In 1987, the cast of Eight Is Enough reunited for a TV movie called Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion. It revolves around the Bradford clan surprising Tom (Dick Van Patten) for his 50th birthday. Unbeknown to his family, Tom’s livelihood at the newspaper is in jeopardy because a big corporation is about to buy it and make radical changes.
All of the TV show’s regular cast returned except for Betty Buckley (Abby) who was filming Frantic with Harrison Ford in Europe. She was replaced by Mary Frann (Newhart). Despite airing opposite game two of the World Series, the reunion was the sixth highest-rated TV movie of the season.
That led to another, An Eight Is Enough Wedding in 1989. It also aired opposite the World Series but it didn’t fare nearly as well. That was the end of the reunion movies.
In addition to Van Patten, original castmembers Willie Aames, Grant Goodeve, Dianne Kay, Connie Needham, Lani O’Grady, Adam Rich, Susan Richardson, Laurie Walters, James Van Patten, and Joan Prather returned. Sandy Faison played Abby this time and James Van Patten stepped in for Brian Patrick Clarke as Merle.
At the end of the first TV movie, the Bradfords teamed their resources to purchase the newspaper. It also looked like David was on his way to reconciling with his ex-wife, Janet. Thanks to a YouTube user, you now get to see what happened after that.