Road to Avonlea

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Road to Avonlea
RoadToAvonlea intertitle s2.jpg
season 2 intertitle
Created byKevin Sullivan
StarringSarah Polley
Jackie Burroughs
Lally Cadeau
Cedric Smith
Gema Zamprogna
Zachary Bennett
Mag Ruffman
Country of originCanada
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes91, plus a TV movie. (List of episodes)
Production
Running time60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelCBC Television
The Disney Channel
Original runJanuary 7, 1990 (1990-01-07) – March 31, 1996 (1996-03-31)
External links
Website
 
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Road to Avonlea
RoadToAvonlea intertitle s2.jpg
season 2 intertitle
Created byKevin Sullivan
StarringSarah Polley
Jackie Burroughs
Lally Cadeau
Cedric Smith
Gema Zamprogna
Zachary Bennett
Mag Ruffman
Country of originCanada
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes91, plus a TV movie. (List of episodes)
Production
Running time60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelCBC Television
The Disney Channel
Original runJanuary 7, 1990 (1990-01-07) – March 31, 1996 (1996-03-31)
External links
Website

Road to Avonlea is a Canadian television series first broadcast in Canada between January 7, 1990 and March 31, 1996, and in the United States starting on March 5, 1990. It was created by Kevin Sullivan and produced by Sullivan Films (later Sullivan Entertainment) in association with CBC and The Disney Channel, with additional funding from Telefilm Canada. The Disney Channel began airing the series in the United States on March 5, 1990,[1] and continued airing it into January 1997.[2]

The series was loosely adapted from a number of books by L.M. Montgomery, primarily (at least initially) the books The Story Girl and The Golden Road, both of which feature the character of Sara Stanley, as well as the characters of Felicity, Cicely and Felix. However, these books, while set in Prince Edward Island, were not set in the village of Avonlea, and a number of the series' episodes and situations were adapted from stories recounted in Montgomery's Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea.

Other characters are sourced from other Montgomery works. The frequently seen characters of Rachel Lynde and Marilla Cuthbert were only briefly mentioned in passing in Chronicles of Avonlea -- instead, they initially appeared as full-fledged characters in Montgomery's debut novel Anne of Green Gables. (These characters had also previously been featured in Sullivan's 1985 television adaptation of the novel. They were here played by the same actors, Patricia Hamilton and Colleen Dewhurst, who played the characters in the telefilm.) Finally, the characters of Davy and Dora were originally from Anne Of Avonlea, a sequel to Anne Of Green Gables.

Later episodes in particular included many leading characters that had no direct basis in Montgomery's written work. As well, Montgomery's most famous character, Anne Shirley (i.e., Anne of Green Gables herself) never appeared on Road To Avonlea, although she was referred to on a very few occasions.

Some episodes of the show were turned into the independent books by different authors. There have been around 30 titles released.

In the United States, its title was shortened to simply Avonlea, and a number of episodes were re-titled and re-ordered. When the series was released on VHS and DVD in the United States, the title changed from Road to Avonlea to Tales from Avonlea.

The series is set in the fictional small town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, in the early 20th century (1903–1912). There, 10-year-old Montreal heiress Sara Stanley (Sarah Polley) is sent by her wealthy father to live with her two maiden aunts, Hetty and Olivia King, to be near her late mother's side of the family after a series of promiscuous scandals involving eligible bachelors. The show's focus shifted over the years from Sara's interactions with locals, to stories about the King family. Later seasons of the show focused more on residents of Avonlea who were connected to the King family. Sarah Polley left the show in 1994, returning for one guest star appearance in the 6th season and one in the 7th season.

Following the series proper, a reunion movie called Happy Christmas, Miss King (aka An Avonlea Christmas) was produced in 1998.

Characters[edit]

Major characters[edit]

Secondary characters[edit]

Guest stars[edit]

Through all seven seasons of Road to Avonlea, many big name actors made an appearance on the show, some multiple times. Among them:

Episodes[edit]

Locations[edit]

Aerial Shot of Avonlea Courtesy of Sullivan Entertainment Inc.

The Road to Avonlea set was created in Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada (the town where Lucy Maud Montgomery lived and wrote for a decade after moving from Prince Edward Island). The town of Avonlea was adapted from existing buildings and roads were painted red to emulate the red sand of the Island. Filming also regularly took place at Westfield Heritage Centre in Flamborough, Ontario. Photography and enhanced digital matter work married second unit scenes of Prince Edward Island with the Leaskdale location where necessary.

DVD releases[edit]

Sullivan Entertainment released all 7 seasons on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time between 2005-2006.[4] In 2009, they began re-releasing the series in wide screen format. As of December, 2012, all seven seasons and the Christmas special have been released in widescreen format.

Awards and nominations[edit]

During Road to Avonlea '​s seven-year run, it won and was nominated for numerous awards worldwide.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Disney Channel Magazine, Vol. 8, no. 2, March/April 1990: pp. 22, 27, 31, 36.
  2. ^ The Disney Channel Magazine, Vol. 14, no. 6, December 1996/January 1997: pp. 28-29, 48.
  3. ^ "Road to Avonlea Official Website". Roadtoavonlea.com. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  4. ^ "Road To Avonlea - DVDs, Movies, Series, Box Sets". ShopAtSullivan.com. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 

External links[edit]