7th Heaven (TV Series 1996–2007) Poster



Stephen Collins (Reverend Eric Camden) and Catherine Hicks (Annie Camden) have both starred in Star Trek movies. Stephen Collins played Commander Willard Decker in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and Catherine Hicks played Doctor Gillian Taylor in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). Both had ample screen time with James T. Kirk himself, William Shatner.
In real life Beverley Mitchell (Lucy Camden) is older than her co-star Jessica Biel (Mary Camden). But on the show Jessica Biel's character Mary is the older sister, while Beverley Mitchel's character Lucy is the younger sister.
Before working on the show, the dog "Happy" was a stray that was abused by her former male owner. Even though she was later rescued "Happy" still has a fear of men. Before the taping of every new season Stephen Collins, Barry Watson, and other adult male actors on the show have to spend some time with Happy for her to get used to them being around when doing scenes together.
At the start of the series' 10th season this became the longest running family drama on television beating out Little House on the Prairie (1974) and The Waltons (1971), both of which aired for nine seasons.
Stephen Collins (Eric Camden), Catherine Hicks (Annie Camden) and Beverley Mitchell (Lucy Camden) are the only actors to appear in all 243 episodes.
During the fourth and fifth season of the series there was much controversy over co-star Jessica Biel's (Mary Camden) unhappiness over the show and her character Mary. She attempted to leave the show by getting fired when she posed for Gear Magazine to upset producers and network executives to let her out of her contract - which she'd later regret, as she admitted in later interviews and was now contented with the series.
When the Camden twin boys Sam and David were introduced to the show in the middle of season three the "7th Heaven" crew used quadruplets (Zachary Brino, Lorenzo Brino, Nikolas Brino, and Myrinda Brino) to play the twin babies as they rotated them around between scenes due to Child Labor Laws and the amount of time one set babies could be kept under lights and camera. But as the twin characters became older the producers decided on using one pair of the quadruplets, Lorenzo and Nikolas, especially since one of the quadruplets was a girl. Beginning from season six both boys had the roles permanently of Sam and David Camden and then appearing in the opening credits of the show.
Series creator Brenda Hampton discovered "Happy" the dog on another set and then decided to write her into the show. She was only 7 months old when she did the pilot.
Beverley Mitchell (Lucy Camden) auditioned first for the role of Mary Camden, but was turned down because the producers felt she was unsuited for that particular role. When she read for the role of Lucy, though, they decided she was perfect and cast her on the spot.
The exterior shots of the Camden home in the pilot episode of the series is a real house that is located in Altadena, California. The house is very recognizable from movies such as The Baby-Sitters Club (1995), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), Risky Business (1983), Can't Hardly Wait (1998), Bye Bye Love (1995), and others.
Series creator Brenda Hampton came up with the idea of "7th Heaven" in a short amount of time. The idea of a drama about a functional family was her best story pitch when her agent scheduled a meeting with Aaron Spelling even though she was still a staff writer for "Mad About You." She merely only wanted to meet Aaron Spelling at the time as he had a great reputation and track record in Hollywood. She wasn't expecting too much on her first try when pitching the idea. The first meeting on the idea about a functional family in the late 90s with traditional family values went very well over Aaron Spelling and "7th Heaven" was born.
Series creator Brenda Hampton purposely introduced more storylines revolving around adoption and foster parenting in the later seasons of the eighth and ninth years of "7th Heaven" to express her desire for others to adopt kids who are in need, as she is also an adoptive parent of two children.
Stephen Collins (Reverend Eric Camden) was offered the role of Eric Camden two days before the pilot episode was filmed. He never auditioned for the role. The next day he met the entire cast in Aaron Spelling's office and read the script out loud with them. It was then when he accepted the role.
In series 1 the Camden children's ages are - Matt (16 years old), Mary (14 years old), Lucy (12 years old), Simon (10 years old) and Ruthie (5 years old).
When the show was filming Matt Camden's wedding to a rabbi's daughter, a Los Angeles synagogue originally offered a filming location contract but withdrew from the filming because of the show's portrayal of the rabbi as hostile and intolerant towards his new Christian son-in-law.
Barry Watson (Matt Camden) is the only series regular to have ever written (7.8 "Peer Pressure") and also direct an episode (9.16 "Brother Love") of the series.
The song "You've Got It" was played at the very beginning of the very first episode of the show and it was also played again at the end of the last episode of season 10 (which at the time was the end of the show for good).
The show was originally going to end after 10 seasons but after the series finale aired, The CW network renewed the show at the last minute and the series finale was changed to the 10th season finale.
A post-September 11th show revolved completely around the deceased Staff Sergeant Dwight J. Morgan, who was killed in a freak helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The episode had Ruthie corresponding with Morgan prior to his death, with actual letters to home that Morgan wrote to his family, who was a guest in the episode when Ruthie held a wake for Morgan.
The series stayed in its original Monday 8/7c time slot on the WB throughout its entire 10 year run without ever moving to another night or time, which is very rare for a network television series. In its 11th season, it was moved to Sunday nights, still keeping its 8/7c time.
Series co-star George Stults got the role of Kevin Kinkirk through the help of his younger brother (actor Geoff Stults) who had guest starred on the series several times before George was approached to join the cast as Lucy (Beverley Mitchell)'s love interest.
The show initially tested poorly among test audiences in the spring of 1996 before it was picked up as a series. WB executives decided to move forward with the project and not change anything in the format despite early test reactions.
Out of the four original series to debut on The WB's launch season, this show was the only show to get renewed beyond its first year.
"Nothing Endures But Change" was based on Beverley Mitchell's real-life experience.
In the 7th season series creator Brenda Hampton created the role of Chandler Hampton (played by Jeremy London) and purposely gave the character her last name to fit more into the show as Rev. Eric Camden's ('Stephen Collins') associate pastor.
The character 'Rev. Eric Camden' was ranked #11 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).
Writer 'Ron Zimmerman' who wrote episodes for the series in its first season later on became a recurring character on the series as the character Doc, a cancer surviving patient that Camden family befriends.
Series creator Brenda Hampton got the idea of Rev. Eric Camden and his wife Annie Camden becoming pregnant and having twins in the third season from her sister who had recently given birth to twins at the time.
The longest running TV series on The WB
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While the exterior of the house used is actually a real house, interiors are filmed on sound stages in West Los Angeles.
In the series, Rev. Eric Camden ('Stephen Collins'), the father of the Camden family is a pastor at the fictional "Glen Oak Community Church". It's actually a real church - "The First Christian Church" (Disciples of Christ) that is located in Studio City, California.
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The fictional town of Glen Oak where the series is based in is supposed to be located somewhere in Southern California, according to series creator Brenda Hampton.
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Ruthie was named after her grandmother.
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At one point there was a false belief among many viewers that Ruthie was really Matt's daughter, but being raised as Eric and Annie's daughter. This was an especially common misconception among the show's AOL/Internet boards, and in a season opening episode Ruthie said she had spread such a rumor among her friends. The misconception was likely due to such a dynamic used on the short lived series Second Noah, which aired during the early part of 7th Heaven's airing, and shared other similarities.
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Each of the Camden children were named after Saints and/or Biblical Figures.
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