Earl Hamner, the force behind "The Waltons" and the man who went on to create "Falcon Crest," has come back down to earth.
He's the co-executive producer, along with Fred Silverman, of "Morning Star/Evening Star," a six-episode series for CBS that could be a full-time series in the fall. The first installment airs Tuesday at 8.
The story deals with the emotional combustion that takes place when a group of young orphans is forced to seek temporary-turned-permanent shelter in a home for the elderly.
For Hamner, on whose early life "The Waltons" was based, "Morning Star" represents a return to programming that's long on warmth and sentiment. Each of the six episodes tries to deliver an emotional punch as young and old learn to appreciate each other. "It's quite moving," he said of the series. "I dare you not to cry."
Don't, for instance, get too attached to the character played by Teresa Wright, who stars as Mason Adams' wife. She dies in the second episode.
After a screening here of episode one, Hamner noted that some TV critics thought the show was too calculated -- written and formulated to keep viewers reaching for the tissue box.
"I'd say the show is not so much calculated as designed," said Hamner. "We know the things -- like human triumph over adversity -- that move people."