Silver Spoons was a sitcom, starring Ricky Schroeder, Joel Higgins, Erin Gray, Franklyn Seales and Alfonso Ribeiro.
It was created by Martin Cohan, Howard Leeds and Ben Starr.
The show aired on NBC from September 25, 1982 to May 11, 1986 and later in first-run syndication from September 15, 1986 to March 4, 1987.
In the pilot episode, Ricky Stratton (Ricky Schroder) arrives at the mansion of the father he has never met to introduce himself, moved in, and get to know him better. Edward Stratton III (Joel Higgins) epitomizes the phrase "overgrown child"; he has never taken responsibility for anything in his life, including his toy business, "Eddie Toys."
When he finds out in the pilot episode that his business manager embezzled all of his money, he simply tells his attorney to "bring back his bucks," then resumes playing an arcade game. Ricky recognizes that his dad needs to grow up; Edward thinks his son is too uptight and needs to have more fun while he's still young.
Edward's father is played by John Houseman as the thoughtful, well-to-do patriarch and industrialist whose demeanor starkly contrasts with Edward's and seems more similar to Ricky's (at first).
Throughout the series, the comic tension arises between Grandfather Stratton's belief that people with money are obligated to make more money and Edward's belief that money should be used to make people happy. Ricky is often caught between the two, wishing only for peace and harmony within the family.
Ricky's mother is Evelyn Bluedhorn (Christine Belford). Edward and Evelyn's romantic relationship led to a week-long marriage. Now Evelyn has remarried and placed Ricky in a military boarding school.
When Ricky arrives at the Stratton residence, Edward is stunned to discover that his long-ago brief marriage produced a son (when he expressed incredulousness because he "wasn't married that long," Ricky pointed out, "It doesn't take that long").
At first, he sends Ricky right back to the boarding school, but later he dresses up as a swamp monster to take Ricky out of the school and back to the mansion to live with him. The mansion is stocked with arcade games and a scale-model freight train runs through it.
Edward exhibits his childishness and playfulness in many ways, such as performing a little dance while the Pac-Man plays its theme song.
Stratton's personal assistant, Kate Summers (Erin Gray), is often the voice of reason. Kate's role adds tension to the show and provides incentive for Edward to act more maturely (at least sometimes). Edward and Kate's will-they-or-won't-they relationship gives way to a third-season wedding.
During the series' early years, Ricky befriends "bad boy" Derek Taylor (Jason Bateman, seasons 1–2), smooth-talking "cowboy" J.T. Martin (Bobby Fite, seasons 1–2), and "nerdy" Freddy Lippincottleman (Corky Pigeon, seasons 1–4). They get into a lot of trouble and learn many childhood lessons along the way.
Edward's original attorney was Leonard Rollins (Leonard Lightfoot), who departed after the first season, and was replaced by the aptly named business manager Dexter Stuffins (Franklyn Seales), who was somewhat stuffier and more erudite than Leonard had been.
Dexter remained through the rest of the series and was joined in fall 1984 by his hip, break dancing nephew Alfonso Spears (Alfonso Ribeiro, seasons 3–5), who became Ricky's new best friend.
Once Ricky, Freddy and Alfonso were in high school in season four, their circle was completed by Brad (Billy Jacoby, seasons 4–5), a reintroduction of the type of "bad boy"-character similar to that of Derek during the show's early years.
That year as Kate and Edward adjusted to married life, Kate's doddering uncle, Harry Summers (Ray Walston), moved into the Stratton mansion.
- Ricky Schroder as Richard "Rick" or "Ricky" Stratton
- Joel Higgins as Edward Stratton III
- Erin Gray as Kate Summers Stratton
- Leonard Lightfoot as Leonard Rollins (Season 1)
- Franklyn Seales as Dexter Stuffins (Seasons 2–5)
- Alfonso Ribeiro as Alfonso Spears (Seasons 3–5)
- Jason Bateman as Derek Taylor (Seasons 1–2)
- Bobby Fite as J.T. Martin (Seasons 1–2)
- Corky Pigeon as Freddy Lippincottleman (Seasons 1–4)
- Billy Jacoby as Brad (Seasons 4–5)
- John Houseman as Grandfather Edward Stratton II (Seasons 1–5)
- Christine Belford as Evelyn Bluedhorn Stratton (Seasons 1–5)
- Ray Walston as Uncle Harry Summers (Season 4)