69. THE GOLDEN GIRLS 

Created by Susan Harris  

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Aired: NBC, 1985-1992

The sitcom that stormed the gates of prevailing wisdom about TV and the over-50 set. Susan Harris, with husband Paul Junger Witt, had become a proven hit-maker thanks to Benson and Soap; this time she created a sitcom about four retirees in Florida and didn’t pussyfoot around the premise. Estelle Getty, quoted on the Paley Center for Media’s Web site, said of Harris: “She has a way of writing things people want to say, but don’t say. I tell people it’s like when you look in a refrigerator and there’s only a little left. You don’t pour it in a glass, you drink it from the bottle. She does that with her writing. She goes straight to the bone.” The actresses dispensing the zingers were deeply skilled at comedy. Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Getty played the script as if conducting a continuous roast.

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