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The Torkelsons
The Torkelsons - Almost Home.jpg
The opening intertitles for both series.
Also known as Almost Home
Genre Sitcom
Created by Lynn Montgomery
Written by Diana Ayers
Lisa A. Bannick
Virginia K. Hegge
Michael Jacobs
Philip LaZebnik
Wayne Lemon
Mark Lisson
Richard Christian Matheson
Lynn Montgomery
Patricia Nardo
Christopher Vane
Norma Safford Vela
Arlene Sanford
Susan Sebastian
Thomas E. Szollosi
Directed by Robert Berlinger
Bruce Bilson
Linda Day
Dennis Erdman
Patrick Maloney
Lynn Montgomery
Arlene Sanford
Thomas Szollosi
David Trainer
Starring Connie Ray
Olivia Burnette
Lee Norris
Anna Slotky
Aaron Michael Metchik
Rachel Duncan
William Schallert
Paige Gosney
Michael Landes
Brittany Murphy
Jason Marsden
Perry King
Composer(s) Ray Colcord
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 33
Production
Producer(s) Mitchell Bank
Michael Jacobs
Cinematography Vincent Contarino
Richard Hissong
Running time 30 mins. (approx)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run September 21, 1991 – June 6, 1993

The Torkelsons is an American sitcom which aired on the NBC television network from September 21, 1991 to June 6, 1993.[1] Produced by Walt Disney Television, the series starred Connie Ray, Olivia Burnette and William Schallert. For the second season, the series was retooled and renamed Almost Home.[2] The series lasted a total of two seasons, consisting of 33 episodes.

Contents

Synopsis

Living in Pyramid Corners, Oklahoma, a fictional city set in the series near the actual Oklahoma suburb of Vinita, Millicent Torkelson did what she could to survive financially, after her husband, Randy (Gregg Henry) left the family. Randy later returned and was seen in several episodes, and the two parents ended up divorcing. The pilot episode deals with Millicent being so far in debt that she even has appliances in her home repossessed. In order to support her family, Millicent gets a boarder named Wesley Hodges (William Schallert) who ends up living with them for the year in the house basement.

Millicent's children were 14-year-old Dorothy Jane (Olivia Burnette), sweet and exceptionally articulate for her age, who also served running commentary throughout the show by having talks with the "Man in the Moon" by her bedroom window; 12-year-old Steven Floyd (Aaron Michael Metchik), the athletic second oldest; 10-year-old Ruth Ann (Anna Slotky), who was musically inclined; 8-year-old Chuckie Lee (Lee Norris), the bug collector, always recognizable with his thick-rimmed glasses; and the youngest, 6-year-old Mary Sue (Rachel Duncan), who acted as if nothing was ever wrong. The pilot also involves Dorothy Jane meeting the new neighbor for the first time, 18-year-old Riley Roberts (Michael Landes), and becoming completely infatuated with him. Throughout the remainder of the first season Riley remains oblivious to the torch Dorothy Jane carries for him, mainly due to their age difference (she was a freshman in high school, and he a senior), but the two develop a strong connection nonetheless. Another neighbor of the Torkelsons was Kirby Scroggins (Paige Gosney), a pesky but well-meaning teenage boy clad in plaid who was forever chasing a disinterested Dorothy Jane. Dorothy Jane is also quite embarrassed by her family and their situation, even though she would never let someone else make fun of them.

The pilot also featured Ernie Lively as Jacob "J.W." Presley, a butcher who is smitten with Millicent. In the pilot episode, Benj Thall and Elizabeth Poyer played Steven Floyd and Ruth Ann Torkelson. All these actors were originally going to be part of the show permanently, as they were credited in the pilot's opening sequence, but thereafer, the children were subsequently recast and the character of J.W. was dropped entirely.

Almost Home

After ending its first season on in June 16, 1992, the series was picked up in the "sequel" and renamed Almost Home. Premiering on February 6, 1993, the second incarnation of the series featured was changed. The family could no longer afford to be living in their own house. Millicent Torkelson got a job as a nanny in Seattle, Washington. In this series, Steven Floyd and Ruth Ann did not appear nor were mentioned. Millicent took the other three children to live with Brian Morgan (Perry King) and his two kids; Gregory (Jason Marsden) and Molly (Brittany Murphy). Brian ran a successful clothing catalog/magazine titled Molly Gregory, a business started by his late wife and so-named after both his children.

There was some initial resistance from Molly and Gregory to warm up to the Torkelson clan moving in, as they felt somewhat alienated by their down-home ways and devotion to cheerful, southern hospitality. Slowly but surely they adjusted, with Gregory becoming a trusted ally to all the kids, and Molly helping Dorothy Jane to fit into her world of shallow, status-conscious people, albeit feebly. Brian and Millicent often clashed over parenting methods, but would usually learn a valuable lesson from each other in the end. The novel practice of having Dorothy Jane talk to the "Man in the Moon" about her issues and dreams, from her bedroom window, remained. This incarnation of the show ended on June 6, 1993.

Syndication

The Disney Channel aired reruns of The Torkelsons and Almost Home on their weekday and weekend lineups from January 1994 to late 1999. All Disney Channel advertising for the shows packaged both seasons under the Torkelsons name; however, when the Almost Home episodes aired in circulation, the title was never altered in the opening credits. The Disney Channel also aired the series' episodes in production order.

Cast

  • Connie Ray as Millicent Torkelson
  • Olivia Burnette as Dorothy Jane Torkelson
  • Rachel Duncan as Mary Sue Torkelson
  • Paige Gosney as Kirby Scroggins (Season 1)
  • Michael Landes as Riley Roberts (Season 1)
  • Perry King as Brian Morgan (Season 2)
  • Jason Marsden as Gregory Morgan (Season 2)
  • Aaron Michael Metchik as Steven Floyd Torkelson (Season 1)
  • Brittany Murphy as Molly Morgan (Season 2)
  • Lee Norris as Chuckie Lee Torkelson
  • William Schallert as Wesley "Boarder" Hodges (Season 1)
  • Anna Slotky as Ruth Ann Torkelson (Season 1)
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Notable guest stars

  • Comedian Drew Carey guest starred in an episode of The Torkelsons, in what was his very first appearance in a TV sitcom.
  • Ben Affleck appeared in one episode of Almost Home as a basketball player who fell in love with Dorothy Jane.
  • Jared Leto appeared in one episode of Almost Home as a football player at a party that Molly throws, whom Dorothy Jane thinks is cute.
  • Alyson Hannigan appeared in one episode of Almost Home as a tomboy with a crush on Gregory.
  • In one episode, William Schallert was reunited with former co-star Patty Duke, who had played his daughter in The Patty Duke Show almost 30 years earlier, from 1963-1966. In this episode in which Duke guest starred, Millicent wanted to reunite Boarder Hodges (Schallert) with his granddaughter that he had not seen in over a year. Patty Duke played the widow of his late son and mother of his granddaughter.
  • Grounded for Life star Donal Logue appeared in Almost Home as a musician named "Tommy Tom", an obvious parody of Marky Mark.

Episodes

Season 1

Episode # Episode title Original airdate
1-1 "Fence Neighbors" September 21, 1991
1-2 "The Cotillion" September 28, 1991
1-3 "A Kiss is Still a Kiss" October 5, 1991
1-4 "For Love or Money" October 12, 1991
1-5 "Poetry in Motion" October 19, 1991
1-6 "An American Almost in Paris" October 26, 1991
1-7 "Men Don't Leave" November 2, 1991
1-8 "Thanksgivingmesomething" November 24, 1991
1-9 "Return to Sender" December 1, 1991
1-10 "I Fought the Law" December 1, 1991
1-11 "A Sigh is Just a Sigh" December 8, 1991
1-12 "Educating Millicent" December 22, 1991
1-13 "Double Date" January 9, 1992
1-14 "The Ice Princess" January 12, 1992
1-15 "Swear Not By the Moon" January 19, 1992
1-16 "Say Uncle" February 16, 1992
1-17 "The Long Goodbye" May 2, 1992
1-18 "The Egg and I" May 30, 1992
1-19 "It's My Party" May 30, 1992
1-20 "Aunt Poison" June 13, 1992

Season 2

Episode # Episode title Original airdate
1-1 "New Moon" February 6, 1993
1-2 "Girls and Boy" February 13, 1993
1-3 "Sleeping with the Enemy" February 20, 1993
1-4 "Is That All There Is?" February 27, 1993
1-5 "The Fox and the Hound" March 6, 1993
1-6 "Winner Take Millicent" March 20, 1993
1-7 "To Jane Eyre is Human" March 27, 1993
1-8 "Duelling Birthdays" April 3, 1993
1-9 "To Date or Not to Date" April 10, 1993
1-10 "The Dance" April 17, 1993
1-11 "You Ought to Be in Pictures" April 24, 1993
1-12 "Hot Ticket" June 5, 1993
1-13 "Bowling for Daddies" June 12, 1993

Award nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1992 Young Artist Awards Nominated Best New Family Television Series
-
Best Young Actress Starring in a New Television Series Olivia Burnette
Exceptional Performance by a Young Actor Under Ten Lee Norris
Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Under Ten Rachel Duncan
1993 Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series Olivia Burnette
Outstanding Actress Under Ten in a Television Series Rachel Duncan

References

  1. ^ Smith, David (1996). Disney A to Z : The Official Encyclopedia. Hyperion Books. pp. 685. ISBN 0-786-88149-6.  
  2. ^ Smith, David (1996). Disney A to Z : The Official Encyclopedia. Hyperion Books. pp. 25. ISBN 0-786-88149-6.  

External links


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