The first season of the WB network's long-running family drama "7th Heaven" is available on DVD today.
'7th Heaven' offers one fo the few positive portrayals of religion on television. (Paramount)
The six-disc set features all 22 episodes from the show's first season in 1996-97. It includes guest appearances by Eileen Brennan, Peter Graves, Richard Moll and others.
"7th Heaven," now beginning its ninth season on the WB, is produced by TV icon Aaron Spelling and was created by Brenda Hampton.
The hour-long drama revolves around the Camden family of Glenoak, Calif. The father, Eric (Stephen Collins), is a minister who, with his wife, Annie (Catherine Hicks), has his hands full with five children and a dog.
The show has continuously explored serious social issues like teen suicide, school violence and hate crimes, as well as family conflicts like sibling rivalry and curfews. A hallmark of the show is Eric and Annie's willingness to be involved in their children's lives and to maintain communication.
The family's faith in God and Eric's role as a minister is also highlighted, making "7th Heaven" one of the few positive and regular portrayals of religion on television.
The first season includes plot lines about leukemia, marital problems, racism, religious belief and Halloween.
Janet Weeks of TV Guide called the show "a celebration of a healthy, loving family," and "one that parents can share with their children." "7th Heaven" has won numerous awards and also been nominated for an Emmy.
The DVD set costs about $45 and offers no special features about the show. It delivers more than 16 hours of programming and is distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment. Paramount also just released the first season of "Touched By An Angel" on DVD.
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.
Buy the DVD set now from Amazon.com.
The show's official Web site is here.