The show was part family drama, part musical, and part contemporary Western. At a time when Dynasty and Dallas, featuring uber-rich families and 80s excess, ruled the ratings, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers focused on the simple lives of the McFaddens, a family of seven orphaned brothers and the wife of the eldest as they struggled to make their cattle ranch, the Circle Bar Seven, profitable.
So Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was swimming against the stream. Still, the show had some strong points. The setting was beautiful and captured the charm of rural California. But the series' greatest asset was its strong cast led by Richard Dean Anderson, Drake Hogestyn, and Peter Horton as the three eldest brothers and rounded out by River Phoenix as the youngest brother. Roger Wilson, Tim Topper, and Bryan Utman played the teenaged brothers. Terri Treas, as the bride of the eldest brother.
Although it had charismatic and talented actors and started out with well-drawn characters, the show never found its focus. It fluctuated between straight drama and musical, sacrificing plot development in the process. Here's a link for the show: http://circlebarseven.wordpress.com/