Norman Lear and His Masterpieces

Daniel Avery

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Another somewhat surprising off-shoot of the Norman Lear sitcoms occurred thanks to The Jeffersons. Near the end of that show's run, they hired Michael Moye and Ron Leavitt in producer/show-runner roles. When CBS unceremoniously cancelled The Jeffersons, Leavitt and Moye were freed up to collaborate on a pilot they pitched to a fledgling broadcast network that later became known as the Fox Broadcasting Channel...and that show was called Married With Children.
 

Toni

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From my view, I think the producers and writers almost always viewed Sophia as a secondary character. More episodes sidelined her than highlight her, and those that feature her at the helm aren't always the best. She was a balance, someone for the other three to cling to for advice, look up to, and, in some ways, be held accountable to, but her nervousness, I think, limited her in ways. She was great at her job, but the writers, but not always the audience, were more eager to turn out stories about Dorothy's chronic fatigue syndrome, Rose's HIV scare, or Blanche dealing with a homosexual brother.
I think Sophia´s character always had the underlining trait of a possible (but unlikely) senility or Alzheimer that actually makes her, in today´s re-watchings, the most timely element of the show. They constantly wrote this in for one-episode characters or even for one-time jokes, but the overall feeling was that they were respectful toward elderly people, ill or not.

 
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