrives at the mansion of the father he has never met to introduce himself, move in, and get to know him better. Edward Stratton III (Joel Higgins) epitomizes the phrase "overgrown child"; he has never taken responsibility for anything in his life, including his toy business, "Eddie Toys." When he finds out in the pilot episode that his business manager embezzled all of his money, he simply tells his attorney to "bring back his bucks," then resumes playing an arcade game. Ricky recognizes that his dad needs to grow up; Edward thinks his son is too uptight and needs to have more fun while he's still young.
Edward's father is played by John Houseman as the thoughtful, well-to-do patriarch and industrialist whose demeanor starkly contrasts with Edward's and seems more similar to Ricky's (at first). Throughout the series, the comic tension arises between Grandfather Stratton's belief that people with money are obligated to make more money and Edward's belief that money should be used to make people happy. Ricky is often caught between the two, wishing only for peace and harmony within the family.
Ricky's mother is Evelyn Bluedhorn (Christine Belford). Edward and Evelyn's romantic relationship led to a week-long marriage. Now Evelyn has remarried and placed Ricky in a military boarding school. When Ricky arrives at the Stratton residence, Edward is stunned to discover that his long-ago brief marriage produced a son. At first he sends Ricky right back to the boarding school; later he dresses up as a swamp monster to take Ricky out of the school and back to the mansion to live with him. The mansion is stocked with arcade games and a scale-model freight train runs through it.
Edward exhibits his childishness and playfulness in many ways, such as performing a little dance while the Pac-Man plays its theme song. Stratton's personal assistant, Kate Summers (Erin Gray), is often the voice of reason. Kate's role adds tension to the show and provides incentive for Edward to act more maturely (at least sometimes). Edward and Kate's will-they-or-won't-they relationship gives way to a third-season wedding.
During the series' early years, Ricky befriends "bad boy" Derek Taylor (Jason Bateman, seasons 1–2), smooth-talking "cowboy" J.T. Martin (Bobby Fite, seasons 1–2), and "nerdy" Freddy Lippincottleman (Corky Pigeon, seasons 1–4). They get into a lot of trouble and learn many childhood lessons along the way.
Edward's original attorney was Leonard Rollins (Leonard Lightfoot), who departed after the first season, and was replaced by the aptly named business manager Dexter Stuffins (Franklyn Seales), who was somewhat stuffier and more erudite than Leonard had been. Dexter remained through the rest of the series and was joined in fall 1984 by his hip, break dancing nephew Alfonso Spears (Alfonso Ribeiro, seasons 3–5), who became Ricky's new best friend. Once Ricky, Freddy and Alfonso were in high school in season four, their circle was completed by Brad (Billy Jacoby, seasons 4–5), a reintroduction of the type of "bad boy"-character similar to that of Derek during the show's early years. That year, as Kate and Edward adjusted to married life, Kate's doddering uncle, Harry Summers (Ray Walston), moved into the Stratton mansion.
- Ricky Schroder as Richard "Rick" or "Ricky" Stratton
- Joel Higgins as Edward Stratton III
- Erin Gray as Kate Summers Stratton
- Leonard Lightfoot as Leonard Rollins (Season 1)
- Franklyn Seales as Dexter Stuffins (Seasons 2–5)
- Alfonso Ribeiro as Alfonso Spears (Seasons 3–5)
- Jason Bateman as Derek Taylor (Seasons 1–2)
- Bobby Fite as J.T. Martin (Seasons 1–2)
- Corky Pigeon as Freddy Lippincottleman (Seasons 1–4)
- Billy Jacoby as Brad (Seasons 4–5)
- John Houseman as Grandfather Edward Stratton II (Seasons 1–5)
- Christine Belford as Evelyn Bluedhorn Stratton (Seasons 1–5)
- Ray Walston as Uncle Harry Summers (Season 4)
- 1982-'83: N/A
- 1983-'84: #53
- 1984-'85: #62
- 1985-'86: #70
- 1986-'87: N/A
The show's theme song titled "Together" was written by Rik Howard and Bob Wirth. The original version was accompanied mostly by guitar. Two other versions of the theme were used during the show's run. A synthesized version was used in 1985. The third version of the theme, a rock version, was introduced in 1986 when the show moved to first-run syndication, with vocals by The Archies' alumni Ron Dante.
The Stratton mansion
The brick Tudor period mansion shown in the opening credits is actually a private residence located in Warwickshire, England. The elaborate home, named Compton Wynyates, was built in 1481. Before Silver Spoons, it was used in the 1977 Disney film Candleshoe, starring Helen Hayes, Jodie Foster and David Niven.
Reruns of Silver Spoons aired on NBC's daytime schedule from April to September 1985. The show was also reran on WWOR EMI Service from December 28, 1992 to September 3, 1993. Select episodes were also aired on Nick at Nite in 2001 and 2005. The show is also available on Comcast digital cable's On Demand service as of September 19, 2006. Chicago's WWME ("Me TV") currently airs two episodes back to back on Saturday afternoons. The first season is also available for purchase by episode or season on iTunes. In 2008, popular video on demand sites Hulu and Crackle began airing the syndicated version of the first season of Silver Spoons.
- Dore, Shalini (2010-05-20). "Sitcom scribe Martin Cohan dies: Creator of 'Silver Spoons,' 'Who's the Boss?" was 77". Variety Magazine. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- Terrace, Vincent (1993). Television Character and Story Facts: Over 110,000 Details from 1,008 Shows, 1945-1992. McFarland & Company. p. 419. ISBN 0-899-50891-X.
- Higgins, Shriley; Higgins, Jim (March 26, 1978). "Hunting treasure in new Disney film". Chicago Tribune. p. C11.
- "Silver Spoons - Here We Are: Sony Sez Silver Spoons in June!".