Producer Norman Lear Discusses ‘Matters of Social Import’

Labor News, Industry News

Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images Norman Lear

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Scott Feinberg on June 24, 2019.

“I used to speak of having three doors to knock on to sell something, and now there are 4,000 doors,” says the legendary television producer Norman Lear as we sit down in his office on the Sony lot to record an episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast and discuss how the TV business has changed over the course of his 70-year career.

Now 96, Lear led a TV revolution in the 1970s by employing the sitcom format to tackle matters of social import on a host of unforgettable shows including All in the Family (1971-1979), Sanford and Son (1972-1977), Maude (1972-1978), Good Times (1974-1979), The Jeffersons (1975-1985), One Day at a Time (1975-1984) and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976-1977). And he’s still doing it — via his reboot of One Day at a Time, the third season of which dropped Feb. 8 on Netflix (it has since been canceled), and Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons, an ABC special organized by Jimmy Kimmel and Lear that drew massive ratings on May 22. …

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Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

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