One of the most beloved series of the 1970s and 80s was Little House of the Prairie. Each week, millions of families tuned in to see the citizens of Walnut Grove survive some new frontier disaster or hardship. Well, in Finland, it turns out that the show is considered to be suitable for “adults-only.”
Little House of the Prairie debuted on NBC on September 11, 1974. Based on the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the TV show centers around a hard-working frontier family; Charles (Michael Landon) and Caroline (Karen Grassle) Ingalls and their three girls — Mary (Melissa Sue Anderson), Laura (Melissa Gilbert), and Carrie (Sidney and Lindsay Greenbush). Other memorable characters include Doc Baker (Kevin Hagen), Reverend Alden (Dabbs Greer) and the Oleson family (Richard Bull, Scottie MacGregor, Alison Arngrim, and Jonathan Gilbert), owners of the local mercantile.
The series has one of the most memorable series finales in TV history. After a developer swindles the townspeople out of their property, the residents decide to blow up their homes so he wouldn’t get them.
Little House has been very popular in syndication for years and remains a mainstay on Hallmark, a cable channel centered around family programming. The series has also become very popular on DVD, in part because parents who grew up with the series remember it as a charming program that the whole family can enjoy. Overseas, things work a little differently.
NBC Universal, the studio that owns the series, has opted not to submit the Little House DVD sets for inspection by the Finnish Board of Film Classification. The Finland authorities reportedly charge two euros (around $2.60) per minute to rate DVDs with age classifications. Because NBC Universal didn’t want to pay this charge, about $2,700 per season set, Little House DVDs cannot be sold to minors and must have a sticker that warns that the content is “Banned for under 18.”
Little House is already popular in Finland and is shown regularly on the state-owned YLE so it’s hard to say how much of a negative impact the stickers will have on sales. Who knows? Maybe some adults will purchase the DVDs hoping to find racey material that they’d previously missed! Stay tuned!