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. The show is centered on a family in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II. The series pilot aired as a television movie entitled The Homecoming: A Christmas Story and was broadcast on December 19, 1971. Beginning in September 1972, the series originally aired on CBS for a total of nine seasons. After the series was canceled in 1981, three television movie sequels followed in 1982, with three more in the 1990s. The Waltons was produced by Lorimar Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution in syndication.