‘Little House on the Prairie’: Where to Stream the Series For Free

With the myriad of streaming services available, the question of what to watch can become secondary to the question of where to watch it. In addition to the new shows popping up every day and the reboots of classics bringing heavy doses of nostalgia to the forefront, there’s also the fact that streaming has allowed for older TV shows to re-run in their original format. This trip down memory lane has allowed fans to relive some of their favorite television moments as well as share their appreciation for these series with a younger generation. 

One show that is seeing a resurgence because of streaming is Little House on the Prairie

(Top L-R) Matthew Laborteaux as Albert Quinn Ingalls, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder, Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls, Dean Butler as Almanzo James Wilder, Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls Kendall, Linwood Boomer as Adam Kendall (Bottom L-R) Karen Grassle as Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls, Lindsay/Sidney Greenbush as Carrie Ingalls smiling in front of a wood paneled background
(Top L-R) Matthew Laborteaux as Albert Quinn Ingalls, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder, Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls, Dean Butler as Almanzo James Wilder, Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls Kendall, Linwood Boomer as Adam Kendall (Bottom L-R) Karen Grassle as Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls, Lindsay/Sidney Greenbush as Carrie Ingalls | NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

‘Little House on the Prairie’ premiered in 1974

Set in the 19th century American Midwest, Little House on the Prairie first aired in 1974, and it was a long-running hit that enjoyed nine seasons before wrapping up in 1983. The show is remembered today for its wholesomeness and family-friendly lessons that were wrapped into the plot of each episode. Loosely based on the life of author Laura Ingalls Wilder, the show follows the simple farm life of a family making their way through the world in the quaint setting of Plum Creek.

It turns out that things behind the scenes were not as squeaky clean as the image portrayed in front of the cameras. Cast and crew members have come forward with stories about Mike Landon — who portrayed patriarch Charles Ingalls and served as director for many episodes. Landon was apparently very controlling and “could be mean at times,” according to Melissa Sue Anderson, who played the oldest Ingalls daughter, Mary. Whether Landon’s creative rigidness was a problem or not is a matter up for interpretation. It certainly helped steer the show to popularity and provided a huge platform for the actors who served as stars of the show. 

Michael Landon’s fame rose from the show

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Landon was certainly central to the show’s success both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. He was known for being proud of his physique and frequently went shirtless on the set. Landon also formed some close relationships with the cast and crew members — some might say a little too close. A married man who had children with his wife Lynn Noe, Landon began having an affair with a crew member named Cindy Clerico. Eventually, the scandal would cause the end of Landon’s marriage, and he would go on to marry Clerico in 1983. The pair remained married until Landon’s death in 1991. 

The behind-the-scenes drama might have clouded some people’s image of the wholesome show, but it didn’t stop Little House on the Prairie from having cultural influence far past its conclusion. In fact, it was even part of the inspiration for the hit ’90s teen drama Dawson’s Creek

Stream ‘Little House on the Prairie’ at home

For those who would like to catch up with the Ingalls and relive this classic show portraying an even more bygone era, there’s good news. The series is available for streaming through Amazon’s partnership with IMDbTV. Viewers can stream the channel for free, but it is an ad-supported service, which means that today’s viewers — much like those who watched it originally more than forty years ago — will get advertisements along the way. 

This chance to take a visit into the past provides a way for modern-day audiences to see this influential show and trace its impact on dramatic television series today. As you watch, it’s also worth remembering that just beneath the wholesome veneer is the drama that was happening backstage. Take a look and see if you can identify where any of it leaks through to the screen.