7th Heaven


7th Heaven Information

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7th Heaven is an American family drama television series, created and produced by Brenda Hampton. The series premiered on August 26, 1996, on The WB, the first time that the network aired Monday night programming, and was originally broadcast from August 26, 1996 to May 13, 2007. The series finale was scheduled for May 8, 2006; however, the show was renewed by the CW when the intended final episode received high ratings. The final season premiered on Monday, September 25, 2006 and ended on May 13, 2007.

7th Heaven is the longest-running series that has ever aired on The WB and is the longest-running family drama in television history (beating out both Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons). It is also the longest-running show produced by Aaron Spelling.

Dan Foliart composed the theme song "7th Heaven", which is performed by Steve Plunkett in the introduction of each episode.

Premise

The series tells the story of the Camdens, a Protestant minister's family living in Glen Oak, California. The central characters are the Reverend Eric Camden (Stephen Collins), his wife Annie (Catherine Hicks), and their seven children (all named after key biblical figures): Matt (Barry Watson), Mary (Jessica Biel), Lucy (Beverley Mitchell), Simon (David Gallagher), Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman) and the twins, David (Lorenzo Brino) and Sam (Nikolas Brino). There are originally five children (making it seven in the family)"?until the twins, David and Sam, are born in episode 14 of season three, "In Praise of Women".

Four of the Camden children (Matt, Mary, Lucy and Simon) moved away from home during the show's run. Simon went to college, Mary went to live with her grandparents (see Jessica Biel's departure), and Matt married and pursued his career as a doctor far away from the family. Despite these three being absent from the Camden home at varying points throughout the show, the house was still always full. When Lucy married, she and her husband moved into the garage apartment and started to raise their family, and later moved into a home next door with her husband Kevin and daughter Savannah. Ruthie left for a short while in the last season to go to Scotland, and the Camdens offer shelter to various house guests at different points in the show.

Church denomination

Eric is the pastor of the Glen Oak Community Church. This is revealed in episode two of season one when Eric is at the hospital talking to a nurse. It is also mentioned in an episode that was narrated by Simon in season eight.

In at least one episode, the Disciples of Christ denominational logo (St. Andrew cross and chalice) is displayed prominently on the front of the church's pulpit. Many of the church scenes were filmed at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of North Hollywood. On the wall hanging left to the pulpit, the church's logo is present (blue logo with a cross/anchor symbol). The church (First Christian Church of North Hollywood), has noted that when the cast was on set, they often went into the church office to observe how church staff really act.

In an earlier online show guide from Warner Brothers Television, the back story for Eric Camden described him as being an Episcopal Priest leading, with his Bishop's permission, a non-denominational church.

Episodic themes

Each episode deals with a moral lesson or controversial theme that the family handles either directly or indirectly. Topics dealt with include alcoholism, bullying, drug abuse, homelessness, menopause, menstruation, racism, robbery, sexual harassment, spousal abuse, and teenage pregnancy. In one particular episode, each family member acquires an addiction (with even Ruthie being addicted to gum). Beyond the moral lesson in each show, there are also longer-running story arcs, such as Eric's difficulty coping with the maturing of the female members of the household. The first episode of the series involves Lucy's (lack of a) period. Another episode features a Holocaust survivor telling her story to Simon's class. In the later seasons, Annie enters menopause and Ruthie needs a training bra.

The topics are usually approached from a socially and politically conservative Protestant Christian point of view. Much of season nine is devoted to the importance of abstaining from pre-marital sex. However, several pre-marital incidents do occur"?including a season ten episode where Eric discovers that his parents had to marry because his mother became pregnant with him. In another episode, Ruthie discloses that she lost her virginity while in Europe over the summer (though it is later revealed to be a lie). As a rule, the series generally avoids touching on "hot button" issues (i.e. affirmative action, abortion, and homosexuality).

A 2004 episode about the importance of voting on election day seemed to suggest that the men in the family were voting for President George W. Bush, while the women were voting for Massachusetts Senator John Kerry"?however, the script went out of the way to make sure that no mention of either candidate was ever made directly by name, leaving the viewer to decide; the episode's message was "Vote, no matter who you vote for."

The show is reliant on the "very special episode" concept, attempting to introduce contemporary social issues to lend greater emotional resonance to episodes. These episodes do in fact lead to high ratings for the show. The January 24, 2005 episode, which featured the birth of Lucy's daughter Savannah, garnered 7.99 million viewers"?the highest WB rating since 2003. Another example included the would-be series finale on May 8, 2006"?now known as the season ten finale"?which scored 7.56 million viewers.

Cast and characters

Main article: List of 7th Heaven characters


Main
  • Stephen Collins as Eric Camden
  • Catherine Hicks as Annie Camden
  • Barry Watson as Matt Camden (main: seasons 1"6, 9; guest: seasons 7, 8 & 10)
  • Jessica Biel as Mary Camden (main: seasons 1"6; guest: seasons 7, 8 & 10)
  • Beverly Mitchell as Lucy Camden
  • David Gallagher as Simon Camden (seasons 1"10)
  • Mackenzie Rosman as Ruthie Camden
  • Lorenzo Brino as Sam Camden (guest: seasons 3"5; main: seasons 6"11)
  • Nikolas Brino as David Camden (guest: seasons 3"5; main: seasons 6"11)
  • George Stults as Kevin Kinkirk (guest: season 6; main: seasons 7"11)
  • Happy as Happy the Dog
Supporting
  • Chaz Lamar Shepherd as John Hamilton (seasons 1"5)
  • Adam LaVorgna as Robbie Palmer (seasons 4"7)
  • Tyler Hoechlin as Martin Brewer (seasons 8"11)
  • Geoff Stults as Ben Kinkirk (seasons 6"7, 9, 11)
  • Scotty Leavenworth as Peter Petrowski (seasons 7"10)
  • Rachel Blanchard as Roxanne Richardson (seasons 7"8)
  • Jeremy London as Chandler Hampton (seasons 7"8)
  • Ashlee Simpson as Cecilia Smith (seasons 7"8)
  • Sarah Thompson as Rose (seasons 9"10)
  • Haylie Duff as Sandy Jameson (seasons 10"11)
  • Maureen Flannigan as Shana Sullivan (seasons 3-4,6)

Episodes

Main article: List of 7th Heaven episodes

Production

Although originally produced for Fox in 1996, the show aired on the WB. It was produced by Spelling Television, and distributed for syndication by (corporate sibling) CBS Television Distribution. Its producers, including Aaron Spelling, considered it wholesome family viewing, incorporating public service announcements into the show. The final season of 7th Heaven was shown on the inaugural season of The CW. The show wrapped production on the final episode March 8, 2007 about one month before most shows film their last episodes of the season. This was due largely to the fact that after ten years of working together, the actors, producers and crew had gotten production down to a steady pace, slashing costs repeatedly and routinely coming in well under budget. This resulted in 7th Heaven filming episodes in shorter time during the final seasons.

Jessica Biel's departure

Jessica Biel, who gradually became dissatisfied with what she thought was her "goody goody" image, eventually posed for semi-nude photographs for Gear magazine, at the age of 17. The producers of the show did not approve. During season five (2000"2001), her character goes through a rebellious phase, and this storyline was used to write Biel out of the show, sending Mary to her grandparents' house in Buffalo for some tough love to counter her rebellious behavior. During season six, Mary returned home, but the differences between Biel and the producers led to Mary leaving home full-time and becoming a flight attendant.

Biel returned for five episodes during season seven, including "We Do", the episode of Lucy's wedding, and the season finale. She then appeared in episode two of season eight, when she revealed to the family that she had married Carlos Rivera (Carlos Ponce)"?whom the Camdens had assisted in returning home to his family in the Christmas episode "Here Comes Santa Claus" in season three"?and was pregnant with his child. After a nearly three-year absence, it was announced that Biel would make a triumphant return for the season 10 finale, "And Thank You", reuniting all nine Camdens for the first time since the season seven finale "Life and Death."

While she was away (2003"2006), Mary had major storylines off-camera, including giving birth to son Charles "Charlie" Miguel Rivera in 2004, and then subsequently divorcing her husband and signing away custody of her child in the season nine finale "Mi Familia." Her on-screen ex-husband, Carlos, made several appearances during her absence to deliver these stories. Minor stories or tidbits include: Mary taking a political stance in season nine by sending her husband to the voting booth and attending rallies, sending Lucy a baby shower gift, going through job training in London, relocating to Chicago following her divorce, and, helping Simon with his financial difficulties. She had clearly maintained a connection with Carlos and Charlie, and up until the divorce was made known, kept in contact with her siblings at least semi-regularly.

Her appearance in the season 10 finale, though limited, shed light on events which took place during the previous few months: Mary graduated from college the same weekend as Matt and Sarah, reunited with husband Carlos, and was pregnant with twin girls. Although Mary was not with the family, her conversation with her husband during the episode revealed that her reunion with the family would take place during Matt's and Sarah's graduation ceremony. All of this brought resolution to the estrangement that had been present since Season 5. In the season 11 premiere it is revealed that Mary had the twin girls over the summer. She and Carlos also reunited and later returned to New York for reasons unknown. She became a teacher and a basketball coach at a high school.

2006 renewal

After much deliberation within the now-defunct WB network, it was made public in November 2005 that the tenth season would be the program's final season because of high costs, which were revealed to be due to a poorly negotiated licensing agreement by the WB network a few years earlier. The program's future was hanging in the balance and it was entirely in the hands of the newly established CW network whether to renew it for an eleventh seasonal run. In March 2006, the main cast of characters were approached about the possibility of returning for an eleventh season.

After further consideration by the CW network, it was decided three days after the airing of its "series finale", that 7th Heaven would be picked up for an eleventh season, which would air on their network in the Monday-night slot that had helped make it famous. Originally the show was renewed for thirteen episodes, but on September 18, 2006, the renewal was extended to a full twenty-two episodes.

Along with the show's unexpected and last-minute, renewal came some changes. The show's already-low budget was moderately trimmed, forcing cuts in the salaries of some cast members and shortened taping schedules (seven days per episode instead of the typical eight). David Gallagher, who played Simon, chose not to return as a regular. Furthermore, Mackenzie Rosman, who played youngest daughter Ruthie, did not appear in the first six episodes. She had appeared in every episode of the series prior to that. Catherine Hicks missed three episodes in Season 11, as another cost-cutting move. Additionally, for the first time since joining the cast in 2002 as a series regular, George Stults was absent for a few episodes at the beginning of season 11.

Also, after airing Monday nights at 8/7c for ten seasons, plus the first two episodes of season 11, the CW unexpectedly moved 7th Heaven to Sunday nights as of October 15, 2006. The Sunday/Monday lineup swap was attributed to mediocre ratings of shows on both nights. While 7th Heaven did improve in numbers over the CW's previous Sunday night programming, it never quite hit its Monday-night momentum again, and the shows that replaced it in its slot on Monday night never matched what it had achieved in that time slot.

Reception

Critical reception

The Parents Television Council often cited 7th Heaven among the top ten most family-friendly shows. The show was praised for its positive portrayal of a cleric and for promoting honesty, respect for parental authority, and the importance of a strong family and a good education through its storylines. It was proclaimed the best show in 1998-1999 by the Parents Television Council. The council also explained "7th Heaven manages to provide moral solutions to tough issues facing teenagers without seeming preachy or heavy-handed. Additionally, unlike most TV series, 7th Heaven shows the consequences of reckless and irresponsible behavior." It was also noted that "While addressing topics such as premarital sex and peer pressure, these parents [Annie and Eric] are eager to provide wise counsel along with love and understanding."

U.S. ratings

7th Heaven was the most watched TV series ever on the WB. It holds the record for the WB's most watched hour at 12.5 million viewers, on February 8, 1999; 19 of the WB's 20 most watched hours were from 7th Heaven. On May 8, 2006, it was watched by 7.56 million viewers, the highest rating for the WB since January 2005. When the show moved to the CW, ratings dropped. Possible reasons for the decline include an aired "Countdown to Goodbye" ad campaign for the last six months of the 2005"06 season which promoted that season as the final season ever; though the New CW Network announced the series' unexpected renewal, it didn't promote the new season strongly via billboards, bus stops, magazine or on-air commercials. Lastly, the network moved 7th Heaven to Sunday nights; possibly causing the viewers to think that the series was removed from the schedule. The show had a season average of just 3.3 million on the new network, losing 36% of the previous year's audience. It was the third most watched scripted show on the CW. Overall, it was the seventh most watched show.

Season Year Network Viewers
(in millions)
Rank Network Rank
1 1996"1997 The WB 3.2 #154 #10
2 1997"1998 5.8 #131 #2
3 1998"1999 7.6 #106 #1
4 1999"2000 6.4 #94 #1
5 2000"2001 6.9 #100 #1
6 2001"2002 7.0 #101 #1
7 2002"2003 6.6 #106 #1
8 2003"2004 5.5 #132 #1
9 2004"2005 5.3 #103 #1
10 2005"2006 5.2 #111 #1
11 2006"2007 The CW 3.3 #133 #9

Awards and nominations

  • Emmy Awards
    • 1997: Outstanding Art Direction for a Series (Patricia Van Ryker and Mary Ann Good) " Nominated
  • ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards
    • 2000: Top TV Series (Dan Foliart) " Won
    • 2001: Top TV Series (Dan Foliart) " Won
  • Family Television Awards
    • 1999: Best Drama " Won
    • 2002: Best Drama " Won
  • Kids' Choice Awards
    • 1999: Favorite Television Show " Nominated
    • 2000: Favorite Animal Star (Happy the dog) " Nominated
    • 2001: Favorite Television Show " Nominated
    • 2002: Favorite Television Show " Nominated
    • 2003: Favorite Television Show " Nominated
  • TV Guide Awards
    • 1999: Best Show You're not Watching " Won
    • 2000: Favorite TV Pet (Happy the dog) " Nominated
  • Teen Choice Awards
    • 1999: TV Choice Actor (Barry Watson) " Nominated
    • 1999: TV Choice Drama " Nominated
    • 2000: TV Choice Drama " Nominated
    • 2001: TV Choice Actor (Barry Watson) " Nominated
    • 2001: TV Choice Drama " Nominated
    • 2002: TV Choice Drama/Action Adventure " Won
    • 2002: TV Choice Actor in Drama (Barry Watson) " Won
    • 2002: TV Choice Actress in Drama (Jessica Biel) " Nominated
    • 2003: TV Choice Drama/Action Adventure " Won
    • 2003: TV Choice Actor in Drama/Action Adventure (David Gallagher) " Won
    • 2003: TV Choice Breakout Star " Male (George Stults) " Won
    • 2003: TV Choice Actress in Drama/Action Adventure (Jessica Biel) " Nominated
    • 2003: TV Choice Breakout Star " Female (Ashlee Simpson) " Nominated
    • 2004: TV Choice Breakout Star " Male (Tyler Hoechlin) " Nominated
    • 2004: TV Choice Actor in Drama/Action Adventure (David Gallagher) " Nominated
    • 2004: TV Choice Drama/Action Adventure " Nominated
    • 2005: TV Choice Actor in Drama/Action Adventure (Tyler Hoechlin) " Nominated
    • 2005: TV Choice Actress in Drama/Action Adventure (Beverley Mitchell) " Nominated
    • 2005: TV Choice Parental Units (Stephen Collins and Catherine Hicks) " Nominated
    • 2005: TV Choice Drama/Action Adventure " Nominated
    • 2006: TV Choice Breakout Star " Female (Haylie Duff) " Nominated
    • 2006: TV Choice Parental Units (Stephen Collins and Catherine Hicks) " Nominated
  • Young Artist Awards
    • 1997: Best Family TV Drama Series " Won
    • 1997: Best Performance in a Drama Series " Young Actress (Beverley Mitchell) " Won
    • 1997: Best Performance in a Drama Series " Young Actor (David Gallagher) " Nominated
    • 1997: Best Performance in a TV Comedy/Drama " Supporting Young Actress Age Ten or Under (Mackenzie Rosman) " Nominated
    • 1998: Best Family TV Drama Series " Won (tied with Promised Land)
    • 1998: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Leading Young Actress (Beverley Mitchell) " Won (tied with Sarah Schaub)
    • 1998: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Guest Starring Young Actor (Bobby Brewer) " Nominated
    • 1998: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Guest Starring Young Actress (Danielle Keaton) " Nominated
    • 1998: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Guest Starring Young Actress (Molly Orr) " Nominated
    • 1998: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Leading Young Actor (David Gallagher) " Nominated
    • 1998: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Leading Young Actress (Jessica Biel) " Nominated
    • 1998: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Supporting Young Actress (Mackenzie Rosman) " Nominated
    • 1999: Best Family TV Drama Series " Nominated
    • 1999: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Guest Starring Young Actor (Craig Hauer) " Nominated
    • 1999: Best Performance in a TV Series " Young Ensemble (Beverley Mitchell, Barry Watson, Jessica Biel, David Gallagher, Mackenzie Rosman) " Nominated
    • 2000: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Guest Starring Young Actress (Kaitlin Cullum) " Won
    • 2000: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Leading Young Actress (Beverley Mitchell) " Won
    • 2000: Best Family TV Series " Drama " Nominated
    • 2001: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Guest Starring Young Actress (Brooke Anne Smith) " Won
    • 2001: Best Family TV Drama Series " Nominated
    • 2001: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Guest Starring Young Actress (Jamie Lauren) " Nominated
    • 2002: Best Family TV Drama Series " Nominated
    • 2002: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Guest Starring Young Actress (Ashley Edner) " Nominated
    • 2002: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Leading Young Actor (David Gallagher) " Nominated
    • 2002: Best Performance in a TV Drama Series " Supporting Young Actress (Mackenzie Rosman) " Nominated
    • 2004: Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) " Supporting Young Actress (Mackenzie Rosman) " Won
    • 2005: Best Family Television Series (Drama) " Nominated
    • 2005: Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) " Leading Young Actor (Tyler Hoechlin) " Nominated
    • 2006: Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) " Young Actor Age Ten or Younger (Drake Johnston) " Nominated
    • 2007: Best Family Television Series (Drama) " Nominated
    • 2007: Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) " Supporting Young Actress (Mackenzie Rosman) " Nominated
    • 2007: Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) " Young Actor Age Ten or Younger (Nikolas Brino and Lorenzo Brino) " Nominated
    • 2008: Best Performance in a TV Series " Young Actor Ten or Under (Lorenzo Brino) " Nominated
    • 2008: Best Performance in a TV Series " Young Actor Ten or Under (Nikolas Brino) " Nominated
  • Young Star Awards
    • 1997: Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama TV Series (David Gallagher) " Nominated
    • 1998: Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama TV Series (Beverley Mitchell) " Nominated
    • 1998: Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama TV Series (Jessica Biel) " Nominated
    • 1998: Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama TV Series (David Gallagher) " Won
    • 1999: Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama TV Series (David Gallagher) " Nominated
    • 2000: Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama TV Series (David Gallagher) " Nominated
    • 2000: Best Young Ensemble Cast " Television (David Gallagher, Jessica Biel, Beverley Mitchell, Mackenzie Rosman) " Nominated

Availability

Syndication

CBS Television Distribution handles the domestic and international distribution of the series. Season one episodes were retitled 7th Heaven Beginnings. Although the series did not receive a rating other than TV-G throughout its 11-season run, reruns on some cable/satellite channels have been given a TV-PG rating.

In the United States, the show began airing reruns in off-network syndication on September 25, 2000, but ceased to air in syndication in September 2002, while the series was still in first-run broadcast on The WB. The show then aired on the ABC Family channel from the fall of 2002 until 2008. Then, It was announced on April 1, 2010 that ABC Family had re-obtained the rights to the series, and would begin airing it at 11 a.m. (ET/PT) on weekdays beginning April 12, 2010. However after one week, ABC Family abruptly pulled the show and replaced it with a third daily airing of Gilmore Girls.

It started airing on "superstation" WGN America on September 8, 2008, though it had previously aired on WGN from 2000 to 2002 during its initial off-network syndication run. Incidentally, the series aired in first-run form on WGN from the show's 1996 debut on The WB until 1999, when WGN ceased to carry WB network programming on its national feed (7th Heaven, along with Sister, Sister, The Parent 'Hood and The Wayans Bros. are the only WB series to air in both first-run broadcast and off-network syndication on WGN America). Since September 2010, 7th Heaven no longer airs on WGN America.

The series also began airing on Hallmark Channel around the same time as when WGN America began to carry reruns of the series again. Hallmark Channel airings of the series, however, truncated the opening credit sequence removing the majority of the theme song except for the first stanza and the last few seconds of the theme. Both channels removed it in 2010.

As of 2010 Crossroads Television System aired the show in Canada. In August 2011, the show was dropped from the lineup. It can now be seen on Joytv, as of 2012.

As of 2012, GMC is the first network to air 7th Heaven in the United States since 2010 and began airing the series with a marathon on July 7, 2012.

DVD releases

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment) has released 7th Heaven on DVD. They have released all 11 seasons in Region 1. In region 2, seasons 1-7 have been released while in region 4 the first 6 seasons have been released on DVD.

Title Episode # Year Region 1 Region 2 (Sweden) Region 3 Region 4 (Australia) Discs
1 22 1996"1997 September 14, 2004 September 4, 2006 September 7, 2006 September 7, 2006 6
2 22 1997"1998 February 8, 2005 March 11, 2008 March 24, 2008 January 10, 2008 6
3 22 1998"1999 November 28, 2006 May 27, 2008 May 8, 2008 June 5, 2008 6
4 22 1999"2000 March 27, 2007 August 8, 2008 November 13, 2008 November 6, 2008 6
5 22 2000"2001 December 4, 2007 March 11, 2009 March 26, 2009 July 2, 2009 6
6 22 2001"2002 June 10, 2008 September 30, 2009 2009 December 24, 2009 6
7 22 2002"2003 November 11, 2008 January 26, 2011 November 19, 2009 TBA 5
8 23 2003"2004 March 3, 2009 TBA TBA TBA 5
9 22 2004"2005 November 17, 2009 TBA TBA TBA 5
10 22 2005"2006 March 23, 2010 TBA TBA TBA 5
11 22 2006"2007 November 23, 2010 TBA TBA TBA 5



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "7th_Heaven" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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