Eight is Enough was a family
comedy/drama that ran from 1977 to 1981 on ABC. This
show was based on the life of a real person, Thomas
Braden, who was a newspaper columnist who had eight
children. The show aired for 5 seasons and 112 hour
long episodes and had a couple of reunion shows in 1987
and 1989. Dick Van Patten played the patriarch of the
family, Tom Bradford, and the show also kick started the
careers of a few little known stars like Willia Aames
(Tommy Bradford) and Ralph Macchio (Jeremy Andretti).
You diehard fans will remember that Luke Skywalker
played the role of David Bradford in the pilot episode,
a role that was eventually picked up by Grant Goodeve.
This show was basically about
life issues of Tom and Joan Bradford and their eight
children. From oldest to youngest, there was
David, Mary, Joanie, Susan, Nancy, Elizabeth, Tommy, and
Only a few days after the first episode aired, Diana
Hyland, the actress who played Joan Bradford, passed
away, and they had her pass away on the show as well.
By season 2, Tom married again (a teacher named Joan).
Themes of the shows revolved around situations the
family found themselves in. For example, in the very
first episode, 15 year old Elizabeth is busted for
drugs, and later episodes featured issues common to
families such as parties getting out of control,
children wanting to get on birth control, injuries,
cheating at school, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.