Network: The WB/CW
Air Dates: August 26, 1996-May 13, 2007
Stars: Stephen Collins, Catherine Hicks, Barry Watson, Jessica Biel, David Gallagher, Beverley Mitchell
Was there a more disgustingly wholesome family on television than the Camdens? They were fine people, but it doesn't get much more pious than a Protestant minister with seven kids, each named after key biblical figures. As their children grew up and left the nest, Reverend Camden and his wife provided housing to numerous people during the show's run (which felt like an eternity); still, that household was a WASP's nest. Each episode was like a chapter of the bible in that there was a lesson to be learned, meaning the show played out like an instructional video for goody two-shoes kids across the nation. People got fed up with it, and by people, we mean Jessica Biel.
Biel got so tired of the whole Mary Camden charade that she posed in Gear magazine in various stages of undress, something producers didn't take a liking to. Realizing Biel was over the Virgin Mary role, they turned her into a rebel and eventually wrote her out of the show. She appeared periodically until 7th Heaven finally ended. Since she's enjoyed a successful film career and became Mrs. Justin Timberlake last year. She won.
7th Heaven ran for 11 seasons, making it The WB's longest running series ever, as well as television's longest-running family drama. It will take the cast—with the exception of Biel—years to cleanse themselves of their roles after being baptized as the whitewashed Camdens.