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Eight Is Enough

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22
Father Knows Best?
1981-05-23
Finally ready to be a father, Jeremy's father returns for a visit and wants to take him back to Los Angeles. David relives old memories when four of his old high school buddies return to Sacramento for their 10 year high school reunion.

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21
Goals
1981-05-16
Merle suffers a career-ending shoulder injury and doesn't know what to do if he can't play baseball. Merle comes upon Nicholas and his friends playing ball.

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20
Starting Over
1981-05-09
Jeremy is suspicious when he finds a skull while digging in the garden. David and Janet consider getting back together.

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19
The Idolbreaker
1981-04-18
Ellen tells Tommy that she doesn't want to marry him and Tommy isn't sure what he wants to do. At the last minute, they both realize it is not the right thing to do.

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18
The Idolbreaker
1981-04-11
Just as Tommy's career is about to take off, his old girlfriend returns to tell Tommy she is pregnant after it is announced that his band has been booked for a national tour. Nicholas wins a girl's heart by standing up to a bully.

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17
Yet Another Seven Days in February
1981-04-04
This year it's the boys' turn to meet new women. Tommy dates the daughter of a radio station owner in order to get his band some air time.

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16
The Best Little Telethon in Sacramento
1981-03-28
Jeremy wants to manage Tommy's band and tries to get him a gig. Joannie is chosen to organize a charity telethon and tries to get celebrities to appear on the show.

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15
If the Glass Slipper Fits
1981-03-11
Nancy's modeling career is about to take off but she needs to make an important decision as she later finds out she has to pose topless for a jeans ad. Elizabeth is trying to attract Alan Anderson, who only sees her as a friend.

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14
Vows
1981-03-04
Jeremy meets a new girlfriend at a Fred Astaire film festival. Tom and Abby decide to renew their marriage vows on their 3rd anniversary and they agree to let the kids handle the arrangements.

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13
The Way We Were
1981-02-04
Tommy and Ernie, back from college with a "preppy" look, run into Jill, Tommy's old girlfriend. When Jill picks Ernie over Tommy, David helps him realize that reliving the past is not the real world.

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12
David's Rib
1981-01-28
Joannie involves David in the renovation of an old opera house. However, Janet is the legal counsel for the developer who wants to build low-income housing on the site.

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11
Second Thoughts
1981-01-21
Joannie is tired of not getting any serious assignments at work and Abby encourages her to take a leave of absence to evaluate her career, and falls for a co-worker. Nancy finds out fame has a price when she becomes the "Sunshine Soda Girl.

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10
Darlene Dilemma
1981-01-14
Abby is proud of the progress one of her students has made and invites her to the house for dinner. Jeremy falls for 16-year-old Darlene, who likes to flirt and cause trouble (shades of Melrose Place), and he refuses to listen to Abby's advice about her.

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9
Bradfordgate
1981-01-07
Tom is nominated for a political post by the governor. A political appointment for him ends up more than he can live with.

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8
Strike
1980-12-17
Caught up in a newspaper strike and laid-off, Tom tries to bring the feuding parties together thanks to something Nicholas says about giving and compromise.

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7
The Maltese Airline Bag
1980-12-10
Caught up in a newspaper strike and laid-off, Tom tries to bring the feuding parties together thanks to something Nicholas says about giving and compromise. To save everyone money, Nicholas starts a barter system for the family.

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6
Holly
1980-11-26
Ernie introduces Tommy to a slightly older songwriting woman who has a 4-year old son. When he falls for her, she has second thoughts.

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5
Generations
1980-11-19
Susan brings the baby, Sandra Sue, home from the hospital. When Joan's parents visit the Bradford household to see the family and their great-grandchild, a conflict with Abby occurs as Joan's parents disapprove of the way Abby is raising Nicholas.

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4
Welcome to Memorial, Dr. Bradford
1980-11-12
Abby gets a job as a guidance counselor at a rough high school filled with trouble. Tom discovers his driver's license has expired and fails the renewal test.

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3
And Baby Makes Nine
1980-11-05
Abby goes to a funeral in San Francisco and returns with her nephew, Jeremy, who has nowhere else to go. His behavior upsets the family, referring the Bradfords as that other family (The Brady Bunch), but all ends well as he becomes the newest member of the Bradfords.

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2
And Baby Makes Nine
1980-10-29
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1
Jeremy
1980-10-29
Abby goes to a funeral in San Francisco and returns with her nephew, Jeremy, who has nowhere else to go. His behavior upsets the family, referring the Bradfords as that other family (The Brady Bunch), but all ends well as he becomes the newest member of the Bradfords.

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Eight Is Enough is an American television drama-comedy series that aired on ABC from March 15, 1977, until May 23, 1981. The show resolves around a Sacramento, California family with eight children, hence the title "Eight Is Enough".

The series was based on the 1975 book "Eight Is Enough: A Father's Memoir of Life with His Extraordinary Eight Children" by Tom Braden. The hour-long episodes unfold the story of the large Bradford family and their daily life experiences, providing a blend of comedy and drama that portrays the dynamics of a large family during that era. The series packed 112 episodes spread across five seasons, providing a rich narrative arc centered around diverse characters.

Dick Van Patten starred as Tom Bradford, a loving father and a respected newspaper columnist for the fictional Sacramento Register. Tom's role as a father is a constant theme in the series, as he juggles life as a widower and a dedicated parent, offering his children guidance, love, and support while also dealing with his demanding profession.

The series introduced Diana Hyland as Joan Bradford, the mother of the clan, during its first season, but after her untimely passing, the show acknowledged her passing on-screen. Betty Buckley then joined the cast as Sandra Sue "Abby" Abbott Bradford, Tom's second wife and the stepmother to his children. Abby is a school teacher by profession, but often plays an integral role as a mother figure in the Bradford household.

The eight Bradford children, each having a unique personality and individual issues, added diverse character dynamics to the show. Grant Goodeve as the eldest son David, a construction worker; Lani O'Grady as Mary, a psychology major; Laurie Walters as Joanie, an aspiring actress; Dianne Kay as Nancy, a beautician; Connie Needham as Elizabeth, a high school student, later a student nurse; Willie Aames as Tommy, who is sporty and loves rock music; Susan Richardson as Susan (nicknamed Sunshine), a student in love, and Adam Rich as Nicholas, the youngest, make up the lively and complex family.

Eight is Enough accurately depicted the realistic problems such families face, and balanced it all with a splash of humor, making it unique for its time. The theme of family, sibling dynamics, relationships, and personal growth remains constant. The children often grapple with a range of situations, from existential crises to romantic relationships. Tom's patience is often tested as he is seen mediating between his eldest children time and again while managing work from home.

Besides the family issues, the show also depicted the social, cultural, and economic issues of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Job security, inflation, dating, independence, and career choice were frequently mentioned subjects. Even though the family is large, the camaraderie and unity among the siblings was one of the show's main draws.

Each character had a distinctive personality and storyline, ensuring a diverse audience appeal. The vast array of characters ensured there was someone for every viewer to relate to. Whether it was the challenging dilemmas of eldest sibling David, the feminine tasks of the sisters, the athletic antics of Tommy or the cute, innocent experiences of youngest Nicholas, each character added a unique element to the story.

The heartwarming humor, occasional drama, and authentic familial portrayals were the prismatic representations of middle-class family life during the era which made Eight Is Enough a hugely popular series. Many episodes focused on moral and ethical dilemmas, giving viewers food for thought long after the show ended.

Overall, the series has several aspects that make it worth viewing. The outstanding portrayals from Dick Van Patten, Betty Buckley, and the rest of the cast, along with the engaging storyline depicting the real-life scenarios of a large family dealing with various life issues, make it a memorable series. Eight Is Enough was an innovator in the television landscape of its time and still holds relevance for its portrayal of the familial bonds and dynamics, making it a timeless classic.

Eight Is Enough is a series categorized as a canceled. Spanning 5 seasons with a total of 104 episodes, the show debuted on 1977. The series has earned a moderate reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 6.6.

Channel
ABC
Rating
6.6/10
Cast
Dick Van Patten, Adam Rich, Dianne Kay, Grant Goodeve, Willie Aames, Betty Buckley, Connie Needham, Susan Richardson, Lani O'Grady, Laurie Walters, Brian Patrick Clarke, Diana Hyland, Jennifer Darling, Mark Hamill, Ralph Macchio, Virginia Vincent
Eight Is Enough is available on .