All in the Family

1971, TV Show

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New NBC Exec Ben Silverman Gets Thumbs-up at TCA

Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff, NBC Press Tour by Chris Haston/NBC

It was fair to wonder why NBC put Kevin Reilly in the executive ejector seat just after signing him to a new multiyear contract. But after seeing his replacement Ben Silverman's debut performance at the Television Critics Association press tour, we're not wondering anymore.Instead of the doing a rope-a-dope with reporters because he's only been in the job a month, Silverman came out with guns blazing, firing off one programming announcement after another. He even made a deal with legendary sitcom producer Norman Lear. That's red meat for the TCA, since many of its members love TV the way it used to be.He's even ignored the mandate that NBC chief Jeff Zucker publicly issued last year that the network was out of the business of programming 8 o'clock with new, expensive scripted sitcoms and dramas. The first scheduling move under Silverman's watch was moving the new, expensive scripted hi-tech thriller Chuck to Monday at 8, leading into Heroes and Journeyman and turning the night into ... read more

NBC at TCA: Meet the New Guy

The Singing Bee's Joey Fatone with The Honey Bees by Trae Patton/NBC Photo

He dropped names as diverse as Norman Lear, Uri Geller, Isaiah Washington and Jerry Seinfeld. He teased an all-celebrity version of The Apprentice (with a half-joking promise to extend an invitation to Rosie O’Donnell). In describing his vision for NBC's immediate and long-term future, the network’s boyish new co-chair Ben Silverman showed his affinity for both packaging and programming TV in an enthusiastic debut performance in front of the nation’s TV critics on Monday morning.Though he took the stage alongside the relatively subdued co-chair Marc Graboff, whose expertise is on the business side, this was Silverman’s show all the way, and he wasted no time in announcing some surprising programming deals and a few aggressive scheduling changes, including turning Monday into an all-fantasy night and shifting Friday Night Lights an hour earlier on Fridays, so it’s now cozily hammocked between the strong franchises of a relocated Deal or No Deal and Las Vegas,... read more

May 20, 2007: Getting Married Today

Well, they said the final scene would be a shocker, and they were right. I am speechless. You know how much I love my Edie. Would it be too much to ask to have Carlos heroically and miraculously walk in during the very first scene this fall and save her? I do not want this show to go on without Nicollette Sheridan. Yes, Edie is not one of the four main housewives, but the show would not be the same without her. Soap operas have had people hang themselves and be saved at the last minute. Until I get a confirmation, I'm going to spend this entire summer believing Edie is not dead. Just call me DID — "Dave In Denial."Except for that ending, I was very happy with this season's finale episode. I thought it had the perfect Desperate Housewives blend of drama and comedy. I expected to be satisfied after seeing that departing coexecutive producer Joe Keenan was one of the writers (along with talented fellow coexec producer Kevin Murphy). Besides having the same job title for all those ... read more

In your recent comments about ...

Question: In your recent comments about the Parents Television Council, you made reference to people who wish that all TV looked like Nick at Nite. I understood your point. But it is interesting to note that Nick at Nite does show episodes of All in the Family and Good Times, two series that caused an uproar with groups like the PTC in the '70s, and has in the past run episodes of Maude, another controversial show. In fact, I was watching All in the Family the other night and thought that there was no way a show like that could make it to network TV today. As far as the PTC goes, it's pretty simple: If you don't like it, don't watch it. There is plenty of technology available to parents for blocking channels. For that matter, there is no law saying that one must own a TV. If it offends thee, pluck it out, as someone once said. Don't subject the rest of us to a worldview that sees Petticoat Junction as the zenith of American television. Answer: Not that there's anything wrong with ... read more

We Have the 411 on Reno 911!

Carlos Alazraqui, Reno 911!

From Barney Fife to Barney Miller, cops and comedy have made hysterical bedfellows. Comedy Central's cult hit Reno 911! is proof that the bumbling-police shtick remains in fine hands. The mostly improvised series plays its Cops-like parody for plenty of white-trash gags and silly sexual innuendos. Comic Carlos Alazraqui, who plays dim-witted deputy James Garcia, took a few moments away from World Cup action to lay down the law with TVGuide.com about his screwy series arriving on DVD this week, what the new season promises, and what's up with these modern Keystone Kops hitting movie screens. TVGuide.com: So, Reno 911! — The Complete Third Season is here on DVD.Carlos Alazraqui: Yeah, and fans will love the read more

Where do you think Everwood ...

Question: Where do you think Everwood ranks as far as TV's greatest dramas ever? I am an older viewer and I can honestly say that it is No. 1 for me. Compared with most "great" shows, it had a relatively short run, but it never lost its magic. Every episode gave the viewers something to think about, something to cherish, a quote to remember. I can't think of any other drama that has touched me and gotten inside of my head and heart the way Everwood has these last four years. Answer: I'm glad you feel that way, and I hope you won't take it as a sign of disrespect when I do a little reality check here. I enjoyed Everwood as much, probably more, than the next person, but it's a show limited by its genre (young-adult soap), even if Everwood often transcended that genre. Much as I loved the characters, enjoyed the writing and acting, and was satisfied by the happy ending, it's still a show that was built around the contrivances and reversals of soap opera, where even characters I liked, such ... read more

Was This TV Season Harsh to New Shows?

Reunion, Love Monkey and Commander in Chief

Reunion. Threshold. E-Ring. Invasion. Emily's Reasons Why Not. Love Monkey. Commander in Chief. Heist. What do these shows have in common? They all debuted at some point during this soon-to-wrap TV season, yet each saw their run either cut surprisingly short or handicapped by irregular scheduling. Was 2005-06 the worst year ever to sample a new show? Were the networks especially hasty in deciding the fate of freshman series? TVGuide.com consulted a panel of experts with unique points of view to examine this strange little season gone by. Are New Shows Getting Short Shrift?Jeff Bader, executive vice president of ABC entertainment programming and scheduling, dismisses the suggestion that prime time is a crueler-than-ever proving ground for new series. " read more

A long time ago there was a ...

Meredith Baxter, David Birney, Bridget Loves Bernie

Question: A long time ago there was a sitcom set in New York (I think). It involved a Jewish boy and a Catholic girl who got married. (I might have their religions reversed.) Of course, the usual problems developed. I want to say it was called Beth and Bernie. Am I right? Thanks.


Answer: Close, A.C. Actually, you're thinking of Bridget Loves Bernie, a sitcom that debuted on CBS in September 1972 in a cushy slot between All in the Family and Mary Tyler Moore. David Birney (St. Elsewhere, the TV version of Serpico) play read more

It seems a given, in the many ...

Question: It seems a given, in the many questions about network scheduling that you receive, that Saturday night is where TV shows go to die, so no one schedules a potential keeper on Saturday. Yet within living memory (mine, at least), CBS had a killer Saturday lineup that would put any recent "must-see" night to shame (All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett). I know we went out on Saturday night in the '70s (and with no TiVo, or even VCRs). It can't just be due to the fracturing of cable — if the audience is really too small on Saturday, then it's too small whether your share is 15 percent or 35 percent. I've been looking back trying to find the tipping point, but I can't see when the landscape changed. What in the business has caused this change in perception? On a completely unrelated note: I have fallen in love with Slings & Arrows. Has there been, or is there going to be, a third season? I need more of New Burbage! Answer: First off, I'm thrilled ... read more

Do you remember a show with, ...

Kene Holliday and Victor French, Carter Country

Question: Do you remember a show with, I think, the guy from Highway to Heaven and a black actor that was sort of a comedy version of In the Heat of the Night? It's driving me nuts.


Answer: Yes.

Aaaah, you didn't really think I was gonna stop at being a wiseacre and answer your question with one word, did you? You'll never so easily curb my urge to babble, Joon.

Funny you use the word "nuts," since the show in question, ABC's Carter Country, bore the name of former peanut farmer Jimmy Carter, who was president at the time it debuted in September 1977. As you say, it bore a strong resemblance to In the Heat of the Night, which 10 years later would be a hit TV series itself.

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Premiered: January 12, 1971, on CBS
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (56 ratings)
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Premise: The groundbreaking, multi-Emmy-winning sitcom about bigoted Archie Bunker ended TV's innocence. Its protagonist was simultaneously lovable and pathetic and, series creator Norman Lear said, `the bigger-than-life epitome of something that's in all of us, like it or not.' The series premiered on CBS on Jan. 12, 1971, changed its title to `Archie Bunker's Place' in 1979 and ran on the network until 1983. It spun off the successful `Maude,' `The Jeffersons' and `Good Times.'

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