‘Little House on the Prairie’: The 1 Star Who Has ‘No Shame’ in Joining the Reboot

Little House on the Prairie aired on television from 1974 to 1984. After the show ended, it continued to thrive through syndication. The show also found new life on streaming services like Amazon Prime

In December 2020, Paramount TV Studios and Anonymous Content announced that a reboot of Little House on the Prairie is in the works. One of its original cast members provided their thoughts on the show coming back to the small-screen. 

 Matthew Labyorteaux, Michael Landon, Jr., Alison Arngrim, Dean Butler, Lindsay Greenbush, (L-R seated) Karen Grassle, and Melissa Sue Anderson of 'Little House On The Prairie' visit "Extra" at their New York studios at H&M in Times Square on April 30, 2014 in New York City.
Matthew Labyorteaux, Michael Landon, Jr., Alison Arngrim, Dean Butler, Lindsay Greenbush, Karen Grassle, and Melissa Sue Anderson|D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Why ‘Little House on the Prairie’ ended 

The concept of Little House on the Prairie came from the children’s books of the same name. The books were written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, who decided to document growing up in the 1870s. Melissa Gilbert would ultimately play Wilder, and Michael Landon played the leading role of Charles “Pa” Ingalls. Landon also became an executive producer on the series. 

RELATED: ‘Little House on the Prairie’: Melissa Gilbert Didn’t Know Who Michael Landon Was Before She Played ‘Laura Ingalls’

Over the years, Little House on the Prairie began to receive praise for its wholesome storylines. However, the show faced a drop in ratings as the season progressed. By season 9, many of the series’ regulars like Melissa Sue Anderson and Karen Grassle left. The stories soon primarily focused on Laura and her husband, Almanzo Wilder (Dean Butler). 

After NBC’s executives attempted to keep the show running with Little House: A New Beginning, the ratings continued to drop. The network canceled the series and allowed Landon to end it with a TV movie. In a 1984 interview with The New York Times, Landon said he felt his central cast member, Gilbert, had outgrown the show. 

“I didn’t think a married woman should still be coming to her father for advice,” he said. ”But when we started this show, we never imagined it would last this long.” 

This ‘Little House on the Prairie’ character would join the reboot

Entertainment Weekly was the first to confirm that a reboot of Little House on the Prairie is coming. Trip Friendly, whose father, Ed Friendly, developed the show with Landon, will be its executive producer. As of yet, none of the original Little House on the Prairie cast has confirmed that they will revive their iconic characters. 

RELATED: ‘Little House on the Prairie’: Alison Arngrim Said Melissa Sue Anderson Looked at Her and Melissa Gilbert Like ‘Juvenile Delinquents’

Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie, spoke to EW about the possibility of a reboot. During the interview, Arngrim said she would consider joining the new Little House on the Prairie cast. However, she doesn’t want to play her original character if the revival happens. 

“I’m just the right age to play Mrs. Oleson,” she said. “I’m totally there. I have no shame.”

Alison Arngrim once said ‘Nellie Oleson’ ‘gave me life’ 

RELATED: ‘Little House on the Prairie’: Karen Grassle Said the Show’s Set Felt Like an ‘Old Boys Club’

As the resident bad girl of Walnut Grove, Arngrim often caught flack in real life because of Nellie. In a 2010 interview with ABC, Arngrim said she frequently got called a “b*tch” by the show’s viewers. While some child stars would’ve stopped acting, Arngrim said she was grateful to escape her tumultuous home life every day. The actor said she endured sexual abuse while working on Little House on the Prairie, a secret she kept until her twenties. 

“When you’re sexually abused, you have a lot of anger,” she said. “Usually, victims turn the pain and rage on themselves. So to have an outlet where one could express this anger outwardly and openly was a fantastic opportunity.”

“Instead of her ruining my life, she gave me my life,” Arngrim continued. 

How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.