Louisa May Alcott’s late nineteenth-century novel, Little Women, was a best seller well into the 20th Century . She wrote several sequels, among which was Little Men, which formed the basis for this television series. Alcott’s heroine, Jo (for Josephine) March, married Professor Bhaer in Little Women; in Little Men, the Professor has died, and his widow fulfils her husband’s dream of running a boarding school for boys.
The series starred American actress Michelle Rene Thomas as Jo. Spencer Rochfort played ex-merchant mariner Nick Riley, hired as caretaker at the school and as a role model for the boys, while among the younger element Robin Dunne and Cory Sevier were prominent. Though ostensibly set in rural Massachusetts, the series was shot in the Claremont Conservation area in Pickering, Ontario, and produced by Alliance Atlantis. The Executive Producer was Carl Binder, whose experience in the same role for the series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman probably had a certain amount to do with the similarities in style between the two series.
After airing for two seasons on the PAX Network in the U.S., the one-hour series first appeared in the CTV early prime schedule on Sundays in late 1999, when production had already ceased. The thirteen one-hour episodes returned in repeat in the network’s Sunday afternoon scheduling in the fall of 2000, but appeared to do more for CTV’s Canadian content needs than for their viewing figures, and was not renewed for the 2001-2002 season.
Written by Pip Wedge - March, 2003