Our House (1986 TV series)

Our House
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)

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.


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

Despite protests from her children, Jessie, along with 15-year-old daughter Kris (played by Shannen Doherty), 12-year-old son David (played by Chad Allen), eight-year-old daughter Molly (played by Keri Houlihan), and their basset hound named Arthur leave Fort Wayne, Indiana, to start their new lives in California. As they settle into life with Gus, they realize that he can be difficult to live with. A major part of the plot each week was centered on the conflict that can arise when extended family tries to live together in the same house. As the man of the house, Gus imposed rules on the three grandchildren the same way he raised his own children but later learned ways to convey his lessons to the kids without being gruff. Jessie and the kids learn that beneath Gus's stern facade is a man who is wise about the ways of the world and cares about them very much.

In a feature reminiscent of the 1960s T.V. series The Wild Wild West, each of the five acts of the episode before commercial ended with a freeze-frame shot, which then occupied one of the 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 71st in its second season (10.9 rating).[2]

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.


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