Silver Spoons is an American sitcom television series that aired on NBC from September 25, 1982, to May 11, 1986, and in first-run syndication from September 27, 1986, to May 30, 1987. The series was produced by Embassy Television for the first four seasons, until Embassy Communications moved the series to syndication after being cancelled by NBC. Silver Spoons was created by Martin Cohan, Howard Leeds and Ben Starr.
|Theme music composer|
|Ending theme||"Together" (Instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||116 (list of episodes)|
|Camera setup||Videotape, Multi-camera|
|Running time||28 minutes (pilot episode)|
24 minutes (Seasons 1-4)
22 minutes (Season 5)
|Picture format||NTSC (480i)|
|Original release||September 25, 1982 –|
May 30, 1987
The show focuses on the wealthy playboy Edward Stratton III, and his relationship with his young son Ricky Stratton. Ricky was the product of brief marriage between Edward and Ricky's mother. Edward was unaware that he had a son until Ricky comes to live with Edward at the outset of the series. The main cast starred Joel Higgins as Edward, Rick Schroder as Ricky, Leonard Lightfoot as Edward's attorney, Franklyn Seales as Edward's business manager, and Erin Gray as Edward's personal assistant and later love interest. Jason Bateman played Ricky's best friend over the first two seasons of the show; he was replaced by Alphonso Ribeiro over the last several seasons of the show, and legendary British actor John Houseman plays Edward's dour and disapproving father.
This section describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (November 2020)
In the pilot episode, Ricky Stratton (Ricky Schroder) arrives at the mansion of the father he has never met to introduce himself, move 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's Toys. Ricky recognizes that his father 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 (Edward Stratton II) is played by John Houseman as the intelligent, 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 game 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, breakdancing 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.
- Ricky Schroder as Richard Bluedhorn "Rick" or "Ricky" Stratton
- Joel Higgins as Edward Stratton III
- Erin Gray as Katherine "Kate" Summers Stratton
- Leonard Lightfoot as Leonard Rollins (Season 1)
- Franklyn Seales as Dexter Roosevelt Stuffins (Seasons 2–5)
- Alfonso Ribeiro as Alfonso Spears (Seasons 3–5)
- Jason Bateman as Derek Taylor (Seasons 1–2)
- Bobby Fite as J.T. Martin (Seasons 1–2)
- Corky Pigeon as Fredrick March "Freddy" Lippincottleman (Seasons 1–4)
- Billy Jacoby as Brad Langford (Seasons 4–5)
- John Houseman as Grandfather Edward Stratton II (Seasons 1–5)
- Christine Belford as Evelyn Bluedhorn Stratton (Seasons 1–5)
- Ray Walston as Uncle Harry Summers (Season 4)
Silver Spoons lasted for five seasons with a total of 116 episodes, from September 25, 1982 to May 30, 1987.
The show's theme song titled "Together" was written by Rik Howard and Bob Wirth. The original version was accompanied mostly by guitar with vocals by Ron Dante. Two other versions of the theme were used during the show's run. A synthesized version was used in 1985 with a different vocalist. The third version of the theme, a rock version, was introduced in January 1986 and began in use during the second half of season 4 with vocals again by Ron Dante and composed by Ray Colcord.
The brick Tudor period mansion shown in the opening credits (representing The Stratton Mansion) 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.
|1||Saturday at 8:30–9:00 on NBC|
|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|
Reruns of Silver Spoons aired as a part of NBC's daytime schedule in the summer of 1985.
FamilyNet (now The Cowboy Channel) aired reruns of the series nightly, until June 30, 2017, when the network underwent a programming format change the following day. Antenna TV began airing reruns of the series starting in January 2018.
On June 19, 2007, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the first season of Silver Spoons on DVD in Region 1. 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|
- Silver Spoons, retrieved July 6, 2016
- Dore, Shalini (May 20, 2010). "Sitcom scribe Martin Cohan dies: Creator of 'Silver Spoons,' 'Who's the Boss?" was 77". Variety. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2010.
- Terrace, Vincent (1993). Television Character and Story Facts: Over 110,000 Details from 1,008 Shows, 1945–1992. McFarland & Company. p. 419. ISBN 0-899-50891-X.
- Higgins, Shriley; Higgins, Jim (March 26, 1978). "Hunting treasure in new Disney film". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. p. C11.
- "Antenna TV Adding Nine New Shows to the Mix"
- "Silver Spoons – Here We Are: Sony Sez Silver Spoons in June!". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2012-09-14.