February 27, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Norman Lear, whose comedies changed the face of television, has died at the age of 101

Norman Lear, whose comedies changed the face of television, has died at the age of 101

But Mr. Lear also had his share of failures. In 1975, his sitcom Hot L Baltimore, a comedy series set in a rundown hotel and based on a play by Lanford Wilson, ran for 13 weeks on ABC. After a few short-lived performances, his hot streak ended by the mid-1980s. Some later projects—among them “704 Hauser” (1994), about a black family living in Archie Bunker’s former home—were on the air for only a few weeks; Others never got off the ground.

However, Mr. Lear kept his hand in the television. In 2003, he helped write a few episodes of the taboo-breaking animated series South Park that was “All in the Family” in its day. (Series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have said that their bile-spewing character Eric Cartman is partly based on Archie Bunker.)

In 2009, Mr. Lear developed a series about professional wrestling for HBO, although it did not catch on. For several years, he had found no takers for his proposed series about Southern California retirees, “Guess Who’s Dead?”; That changed in 2017, when NBC committed to producing a pilot, but a year later the network declined to pursue the show.

Mr. Lear, still in his 90s, was the executive producer of a remake of One Day at a Time, about a Latino family, for Netflix. The series debuted in 2017, received rave reviews, and ran for three seasons.

In July 2021, on his 99th birthday, TBS announced that it would develop a remake of the series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, starring Emily Hampshire, with Mr. Lear as executive producer. Production on the show had not yet begun, but at the time of his death Mr. Lear had other projects in the works, including an animated version of “Good Times”; Rerun of “Who’s the Boss?”; The sitcom, starring Laverne Cox and comedian George Wallace, is about a man who learns that his adult son has been transformed.

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In May 2019, Mr. Lear and Jimmy Kimmel hosted a television special in which episodes of “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” were recreated live by an all-star cast, including Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunker and Jamie Foxx as George . Jefferson. The special was produced by Mr. Lear, Mr. Kimmel and others as part of a deal Mr. Lear signed with Sony that included an option to reimagine his previous shows and possibly produce reboots. Second special episodes of “All in the Family” and “Good Times” aired in December of that year; The third episode, a re-creation of episodes from two other series produced by Mr. Lear’s company, “The Facts of Life” and “Different Strokes,” aired in 2021.