The ‘Little House on the Prairie’ TV Series Exists Because of Michael Landon’s Daughter

View from 'Little House on the Prairie'
View from ‘Little House on the Prairie’ | NBCU / NBCUniversal Photo Bank via Getty Images via Getty Images

Toilet on the Moor It premiered on NBC in 1974 and eventually became even more than just a successful show.

It became a cultural wonder.

And it was largely due to Michael Landon’s daughter, Leslie. Here’s why.

An NBC representative has asked Michael Landon to join the ‘Little House’ team

'Little House on the Prairie'
NBCU / NBCUniversal Photo Bank called Getty Images via Getty Images

Toilet Producer Kent McCray recalled in conversation with the American Television Archive in 2017 as the idea for the Minnesota-based 1800s show came to land on Michael Landon’s desk.

“[Ed Friendly and Michael Landon] both were active representatives. Ed Friendly had bought the show. He had paid to write the pilot, ”explained McCray.

“In 1974, Ed Friendly came to NBC with the package of Toilet on the Moor. They knew Michael wanted to be involved and they also knew he wanted to produce, so they went to Michael and offered him the Pa Ingalls part Toilet and would also be an executive producer with Ed Friendly. “

Leslie, Landon’s daughter, gave the presentation

Leslie Landon as Etta Plum 's teacher of' Little House on the Prairie 'in 1983
Leslie Landon as Etta Plum ‘s teacher of’ Little House on the Prairie ‘in 1983 | NBCU / NBCUniversal Photo Bank via Getty Images via Getty Images

McCray concluded in his interview that a large portion of the credit for the show that was made at all was due to Leslie, Landon’s daughter.

“I think it was Michael Leslie’s daughter who made Michael do the show,” he said. “Because they were sitting down to dinner one night and he said, ‘I think I’ll do a show called Toilet on the Moor. ‘ And she said, ‘I’ve read all those books! Dad, they are great books. ‘

“And that, I think he persuaded him to do the show. ”

How Melissa Gilbert found out she was thrown at ‘Little House’

Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls
Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls | NBCU Photo Bank

Melissa Gilbert described in interview the moment she found out, unofficially, that she had won the part of Laura Ingalls on the iconic television drama.

“I went to school with Landon’s children,” she said, “I didn’t know. . . and I was standing next to my locker one day and this tall girl came up to me and said, ‘You’re Melissa, aren’t you?’ and I said, ‘Yeah,’ and she said, ‘I’m Leslie and my dad says you’ll be a Half-Pint’ ”

“And I ran away, screamed, and ran into the office to call home,” she said. “I named my mother and she had no idea. She called my agent, and my agent had not even called from the network yet. So my representative named the network and the network confirmed it. ”

Gilbert then said with a smile that while her evening had been a celebration, it was not so much a messenger for the good news.

“Of course, I was raised [from school] because I was with myself that I was going to play Laura. And Leslie was punished, ”said Gilbert, laughing.

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