Little House on the Prairie commences its ninth season with a new title -- Little House: A New Beginning -- and minus the series' longtime stars Michael Landon and Karen Grassle. When Charles Ingalls (Landon), his wife, Caroline (Karen Grassle), and their younger children (both "natural" and adopted) leave the family farm and move to Burr Oak, IA, the only Ingalls left in Walnut Grove is daughter Laura (Melissa Gilbert), now the wife of Almanzo Wilder (Dean Butler). The Ingalls' old farm is sold to blacksmith John Carter (Stan Ivar) and his wife, Sarah (Pamela Roylance). Having recently given birth to daughter Rose, Laura becomes surrogate mother to her orphaned niece, Jenny (Shannen Doherty), and of necessity must give up her teaching job to new schoolmarm Etta Plum (played by Leslie Landon, daughter of Michael Landon). Meanwhile, the bitter loneliness of the Ingalls' longtime friend Isaiah Edwards (Victor French) is relieved when Edwards adopts an abused young sideshow performer named Matthew (Jonathan Hall Kovacs). In other developments, Laura begins her literary career; her adoptive brother Albert (Patrick Laborteaux) shakes a serious morphine addiction and makes plans to become a doctor; and the formerly bratty Nellie Oleson (Alison Arngrim) returns to town for a confrontation with her youthful "clone," Nancy (Allison Balson). Although the nine-year Little House saga ends on a bittersweet note, the property would return for a trio of uplifting and forward-looking TV movies, produced during the 1983-1984 season.