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Our House (1986 TV series)

Our House is an American television drama series that aired on NBC for two seasons from September 11, 1986 to May 8, 1988. The series centers on the Witherspoon family and the challenges they face adjusting to life with three generations living in the same house.

Our House
Our House cast 1986.jpg
Genre Drama
Created by James Lee Barrett
Starring Wilford Brimley
Deidre Hall
Shannen Doherty
Chad Allen
Keri Houlihan
Gerald S. O'Loughlin
Theme music composer Billy Goldenberg
Composer(s) Joel McNeely
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 46
Producer(s) Frank Fischer
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Blinn/Thorpe Productions
Distributor Warner Bros. Television
Original network NBC
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 11, 1986 (1986-09-11) – May 8, 1988 (1988-05-08)

The series was created by James Lee Barrett, who died the year after its cancellation.



After his son John dies, retired widower Gus Witherspoon (Wilford Brimley) invites his daughter-in-law Jessica Witherspoon (Deidre Hall) and her three children to move to California and live with him until Jessie gets back on her feet financially.

Despite protests from her children - 15-year-old daughter Kris (Shannen Doherty); 12-year-old son David (Chad Allen); and 8-year-old daughter Molly (Keri Houlihan) - they, Jessie, and their basset hound Arthur leave Fort Wayne, Indiana, to start life anew in California. As they settle in with Gus, they realize just how difficult he can be to live with. The majority of the plots each week centered on the conflicts which tend to arise when an extended family must live together in the same house. As man of the house, Gus imposed rules on his three grandkids the same way he had raised John (and also John's brother Ben, who was seen in a two-part episode); ultimately, however, he learned ways of conveying lessons to the kids without being gruff. Jessie and the kids eventually learned that beneath Gus's stern facade was a wise man, well-versed in the ways of the world, who cared about them very much.

In a feature reminiscent of the 1960s T.V. series The Wild Wild West, each of the episode's five acts (before the commercial break) ended with a freeze-frame shot...which then occupied one of several rooms in an abstract rendering of a house figure. As the episode unfolded, more rooms were filled until - finally, when the dilemma had been resolved - the final piece was put in place, completing the house.

John Witherspoon (played by Patrick Duffy) was seen in one episode and in the occasional flashback.



Upon the show's 1986 premiere, the Associated Press called it "a family show suitable for framing." Despite positive reviews, the series was not a ratings success, likely owing to being scheduled Sundays at 7 PM (EST) opposite CBS's powerhouse 60 Minutes and numerous overruns by NFL games on its own network. The series ranked 59th in its first season (12.9 rating) [1] and 70th in its second season (11.1 rating).[2] Viewers who saw the show gave it mixed reviews, with some viewers liking the show a lot, and others hating it.

The Inspiration Network re-aired syndicated episodes of Our House in the US from October 18, 2010, to December 31, 2011.[3] Prior to that, reruns of the show aired on The Family Channel in the early 1990s and on Pax TV and Odyssey Channel about a decade later.

Warner Brothers has refused to release an episode guide for the show. It is unknown if the series will be released on DVD.


  1. ^ "The Fifth Estate : Broadcasting" (PDF). Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  2. ^ "List of Season's Top-Rated TV Shows With AM-TV Ratings Bjt". Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  3. ^ "INSP to Air "The Waltons" and "Our House"" (Press release). INSP – Inspiration. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2010-11-27.

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