1 9 8 6 – 1 9 8 8 (USA)
46 x 60 minute episodes
Following the death of his son, 65-year-old Gus Witherspoon (Wilford Brimley from Cocoon) takes in his daughter-in-law Jessie (Deidre Hall) and his three grandchildren to live with him in his Victorian house at 14 Ashton Street in Los Angeles.
Gus, whose hobby is model railroading, is a retired engineer, and he and his friend Joe Kaplan (Gerald S. O’Loughlin) are members of the Monona Service Club.
The arrival of 15-year-old Kris (Shannen Doherty) – an honors student at Highland Park High School (occasionally referred to in the series as James K Polk High) – who is determined to become an astronaut; 12-year-old David (Chad Allen), and 8-year-old Molly (Keri Houlihan) meant that Gus had to give up a few little things – such as peace and quiet, and those pleasant breakfasts with his pal Joe.
But in return, he gets a sad-eyed basset hound called Arthur (to which he’s allergic), cartons of milk left on the counter, and buckets of love.
The kids, in turn, discover Grandpa – a billy goat gruff with a heart of gold – is actually a neat old dude who can handle almost anything.
William Katt appeared as Gus’s estranged son, Ben Witherspoon; Rebecca Balding was Ben’s wife, Gail; and Laurie Burton played Jessie’s sister, Sheila. Patrick Duffy played Jessie’s deceased husband, John Witherspoon, in a flashback sequence.
Gerald S. O’Loughlin