Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! This week, we’re looking forward to the upcoming Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All In The Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons,’ which will be telecast by ABC on May 22nd. As you’re likely aware, this 90-minute show will include star-studded reinterpretations of an episode from each of those two aforementioned series — using the original scripts. What you might NOT know, however, is that a version of this project has been in development for nearly three years now, and I was peripherally involved in an earlier iteration (with different producers): an anthology series tentatively titled Norman Lear Theatre.
The pitched concept was a 24-episode season that would rotate between six weeks each of All In The Family, The Jeffersons, Maude, and Good Times. Because of my work on this blog, I was called upon to help the producers select the entries to pitch for re-creation. I won’t get into why the project fell through — basically, I think the timing was off, and with hindsight, I think many of the parties involved were more interested in a special (or two) than an actual series — but I thought you’d be interested to see which episodes I pitched to the producers. As you’ll notice, I broke down my selections into three categories based on different purposes — “GO FOR BROKE,” “ROOM TO GROW,” and “SIMPLY THE BEST” — before ultimately narrowing down my choices to a final six. Also, with Good Times, a series that I have not covered here in full, I revisited the first three seasons (the ones with John Amos) and used a different categorization. Here are the documents I presented. Enjoy!
Stay tuned for next Tuesday when Sitcom Tuesday FINALLY returns to all new coverage! And come back next Wednesday for another Wildcard entry!