American Masters “Norman Lear”

Airing Friday, September 2, 2022

Largely responsible for the explosion of bold American television in the 1970s, writer/producer Norman Lear’s name is synonymous with the sitcom. Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady show how a poor Jewish kid from Connecticut became one of TV’s most successful producers. Bringing provocative subjects like war, poverty, and prejudice into 120 million homes every week, Lear proved that social change was possible through an unlikely prism — laughter — and created some of the greatest moments in television history.

With unprecedented access to Lear, his work and his massive personal archives, this film combines stories from his turbulent childhood and early career with his groundbreaking TV success (“All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times,” “Maude”) and social activism. The documentary also features colorful stories from Lear’s family, friends and collaborators, including John Amos, Mel Brooks, George Clooney, Alan Horn, Bill Moyers, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner and Russell Simmons.

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