Vintage TV from the ’80s: Silver Spoons debuts (1982)
TV Guide magazine – September 11, 1982
So far so good. But Edward (Joel Higgins) is in his 30s, while son Ricky (Ricky Schroder) is 12.
You have now grasped the entire premise of Silver Spoons. Edward is very rich. He also talks like Goofy, has the brains of a speed bump and lives in a mansion furnished by Santa Claus.
In the pilot episode, his fortune has been siphoned off through computer chicanery by a scheming business manager while Edward was playing with his choo-choo trains. Along comes Ricky, who spots the scam and restores Daddy’s bucks.
The other baby sitters include Edward’s lawyer, Leonard (Leonard Lightfoot), and a pretty secretary, Kate (Erin Gray), who do what they can while we all wait for the day Edward grows up — a day that will live in infancy. NBC.
Silver Spoons opening credits & theme song (video)
Ricky Schroder’s new show, Silver Spoons (1982)
By Tom Sullivan – The Herald-News (Passaic, New Jersey) July 18, 1982
One of our favorite young men. Ricky Schroder, has finally made the move to series television, and in a happy little visit, he says he held off because he wanted a property he could be proud of.
IT IS CALLED “Silver Spoons,” and will be on NBC from 8:30 to 9 Saturday nights beginning the last week of September, with Ricky portraying a 12-year-old wise beyond his years and coming to live with his rich and immature father after a long stretch in a cold military academy with vacations spent with a neglectful mother.
“I’m back playing the father again.” he beamed, referring to a conversation we’d had when he was doing “The Champ.”
“But it’s really good because Joel (Higgins, who plays the father) is very nice, and so is everyone else connected with the show. It’s hard to work with people you can’t get along with.”
In the mansion to which Ricky comes, his father has a child’s garden of delights, arcade Pac Man and other games, toy trains and other indulgences, because he has a great fortune and doesn’t have to work, and hasn’t really been very responsible.
“I teach him to be an adult, and he shows me some of the things I’ve been missing,” Ricky explained.
IN A CAREER that started when he was three months old and posed for a diaper ad. Ricky has done four theatrical movies, 63 commercials and countless television appearances, and yet he has never changed. He is bright, very warm and loving, and despite his earning power, gets no large allowance or special privileges in the family’s Connecticut home.
“I just got turned down on a dirt bike,” he explained, and yes, he still mows the vast lawn at a fixed rate to get some spending money. Mother also said no to a Sony Walkman. feeling that constant use of such a device will eventually impair the hearing.
His TV film of last year, “Little Lord Fauntleroy,” is being turned into a series in England, and Ricky had a quick answer why he never got that part. Standing up in his bright red pants he turned around and said, “I outgrew it.”
Did the death of William Holden, his friend and co-star from “The Earthling,” upset him?
“It upset us all,” he said. “We were all crying when that news came.” [21st century editor’s note: In 1992, Ricky named his first son Holden.]
BECAUSE THE series will shoot on a stage before an audience in Los Angeles, Ricky and his mother will put in a lot more time on the West Coast than they used to, and he says he is looking forward to the warmer weather in winter.
He will also have the services of a tutor, which is important, because he has always done well in school and enjoys his studies.
Have his thoughts about marriage changed?
“No. I still think you should marry early and have children so that they grow up and can be friends with you before you get too old,” he said. “Mom was 20 when she had Dawn.”
Meet Ricky Schroder, Silver Spoons’ shining star (1983)
Dynamite magazine – April 1983
He’s only thirteen years old, but Ricky Schroder has already made it to the top in modeling, movies, and television! You may have seen him in a movie called The Champ. Or you may have caught him in the TV movie, Little Lord Fauntleroy. And now Ricky is seen every week in his first regular TV series, Silver Spoons.
He’s a busy guy, but not too busy to take time out to talk with Dynamite. We caught up with him just as he was about to leave for school, and we asked him how he got started in show business.
“Well, I started modeling professionally when I was about two months old,” Ricky explained. “My older sister, Dawn, started modeling first, and I sort of followed in her footsteps. Then when I was seven I did a movie, The Champ. That was my first time acting.”
Ricky was a knockout in The Champ. And since then, he’s appeared in other films and on TV with top stars, such as Alec Guinness, Jon Voight and Faye Dunaway.
Is he nervous working with such big stars? “No,” Ricky told us. “They’re regular people, like me.”
This works the other way, too, when kids are nervous around Ricky. “If somebody’s nervous or something, I’ll just say I’m a regular person, too, and they relax. My friends don’t treat me any differently at all, you know,” he told us. “Some people do, but most people don’t really.”
Dynamite asked Ricky which, out of all the characters he’s played, is the most like him in real life. “Probably Ricky Stratton, on my TV series,” Ricky said right away. “I’m like him in just about every way.”
How are the two Rickys alike? “Well, I’m pretty smart. I mean,” he continued modestly, “I’m sharp, I think.”
Also, like the TV Ricky, he gets to make some of his own decisions.
For example, he explained, “If I save up money, I can buy something I want. But if I want something for Christmas or my birthday, I just say what I want, maybe three or four things, and then my parents pick one. When it comes to deciding about whether or not I’m going to do a movie — well, we all talk about that.”
Does he like video games as much as the TV Ricky does? “Oh, I love them,” he said enthusiastically, “any of them!”
What about having the same name on TV and in real life? Is that confusing? Ricky just laughed and said, “Nah. It’s part of the contract!”
Since he’s done movies and TV work, we wondered if he thought about going onstage. “I did a play once,” Ricky told Dynamite. “It was Broadway — a one-time deal. It was like a charity thing. It was all right, it was good fun, but as far as doing it all the time, I don’t think so.”
What kinds of things, we asked, would he like to do if he had the chance? “What I’d really like to do,” he told us, “is a Star Wars type of thing!”
Dynamite thought this was a great idea. After all, there haven’t been any kids in the episodes yet. George Lucas, are you listening?
Ricky loves sports almost as much as he likes acting. When he’s not working, he told us, he likes playing baseball. “In fact,” Ricky said, “if I don’t keep on acting, I’d like to play professional baseball or football.”
Would he really give up acting someday? “It all depends,” he told us. “I like acting. it’s fun. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t do it! But it might change. I might, someday, not like acting anymore.
“Right now, though,” he continued, “there’s nothing I don’t like about it. Well, sometimes I wish I could get up later in the morning!”
What things are coming up in Ricky’s film future besides more episodes of Silver Spoons? “Well, I think we might do another movie,” he told Dynamite. “We have a couple of scripts to look at, so I don’t know which one we’re doing yet.”
Dynamite asked Ricky to take a flight of fancy and tell us what his life would be like if he could do anything he wanted.
“I don’t really have a fantasy,” Ricky answered. “I’m not that type of person. I don’t look 10 years ahead. Right now, I just take one step at a time. Anyway, I don’t need to fantasize because I’m happy in my life right now!”
Suddenly, Ricky looked at the clock and said, “I gotta go, all right?” But Ricky had time for one more question before he left for school. We asked him if he had any words of advice for our readers, especially if they were thinking of getting into acting.
“Well,” he said, “I’ll say, if anybody out there wants to get into acting, that they should only act when it’s fun. And as soon as it gets not fun — STOP!”
Silver Spoons ending its five-season run (1986)
Reader Q&A in The Tyler Courier-Times (Tyler, Texas) November 2, 1986
Q: I am baffled. I cannot believe they have canceled Ricky Schroder and Silver Spoons, but I called the station and they admit it’s true. And they can’t tell me why. Can you? I know the series was doing fine until it was moved up early on Sunday against 60 Minutes. So if that hurt the ratings, whose fault is it? Not Ricky Schroder’s.
A: According to the NBC programming department, “Silver Spoons” had already shown signs of tiring before it was moved to the tough Sunday slot.
There is no doubt, however, that it was this scheduling change which drastically lowered ratings for the Schroder series. And the below 20 shares the show was hit with throughout its Sunday run finally resulted in the cancellation.
Ricky Schroder, a young actor beginning to face the tough task of making it (on screen) from juvenile to young adult, is 16 years of age. Born on Staten Island, New York, he is one of the few actors who began in feature films and then moved to television series. (The reverse is far more common.)