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Eight Is Enough 

This comedy drama focused on a family with eight very independent children.


William Blinn
1,954 ( 218)




5   4   3   2   1  
1981   1980   1979   1978   1977  
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Dick Van Patten ...  Tom Bradford 112 episodes, 1977-1981
Lani O'Grady ...  Mary Bradford 112 episodes, 1977-1981
Connie Needham ...  Elizabeth Bradford 112 episodes, 1977-1981
Susan Richardson ...  Susan Bradford / ... 112 episodes, 1977-1981
Adam Rich ...  Nicholas Bradford 112 episodes, 1977-1981
Laurie Walters ...  Joannie Bradford 112 episodes, 1977-1981
Grant Goodeve ...  David Bradford 111 episodes, 1977-1981
Dianne Kay ...  Nancy Bradford 111 episodes, 1977-1981
Willie Aames ...  Tommy Bradford 109 episodes, 1977-1981
Betty Buckley ...  Abby Bradford / ... 102 episodes, 1977-1981


The sometimes-comic, sometimes-dramatic exploits of the Bradford family, father Tom (a columnist for a Sacramento, California newspaper), mother Joan and their eight children: Mary, David, Joanie, Nancy, Elizabeth, Susan, Tommy, and Nicholas. After Joan's death, Tom met teacher Abby, and they were married to make the family feel complete again. The kids all had friends and relationships as well, turning the Bradford Bunch into a free-for-all of loved ones and family members. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@soltec.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Warm New Family Comedy! From the Producers of "The Waltons"


Comedy | Drama | Family







Release Date:

15 March 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eight Is Enough See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The death of Diana Hyland during the production of the spring 1977 episodes forced major changes on the show. She had completed only four episodes as the mother of the family and was written out of the remainder as being "away." When the series returned with new episodes that fall, Tom Bradford had become a widower, his wife having died about "a year ago." See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally, Diana Hyland was credited for appearing in ALL 9 shows from season 1. She missed half of them, due to her illness, which eventually claimed her life. In half of those shows, there were originally scenes where they explained her absence, and even voice-overs from Hyland as Joan on the phone with Tom Bradford. During the summer reruns, Lorimar aired only the shows she did not appear in. Lorimar decided to go back and reedit the shows she did not appear in, remove her credit, and all scenes featuring said phone calls and voice-overs. These are the versions of those season 1 shows that have been in use ever since. See more »


Referenced in Battle of the Network Stars IX (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

To Fill Our Lives With Love...Remembering the family comedy-drama series Eight Is Enough on its 40th anniversary
27 May 2017 | by raysondSee all my reviews

Cannot believe that the series "Eight Is Enough" is 40 years old! The series was based on Thomas Braden's 1975 New York Times best selling novel which was modeled on the syndicated newspaper columnist who was a real life parent who raised eight kids on which the television series was based. The show centers on a Sacramento, California, family with eight children(from oldest to youngest: David, Mary, Joanne, Susan, Nancy, Elizabeth, Tommy and Nicholas). The father, Thomas Bradford, was a newspaper columnist for the fictional Sacramento Register. His wife Joan(Diana Hyland)took care of the children. Hyland appeared in four episodes before she took gravely ill; she was written out of the show for the remainder of the first season and died after after the second season aired. The second season began in the fall of 1977 with the revelation that Thomas Bradford(Dick Van Patten)was a widower. Tom fell in love with Sandra Sue "Abby" Abbott(Betty Buckley)a schoolteacher who came to the house to tutor Tommy who had broken his leg in a football game. They were married in one of the series TV Movie broadcast titled "Children of the Groom" which aired as a two hour event on November 9, 1977. In another television event two other Bradford children were married in Season four episode titled "I Do, I Do" that was originally broadcast on September 19, 1979. As the series progressed Abby got her doctorate in education and started a job counseling students at the local high school; Mary became a medical doctor,while second youngest son Tommy became a singer in a rock and roll band.

In the pilot episode, the role of David was played by Mark Hamill while the role of Nancy was played by Kimberly Beck and Tommy played Chris English. Beck and English only appeared in the pilot and was abruptly replaced by Dianne Kay and Willie Aames for the remainder of the series. Mark Hamill was replaced by Grant Goodeve for the rest of the series entire run. As far as the rest of the cast were only actors Dick Van Patten, Lani O' Grady, Connie Needham, Susan Richardson, along with Adam Rich and Laurie Walters were with the series throughout its entire five season run appearing in all 112 episodes. Dianne Kay and Grant Goodeve appeared in 111 episodes while Willie Aames appeared in 109 episodes of the series and Betty Buckley appeared in 102 episodes.

"Eight Is Enough" was the brainchild of creator-writer and executive producer William Blinn along with producers Philip Capice and Lee Rich who served as executive producers along with producers Gary Adelson, Greg Strangis, Robert L. Jacks, and Philip Fehrie for Lorimar Productions for ABC-TV airing for five seasons and 112 episodes from it's mid-season premiere(which replaced "The Bionic Woman")on March 15, 1977 until May 23,1981. Repeated episodes from it's fifth and final season aired as summer replacements from May 30,1981 until August 29,1981. The series aired on ABC's Wednesday night prime time schedule at the 8:00 eastern/7:00 central time slot which was a ratings winner. Regular writers for this series included Peter Lefcourt,and writing teams of Gwen Bagni and Paul Dubov along with Greg Strangis, William Blinn, Thomas Braden, Gil Grant, Bruce Shelley, Norman Lessing, Martin Roth, Matt Robinson, Bruce Kalish,and Paul Schneider. The rotating team of seasonal directors including Irving J, Moore, Vincent McEveety, Phillip Leacock, Earl Bellamy, Hollingsworth Morse, Arnold Laven, David Swift, Leslie H. Martinson, Ralph Senensky, Barry Crane, Marc Daniels, Gerald Mayer, Jack Bender, William F. Claxton, Robert Friend to name a few.

Big name guest stars ranging from seasoned veterans like Jack Elam, to Will Geer, Frank Cady, David Wayne, Noah Beery, Abe Vigoda and Barry Van Dyke to guest stars Ellen Travolta, Julia Duffy, Susan Dey, to Judy Strangis, Sherry Jackson, Don Johnson, Tricia O' Neal, Danny Bonaduce, Charlene Tilton, Robin Williams, Ike Eisenmann, Stephanie Kramer, Jonathan Frakes, Timothy Van Patten, Karen Valentine, Gregory Walcott, Adrienne Barbeau, Kevin Schultz, Beth Howland, Corey Feldman, Billie Bird just to name of the big name guest stars that appeared on this show.

Eight Is Enough throughout it's run was nominated for an impressive six prime-time Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Actor or Actress in a Prime Time Series, Best Supporting Actor in a Prime Time Series and Best Film Editing. It won the People's Choice Award in 1978 for Best New Dramatic Television Series and was nominated for 2 Golden Globes for Best Actor(Dick Van Patten),and Best Writing for a Prime Time Series. The best episodes that came from "Eight Is Enough" were "Turnabout", the two part "Yes, Nicholas There Is A Santa Claus", to "V is for Vivian", "Seven Days In February", "Long Night's Journey into Day","Here We Go Again", to the two part "You Won't Have Nicholas to Kick Around Anymore" to "Moving Out", "Mother's Rule", to "Marriage and Other Flights of Fancy", "And Baby Makes Nine", "The Idolbreaker", to "Father Knows Best" just to name a few of the great episodes of the "Eight Is Enough" television series. When it was abruptly canceled in the Spring of 1981, ABC replaced it on it's Wednesday night schedule with "The Greatest American Hero" that starred William Katt and Robert Culp.

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