Is Little House on the Prairie the tv show all based on actual events or is some of it made up for the program?I have recently seen a short series based on the Ingalls family life. It seemed to me...

Is Little House on the Prairie the tv show all based on actual events or is some of it made up for the program?

I have recently seen a short series based on the Ingalls family life. It seemed to me that the events in the short series were truer, then some of the events that happened on the on going tv show. Was the tv show based on their life but with events added on that never took place, for tv purposes?

Asked on by branbran

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michael336's profile pic

Michael Foster | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Beyond character names and relationships and a few incidental events, the television series was a large departure from the books.  Some instances in which the TV show was factual:

The Ingalls family did have an infant son that died (Charles Frederick Ingalls).

Mary did go blind (though she never married).

Eliza Jane Wilder was indeed Laura's teacher for one term (but did not return because of an inability to control the students).

Almanzo and Laura also had an infant son that died.

Most of the action in the series after On the Banks of Plum Creek takes place in De Smet, South Dakota, where the Ingalls moved when Laura was around 12.  That is where she met and married Almanzo.

The Little House on the Prairie mini-series you mention was truer to the book, but still revised for TV.  Another movie and its sequel, Beyond the Prairie, was a more accurate account of Laura's life from The Long Winter on, into their move and early years in Mansfield, Missouri.

writergal06's profile pic

writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

Yes, that is exactly what they did. Much of the TV series was in fact based off the book and historical details from the time period. However, in order to keep the show running for as long as it did, and to keep interesting stories for each week's episode, some events had to be added or at least expounded upon in more detail than the original books contained.

ksoftball423's profile pic

ksoftball423 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Little House books are more real then the TV show. For example, in the Ingalls family there was no Albert, Cassandra, or James. Michael Landon, and the other producers, added extra events to make the television series more new and exicting. I bet not even half of the eposide that were on TV ever happened in real life. The major story line is remotly similar.

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