TV Show – Accuracy Quotes

Yes, the Laura collecting sickness is getting worse. I have decided that I need to get all of the “Little House on the Prairie” TV Guide covers. My latest addition is the Dec. 7, 1974 issue (Michael Landon leaning on the fence with the fairly new Little House behind him). I thought the feature on him had some interesting quotes on accuracy.

“the network has spent more than three-quarters of a million dollars on constructing authentic reproductions of the town of Walnut Grove” (p.36)

“There, he [Landon] checked on the positioning of four miles of expensive water pipe and sprinklers laid by NBC to promote the growth of rye, so that the arid valley would look more like the green Minnesota plains of the 1870s.”  (p.36)

“I couldn’t make up my mind [what show to take] until I came home and found my 12-year-old daughter Leslie Ann devouring the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Then I discovered that my wife, Lynn, had devoured them too when she was a girl, and was reading them again.” (p. 38)

“Landon won a fight about a story proposed by an outside writer … in which Charles Ingalls is suspected of having killed a girl found in his barn because he had made her pregnant. ‘But this idea tested highest on our computers.’ said the network. ‘Over my dead body,’ raged Landon.” (p.40)

“Landon even got personally involved in the very look of the series. He told me, ‘I got together with art director, Trevor Williams, and we researched more than 50 books on frontier life in Minnesota in the 1870s. We looked at every old photograph we could find. As a result, our show probably is the most authentic, visually, of any ever made about the Old West.”Every building is an exact replica of one that actually existed. Even our flapjacks are big and fat like a discus – the way they were made in those days – instead of the skinny modern ones.'”

Davidson, Bill. “Michael Landon General Contractor (Little Houses a Specialty). TV Guide. Dec. 7, 1974: 35-40.

“(E)xecutive producer Landon drove to the show’s permanent outdoor location in the Simi Valley, some 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles. There, he checked on the positioning of of four miles of expensive water pipe and sprinklers laid by NBC to promote the growth of rye, so that the arid valley would look more like the green Minnesota plains of the 1870s. While doing so, he found it necessary to kill an obtrusive rattlesnake.”

I didn’t know they irrigated it. I thought with those big trees and being California it would grow crops, but the movie ranch in Simi Valley must be arrid.

“The network has spent more than three-quarters of a million dollars on constructing authentic reproductions of the town of Walnut Grove, Minnesota.”

Interesting way to put it (have they ever been to Walnut Grove???), but I wonder what all the money went for, it had to be for more than a couple of shells of buildings. Did it include the irrigation money? Planting crops? The working mill?

“Landon even got personally involved in the very look of the series. He told me, ‘I got together with the art director, Trevor Williams, and we researched more than 50 books on frontier life in Minnesota in the 1870s. We looked at every old photograph we could find. As a result, our show probably is the most authentic, visually, of any ever made about the Old West. Every building Even our flapjacks are big and fat like a discus – the way they were made in those days – instead of skinny modern ones.'”

That would be interesting to see the photos they “based” it on, especially whatever photo they had of flapjacks.

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trundlebedtales

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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