45th Anniversary of Sons and Daughters

Short-lived CBS drama Sons and Daughters celebrates its 45th anniversary today. Set in the 1950s, the “continuing love story” ran for just nine low-rated episodes during the fall of 1974. It debuted on September 11th, 1974 opposite the final episode aired less than three months later on November 6th.

Scheduled opposite NBC’s new (and popular) family drama Little House on the Prairie from 8-9PM ET on Wednesdays, Sons and Daughters never caught on with viewers.

Scan of a TV Guide image showing Glynnis O'Connor and Gary Frank
Glynnis O’Connor and Gary Frank as Anita Cramer and Jeff Reed
Photo Credit: TV Guide (1974 Fall Preview Issue – September 7th, 1974)

A pilot telefilm titled Senior Year aired March 22nd, 1974. Gary Frank and Glynnis O’Connor starred as high school seniors Jeff Reed and Anita Cramer, whose new relationship is tested by family crises. The cast also included Dabralee Scott, Barry Livingston, Scot Colomby, Jan Shutan, and others.

Following its cancellation, episodes of Sons and Daughters were edited into a pair of made-for-TV movies titled Love Is Not Forever and Teenage Lovers. Ballantine Books published a novelization of the pilot telefilm written by William Johnston.

I’m in the process of revising my article about Sons and Daughters to commemorate the show’s 45th anniversary. A lengthy section summarizing the episodes will be heavily condensed. Look for a blog post later this month with an expanded look at the pilot telefilm and all nine episodes.

Were you a fan of Sons and Daughters? Were you disappointed when the show went off the air so quickly 45 years ago? Hit the comments with your recollections.

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