The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer's Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name, starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara. The show centered on the titular family growing up in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II. The series pilot was a television movie entitled The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, broadcast in 1971. The show originally aired on CBS from 1972 to 1981. After the series left the air, three television movie sequels were broadcast in 1982, with three more following in the 1990s.