The Waltons is an American drama television series about a family in rural Virginia during the Great Depression and World War II . It was created by Earl Hamner Jr. , based on his 1961 book Spencer's Mountain and the 1963 film of the same name .
The television movie The Homecoming: A Christmas Story was broadcast on December 19, 1971. Based on its success, the CBS television network ordered one season of episodes based on the same characters and that became the television series The Waltons. Beginning in September 1972, the series subsequently aired on CBS for nine seasons. After the series was canceled by CBS in 1981, NBC aired three television movie sequels in 1982, with three more in the 1990s on CBS. The Waltons was produced by Lorimar Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution in syndication.