4. ALL IN THE FAMILY
Developed for Television by Norman Lear, Based on Till Death Do Us Part, Created by Johnny Speight
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Aired: CBS, 1971-1983
Asked how he’d been able to be so controversial on All in the Family, creator Norman Lear said to the WGAW Web site in 2009: “I don’t really know how to explain it. It took me three years to get All in the Family on the air. Let me put it that way.” Based on the British sitcom Till Death Do Us Part, All in the Family didn’t become a hit right away – and then it became a kind of national conversation about the cultural and political fault lines separating baby boomers and those who’d lived through World War II – what Archie Bunker called, “The Big One.” During the show’s heyday, the living room in the Bunkers' Queens household was a character in itself, complete with Archie’s chair, a bully pulpit from which he moaned, lectured, and spewed. This was argument as theater, with Archie establishing the bombastic blueprint for sitcom dads to come.
Norman Lear on his legacy and the state of the modern sitcom
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