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Harry And The Hendersons ran from January 1991 until June 1993 in syndication.
Lots of families have pets, but this was ridiculous. The Hendersons had been driving on vacation in ths forests of the Pacific Northwest when they accidentally hit a 7 foot-tall creature that ran in front of their car. They took the creature, a Sasquatch ( also known as Bigfoot), home to Seattle to nurse it back to heath. Their young son Ernie ( Zachary Bostrom), quickly became attached to the bright ,gentle, but clumsy sasquatch whom he named Harry. Despite the misgivings of his parents, George and Nancy ( Bruce Davison, Molly Cheek), Ernie convinced them to keep Harry, which presented all sorts of problems since they couldn't let everyone know that a sasquatch was living with them. The only others who did know were Walter ( David Coburn), a young biologist working for the department of animal control, and their next-door neighbor, Samantha ( Gigi Rice), a divorced tv reporter with a young daughter Tiffany ( Cassie Cole).Both of them were sworn to secrecy to protect Harry from being taken by the authorities.
In the fall of 1991 Walter and Samantha were dropped from the cast and Nancy's younger brother Bret ( Noah Blake), who moved in with the Hendersons , and obnoxious little Darcy ( Courtney Peldon), who was infatuated with a disinterested Ernie were added. Later that season George quit his job with a sporting goods company to start The Better Life , a magazine dealing with ecological issues. Bret, who had helped finance the magazine , worked on it with George.
In the fall of 1992 all of Seattle found out about Harry's existance when he was in the Mercer Island Animal Control Center. He became a local celebrity and Bret was forever looking for ways to capitalize on Harry's fame. Hilton ( Mark Dakota Robinson), who's father was the local police chief, was a neighborhood kid who had become Ernie's good friend.
Adapted from the 1987 movie of the same name, with Kevin Peter Hall reprising his role as Harry , the huge hairy, ape-like star of the show. When Hall passed away from Aids in the spring of 1991, the role of Harry was taken over by Dawan Scott. Brian Steele, who had doubledfor Harry earlier in 1992, took over the role at the start of the 1992-1993 season.
A Review from The LA Times
TV REVIEW : Insipid Remake of 'Hendersons'
January 12, 1991|IRV LETOFSKY
An odd twist of fate for the Hollywood actor: Here's Bruce Davison, talented, widely respected, with several awards already and very possibly an Oscar nomination next month for his powerful performance in "Longtime Companion." And here's Bruce Davison as the stumbling, bumbling father in an awful series remake of the family feature film "Harry and the Hendersons."
He takes the John Lithgow role as the dad of a dense, if loving, Henderson family that happens across the 8-foot Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest woods and takes him into its heart and hearth. (The towering Kevin Peter Hall reprises his role under the fur as the kindly, muddled Harry.)
The series opens at 6 p.m. Sunday on KTTV Channel 11.
Produced by the omnipotent Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television in a deal with Universal TV and Fox-owned stations, it stands quite alone for odd reasons. For one thing, 130-plus stations have agreed to run all 72 episodes over the next three years, an unprecedented commitment.
It may be a loooong three years because, at least in its first two episodes, it also stands alone for insipidness. It's obvious and witless, even the few tender moments. Granted, setting a premise in one episode about a family trying to live with a big pet and trying to keep it secret is tricky, but the second episode also plods and drags. The cast seems unmoved by the scripts and overplays itself to a laugh machine that also seems indifferent to the occasion.
A Review from The Sun-Sentinel
`Harry` Spinoff Is `Alf` For The `90s
January 20, 1991|By RAY RICHMOND, The Orange County Register
Nothing in TV production appears to be greater than the urge to spin a series off from a successful feature film.
Few, unfortunately, manage to pull it off with much panache, and fewer still find a way to draw in enough of an audience to keep it going longer than a couple of months.
Now the feature spinoff Harry and the Hendersons is throwing its hat into the weekly TV comedy ring with a couple of significant differences:
-- It`s syndicated rather than on a network, and the producers have managed to wangle an unprecedented three-year, 72-episode commitment from stations running the series. (It airs locally on Saturdays at 4 p.m. on WFLX-Ch. 29 and at 6 p.m. on WDZL-Ch. 39.)
-- The sweet 1987 comedy feature on which it`s based already was so benign and sitcomlike that the concept pretty much begged for a weekly TV treatment. Consequently, it works just fine, if a tad too formulaically.
Instead of the film`s John Lithgow, this Harry and the Hendersons has Bruce Davison of the AIDS-themed film Longtime Companion playing George, the scatterbrained head of the Seattle-based Henderson family. He`s no Lithgow.
However, this ``Harry`` does have Kevin Peter Hall reprising his role as the hairy, sensitive creature Harry. His shy manner and quizzical expressions are a treat to watch.
Also back for the series is Rick Baker, whose makeup on the original Harry earned him an Academy Award.
But let`s not get carried away. Harry and the Hendersons is merely the latest in high-concept TV sitcom fare, an ALF for the `90s. The Harry story is very much a variation on E.T., and while it`s a sweet and amusing tale with loads of charm, it looks as if it will begin to grate by about week four.
Future story lines, promises producer MCA TV, will ``encourage environmental awareness and responsibility.`` All well and good. Let`s just hope they`re equally dedicated to being funny.
A Review from Entertainment Weekly
Harry and the Hendersons (1991)
Reviewed by Ken Tucker | Mar 01, 1991
Details Genre: Comedy; With: Bruce Davison
Bruce Davison is up for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his fine, understated work in Longtime Companion, but on TV, he's doing fine, overstated work on Harry and the Hendersons , a sitcom version of the 1987 film about a family that discovers a Bigfoot monster and decides to keep it around for a pet. Davison has taken on the role of the harried dad played by John Lithgow in the movie. If Davison wins the Oscar and gets lots of cool movie offers, he may be stuck: Harry has what its distributor, MCA TV, calls ''the largest commitment ever to any new network or syndicated program, with an unprecedented three-year, 72-episode run of the series.''
It's going to be a long three years. Harry is your basic gag-a-second family sitcom supplemented by that hulking creature (Kevin Peter Hall, reprising his movie role). The film was a lackluster performer at the box office but did well on cable and video, where it was discovered by a large audience of children enthralled by the idea of having an unbelievably strong yet sweet-tempered playmate. Accordingly, the sitcom spends most weeks showing us Harry hugging, carrying, and learning about civilization from the kids in this family (Zachary Bostrom and Carol-Ann Plante). Molly Cheek (It's Garry Shandling's Show) plays Davison's wife, and together these hapless parents do little more than look constantly surprised at Harry's immensity and naivete. Davison struts through his role with ostentatious charm, waggling his eyebrows occasionally to let us know that he knows how silly all this is. I thought Harrywas boring but harmless; my kids and their friends thought the first couple of episodes were ''neat'' but haven't asked to watch it recently, a reasonably sure sign that Harry-mania isn't sweeping the nation. Maybe Davison could film three years' worth of quizzical reaction shots in a few months and go off to do more interesting things.
To read Kevin Peter Hall's Obituary go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ACweAAAAIBAJ&sjid=7JYEAAAAIBAJ&dq=harry%20and%20the%20hendersons&pg=4669%2C5129065
To watch some clips from Harry and the Hendersons go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=harry+and+the+hendersons+tv+show
For more on Kevin Peter Hall go to http://web.archive.org/web/20030323222120/http://www.what-a-character.com/cgi-bin/display.cgi?id=1016636751
For a Website dedicated to Gigi Rice go to http://www.gigirice.com/
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeK_Td5HR0Y
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Keywords: Harry Hendersons Cast (Links Updated 7/29/18)