Brenda Hampton’s dumbest idea, it turns out, wasn’t 7th Heaven, but her thoughts on including Stephen Collins in the show’s potential reunion. In 2014, Collins publicly confessed to inappropriate sexual contact with three underage girls (all between the ages of 11 and 14) between 1973 and 1994.
“I would include him,” Hampton told Life & Style. “I think all the actors would like to do a reunion show. It would be really fun!”
Hampton calls Collins’ abuse “so personal, [it’s] none of my business.” And yet, in that the ensuing scandal meant the show was temporarily* pulled from the air and ensured that no one received syndication residuals, it is literally her business.
7th Heaven casting exec Pamela Shae told Life & Style that including Collins in a potential reunion “is one of those ethical questions: How is this going to be received?” That’s not the ethical question! The ethical question is: Do I want to put money in the pocket of a man who has admitted to molesting at least one girl? The cynical question is: Can I get away with putting that guy on the air?
Catherine Hicks, who played Collins’s wife on the treacly, God-oriented 11-season show, told a TMZ pap in September that she’d do a reunion, but “we’d have to open with Stephen’s coffin.” Hampton’s interpretation of that is: “I think Catherine was caught off guard and said something off the top of her head.” I think Hampton’s been getting high on the Holy Spirit, at least.
* The original version of this post stated that 7th Heaven had been pulled from the air. It now runs in syndication on Up TV.