Newspaper columnist Tom Bradford (Dick Van Patten) and his wife, Joan, (Diana Hyland) never had a dull moment in their lives. And why? Well, because they had eight children, that's why! There was never a dull moment in the Bradford house, David, (Grant Goodeve) Mary, (Lani O'Grady) Joannie, (Laurie Walters) Susan, (Susan Richardson) Nancy, (Diane Kay)Elizabeth, (Connie Needham)Tommy, (Willie Aames) and Nicholas (Adam Rich) saw to that!
The Bradfords were a laugh a minute for viewers when the show aired from 1977 - 1981. The kids (younger and older!) were always getting into scrapes of some kind, leaving their parents the task of sorting them all out.
Sadly, Diana Hyland died of cancer during the show's run, so the producers gave Tom a new love interest, Sandra Sue "Abby" Abbott, (played by Betty Buckley)who became his second wife. The issues of death, divorce, infidelity, birth control and other social dilemmas were dealt with responsibly by the show's writers, however, the main aim of the show was to entertain through comedy and it did just that, for its entire run.
Unfortunately, quite a few of the cast members have had very public personal problems. One (Lani O' Grady) passed away in 2001)and others have had a myriad of difficulties, however, nothing can detract from the fact that the show was incredibly popular during its run and many fans are hoping for a release to DVD in the future.