Norman Lear

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The Biz: Norman Lear Shares His Life Lessons

Norman Lear

Every innovative producer benefiting from the creative surge in TV should offer a tip of the pork pie hat to Norman Lear. At 92, the trailblazing producer (All In the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude and many others), entrepreneur and activist looks back on his life and career in the new memoir Even This I Get to Experience (Penguin Press). We had the experience of recently chatting with the TV industry legend... read more

VIDEO: Which All in the Family Scene Still Makes Norman Lear Cry?

Norman Lear and Katie Couric

TV writer-producer Norman Lear is a true pioneer — not only in the sense that he created such legendary sitcoms as All in the FamilyMaude and The Jeffersons, but also because he tackled topics such as menopause, impotence and even transgender issues when they were still taboo.

In an interview with Katie Couric, Lear, 92, says he still chokes up when watching the All in the Family scene in which Edith (Jean Stapleton) discusses her friend Beverly — whom Lear describes as "a transsexual, a man who'd become a woman" — getting murdered.

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How Scripted TV Is Covering the Election

Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha

Norman Lear's ears must be burning. Rather than shy away from the most contentious presidential race in recent memory, a handful of TV shows are addressing the November election head-on — all while using Lear's groundbreaking 1970s sitcoms, like All in the Family, as a template for how to incorporate politics.... read more

Shonda Rhimes and the Private Practice Cast Celebrate 100!

Private Practice

When Private Practice spun off from Grey's Anatomy in 2007, few thought it would make it this long — including the brain trust behind the series — but on Tuesday night, the ABC medical drama will hit 100 episodes, a rare feat in television these days. 

Private Practice Gallery: The cast shares their favorite episodes

"For me, I think it's amazing that something that spun off of something ended up being so successful," creator Shonda Rhimes tells TVGuide.com. "I'm... read more

Keck's Exclusives: One Day at a Time Vet to Guest on Hot in Cleveland

Pat Harrington

This past April's TV Land Awards reunited the cast of the 1975-84 Norman Lear sitcom One Day at a Time. During the reunion, Valerie Bertinelli told me she was campaigning hard for her old co-star Pat Harrington Jr. (a.k.a. Dwayne Schneider) to guest star on her current TV Land sitcom, Hot in Cleveland. read more

Are You There, God? Glee's Twist on Faith

Glee

When Ryan Murphy was an altar boy, he was obsessed with the Shroud of Turin, a centuries-old piece of cloth said to bear the face of Jesus. On Tuesday's episode of Glee, Finn will see God in his grilled cheese sandwich. (He proceeds to ask the "Cheesy Lord" to grant him three wishes.)

Having the glee club wrestle with matters of faith could be controversial. Outside of 7th Heaven and similarly earnest shows, religion is a rare presence in primetime television. Could Glee, with its brand of biting, often politically incorrect humor, be sensitive enough to do justice to the hot-button topic?

On the surface, Finn's divine discovery is just another way to mock the sweetly dim character. But in the same episode, Glee delves deeper into serious questions of faith when a tragedy prompts Kurt to reveal that he doesn't believe in God... read more

Outlaw's David Ramsey: Justice Isn't Red or Blue, but Someplace in the Middle

David Ramsey

If Outlaw's Cyrus Garza is on one side of a case, then best friend Al Druzinsky is on the other — even though they're on the same team. David Ramsey, who plays Druzinsky, tells TVGuide.com that although Garza, played by Jimmy Smits, may be conservative and Druzinsky liberal, the new NBC series is not about Red States vs. Blue States. Ramsey talks about why highly politicized, current legal issues make the show relevant, and how he hopes it'll open up people to conservations.

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Rue McClanahan Dies at 76

Rue McLanahan

Rue McClanahan, best known as Golden Girls' man-hungry Southern debutante Blanche Devereaux and Maude's scatterbrained Vivian Harmon, has died. She was 76.

McClanahan suffered a massive stroke and died at ...
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Norman Lear Teams with HBO for Wrestling Series

Norman Lear by Kevin Parry/ WireImage.com

Iconic television producer Norman Lear is going cable. Lear, who was the force behind such classics as All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Sanford and Sons, will develop a "character-driven" pro wrestling series for the cabler, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Set in the 1970s in New York, the tentatively titled Everybody Hurts will focus on a family operating a pro-wrestling business and will also delve into the hard-knock lives of the wrestlers and their fans.Lear will executive produce the project with Lara Bergthold of his Act III Prods., while the script will be penned by Aaron Blitzstein (The Riches). — Joyce Eng read more

TV King Norman Lear Holds a Masters Class

Norman Lear by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage.com

Folk singer Pete Seeger was a major part of the soundtrack of the '60s, backing up his music with a lifetime of tireless antiwar and environmental activism. As such he'll be the subject of the next American Masters, which premieres Feb. 27 on PBS. The executive producer of the film is another prominent progressive — legendary TV mogul and philanthropist Norman Lear. The producer of classic sitcoms such as All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time (we could go on) has been active in getting young people registered to vote. He still makes hits, too, but now it's for his label Concord Music Group (James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Paul McCartney are on his roster). He's also half-owner of Village Roadshow Pictures (which produced I Am Legend), and owns a copy of one of the world's most famous historical documents. The Biz recently checked in with him.TVGuide.com: You're certainly at a stage in life where you can be choosy about your projects — so why Pete Seeg... read more

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Charlie Rose with Matt Miller & Fred Barnes; Norman Lear; Mandy Patinkin (November 14, 1995)
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