TV Legends Revealed | Why walk Michael Landon punch Up the 'Little House' Sets? The standard family drama finished with Walnut Grove gift destroyed. However why did Michael Landon perform it?

TV urban LEGEND: Michael Landon had the to adjust for tiny House ~ above the Prairie destroyed so no other shows could re-use them, and there can be no reunions.

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The Western has actually long had actually a significant presence top top American television. It doesn"t seem together though a single season passes without at least one western on the wait (AMC’s Hell on Wheels, for instance). However, by the time tiny House on the Prairie debuted in 1974 (first through a renowned TV movie in the feather that offered as a pilot and then the series proper that fall), Westerns had fallen from their place of prominence, when shows prefer Gunsmoke and Bonanza were regular features in the Nielsen optimal 10. So that was somewhat surprising to see previous Bonanza star Michael Landon start a collection about settlers in Walnut Grove, Minnesota (based top top Laura Ingalls Wilder"s bestselling children"s books about her very own life) come to be such a renowned series.

Little home on the Prairie aired for nine seasons, through Landon starring in and also producing the first eight before going completely behind the scenes for the final season, which saw a brand-new family move right into the "Little House" and also Melissa Gilbert"s Laura (now married) become the command character. The show"s ratings dipped in the final season and also the present was canceled, yet Landon was provided a possibility to wrap increase the collection with three tv movies. Weird enough, because of a scheduling fluke, the 2nd film (a Christmas story) finished up airing a year after the was initially intended come run, in December 1984. So the third film, which operated as a series finale, wasn’t in reality the last to air. The third film, "The critical Farewell," was very much a finale. In the episode, the citizens of Walnut Grove uncover that a developer has bought up all of their land. They shot to struggle his claim yet fail, and Laura inspires them to make a stand against the developer by in reality blowing up every one of the property in Walnut Grove.

therefore yes, the final episode of little House top top the Prairie finished with them damaging the town that fans had actually grown to love. Why the set was damaged has to be a issue of contention ever before since. Below are two ways I"ve watched the story recurring over the years:

Did Michael Landon really burn under the tiny House on the Prairie sets after the collection wrapped for this reason he’d never need to do a reunion movie/series?


The primary reason Michael Landon blew up the city was due to the fact that he to be mad they canceled the show and did not desire anybody to usage his set.

What is the truth?

It appears clear the Landon did choose the idea of people not gift able to usage the little House on the Prairie sets, however I think the answer come why he damaged them is pretty clear; it’s something he was rather open around at the time.

First off, Landon understood why the present was canceled: The ratings were low. He knew tnine periods was quite a run, and NBC also worked it out so he can wrap every little thing up with 3 TV movies. Landon had been functioning at the network for practically 25 years (between Bonanza and tiny House on the Prairie), and his following series, Highway come Heaven, was likewise at NBC. In other words, Landon didn’t have a difficulty with NBC. As he told The new York Times, he never expected small House to last that long.

More importantly, however, there was a pragmatic reason for the devastation of the town. Little House on the Prairie producer Kent McCrary explained it all to

A lot has actually been claimed of late around why on little House top top the Prairie we blew up the town. I would favor to set it straight so the everyone understands what in reality happened. We need to go ago to the start of the collection when ns made an setup to rent the residential or commercial property from Newhall land and breakthrough in Newhall, California.

The covenant that I had with them was the at the end of the series we would placed the acreage earlier to its normal state. The factor for this was the Newhall land and advance used the acreage as a feedlot for their livestock empire. Therefore, they were afraid if the buildings still stood one of the animals might get into them and get ache or children in the area might get into the area and start come smoke, and also with the high grass area that could be really dangerous. For this reason it was in our initial covenant that we put the land ago to its initial state--thus pour it until it is full in the locations where we had actually the stream and the town, and also the stream by the little house, and taking the buildings down. That was the original reason.

Now, stop talk around why we blew up the town. Top top a given day in the tenth season us had already done two two-hour shows and our commitment was to carry out a third. We had not decided on a script at this point and I remained in the office working with Don Winter, our building and construction coordinator, around what it would take to dismantle all the buildings. While we were doing this and trying to run an estimate on the expense involved, Mike go in the office and also listened to what was going on and said, “How space you walk to take the structures down?” and I said, “We will probably lug in a large size crane comparable to what you see on home makeover and knock the buildings apart, choose up the debris, and also cart it away.” he said, “Let me think around that because that a minute.” He entered the office and also Don and I continued working and finished what us were doing.

About one hour and a half later Mike came back into mine office and said, “What if we blow up the town? that would obtain the structures all in pieces and also you tho can bring in your devices to pick up the debris and also cart that away.” and I said, “That’s fine.” he replied, “I will certainly write a show that is where we will certainly blow up every the buildings. I will certainly not punch up the tiny house nor the church, yet my reasoning is to blow up every the various other buildings.”

(NOTE: McCrary refers to the collection of TV films as the show"s "tenth season," just in instance that was confusing)

Landon called that very same story come The brand-new York time in 1984, and also noted:

I think it makes for a good strong pioneer ending. The was likewise a nice catharsis because that the cast and crew. There were several tears when we finally blew increase the town. The actors had actually all become very attached come their very own buildings, so it was very emotional.

Actor man Ivar, that played the head of the family that moved right into the "Little House,” took home the actual set for that house, rescuing the from destruction. A replica was placed up in that is place, however it was destroyed in a fire in 2003.

But yes, the true that Landon likewise found the nice come not have to see other TV mirrors or commercials using his old tiny House sets. Ns don"t think there‘s any indication that was the driving pressure for the destruction of the set, but it is fair sufficient to cite it. TV Land produced a one-of-a-kind in which it was suggested that was major motivation; it was that special that compelled McCrary to come forward. Since what that says now fits precisely what was stated 30 years ago, I"m lean to think his take on the matter.

So I"m phone call the legend as ...

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STATUS: False (even if the is kind of technically true)

Thanks come Kent McCrary and for the information!

Feel free (heck, ns implore you!) to create in through your suggestions for future installments! mine e-mail resolve is bcronin

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