Saturday, September 3, 2016

Silver Spoons

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.[1]
Silver Spoons was created by Martin Cohan,[2] Howard Leeds and Ben Starr.

Synopsis

In the pilot episode, Ricky Stratton (Ricky Schroder) arrives at the mansion of the father he has never met to introduce himself, moved 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 (when he expressed incredulousness because he "wasn't married that long," Ricky pointed out, "It doesn't take that long"). 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.

Cast

The cast of Silver Spoons, season 4

Main cast

Recurring cast

Broadcast history

Season Time
1 Saturday at 8:30-9:00 on NBC
2
3 Sunday at 7:00-7:30 on NBC
4 Sunday at 7:30-8:00 on NBC (September 15, 1985 - March 16, 1986)
Sunday at 7:00-7:30 on NBC (May 4 - 11, 1986)
5 In first-run syndication

Episodes

Ratings

  • 1982-'83: N/A
  • 1983-'84: #53
  • 1984-'85: #62
  • 1985-'86: #70
  • 1986-'87: N/A

Production notes

Theme song

The show's theme song titled "Together" was written by Rik Howard and Bob Wirth.[3] 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.[4]

Reruns and syndication

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.[citation needed] Antenna TV will be airing the series but a start date has not yet been announced. FamilyNet began airing episodes in August 2016.

DVD release

On June 19, 2007, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the first season of Silver Spoons on DVD in Region 1.[5] As of 2015, this release has been discontinued and is out of print. It is unknown if the remaining 4 seasons will be released.
DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Complete First Season 22 June 19, 2007

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