Little House on the Prairie/mr and mrs ingalls


why is Caroline and Charles and family not in series 5?

I think maybe you are asking about why Caroline and Charles are not in the Little House on the Prairie television series much after Season 8, rather than Season 5.  At the beginning of Season 9, in the premiere for that season, Charles and Caroline and their children who still live at home (Albert, Carrie, Grace, Cassandra and James), having suffered hard times and wanting to find a better life in the city, move to Burr Oak, Iowa. They sell their homestead to the Carter family, who are moving from New York City to find a simpler life.

In researching why the actors Michael Landon and Karen Grassle, who play Charles and Caroline Ingalls, really decided to leave after Season 8, I've found some interesting information.  All evidence I have found points to the fact that Michael Landon was getting disillusioned with the show and weary of playing Charles Ingalls, and wanted to pursue other projects. Michael had started his new series "Father Murphy" starring his good friend Merlin Olsen (Jonathan Garvey) and Moses Gunn (Joe Kagan).  NBC wished to retool "Little House" in 1982 and focus on the Wilder family and the Walnut Grove community.  Though Landon remained the show's executive producer, director, and occasional writer, the re-titled show "Little House: A New Beginning" did not feature Charles and Caroline Ingalls.  This was to be the final season for the show, which was generally not well-received by its viewers.  Michael Landon made guest appearances throughout this season, but Karen Grassle was seen only in one of the final three made for TV films, "The Last Farewell", filmed in 1984.  

As for Karen Grassle, she had married toward the end of Season 8, on April 25, 1982 to J. Allen Radford, a real estate developer.  After Season 8, when NBC retooled the show, Karen said that her focus was on her new marriage to J. Allen Radford, and his children.  They were able to adopt Lily as a new-born by independent adoption.  Unfortunately, the marriage did not last, and Karen and Lily moved to find work in Santa Fe, Boston, New York City, and Louisville, KY.  It was no secret that during the nine-year run of Little House on the Prairie, Karen was frequently frustrated about the limitations of her role.  After "Little House" ended, Karen was featured as a guest star on various television shows and toured the country performing numerous plays.  She has been a long-involved advocate for women's rights, and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area.

Thanks so much for your question, Sharron, and I sure hope that answers it for you.  If I mis-read your question, please let me know!

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Janet B


I can answer most questions pertaining to the book series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, as well as questions regarding Laura's actual life, and questions regarding things that happened in the television series. If I don't know the answer myself, I enjoy researching to find the answers.


I have read the LHOTP book series every year since I was 11 years old. (That would be 33 times!) I have also enjoyed reading biographical information about Laura and her family. I was lucky enough to get to visit the home/museum of Laura and Almanzo in Mansfield, MO. I have watched the television series for years, and thoroughly enjoy it; though sometimes I am frustrated by little inconsistencies I catch as I watch. That's what makes me think it would be interesting to help answer questions others might have!

I have had seven items published in Children's Ministry Magazine.

B.S. in Elementary Education/Early Childhood Education from Southwest Baptist University.

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