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In this first of a two-part episode of Advanced TV Herstory, host Cynthia Bemis Abrams welcomes Elva Green to discuss her book, The Jeffersons: A Fresh Look Back. Ms. Green shares her personal journey as a writer and the impetus for the book, which offers insights, interviews, behind-the-scenes stories, and rare photos from the iconic TV series.
Ms. Green interviewed cast and crew members, including the legendary Norman Lear and the incomparable Marla Gibbs, who—after forming a bond with the author—agreed to write the foreword for the book. Ms. Green also speaks fondly of Berlinda Tolbert, Ernest Harden Jr., and others whose willingness to share stories and contacts enhanced her research and writing.
Ms. Green’s unconventional path to becoming an author began with her desire to inspire her grandson by writing about her father, Eddie Green, an early 1900s black American entertainment pioneer who achieved fame despite the challenges faced by African Americans in the first half of the last century.
Listeners are encouraged to shop both of Ms. Green’s books. They offer one-of-a-kind information for those interested in entertainment, black history, and well-crafted narratives. And be sure to tune into our next episode to learn more from Elva Green and her unexpected role in preserving the legacy of The Jeffersons.
In the second of our two-part episode, host Cynthia Bemis Abrams continues talking with Elva Green about her book, The Jeffersons: A Fresh Look Back, which offers insights, interviews, behind-the-scenes stories, and rare photos from the iconic TV series.
Ms. Green reflects on one of the best episodes from the seventh season of the show, which featured a tour-de-force performance by Isabel Sanford (Louise Jefferson). We listen to classic interview clips: Marla Gibbs (Florence) assesses Ms. Sanford’s contribution to the series and Ms. Sanford recounts her professional friendship with Zara Cully (Mother Jefferson). We also look back at Ms. Sanford’s 1981 Emmy acceptance speech.
As with other programs under the guidance of Norman Lear, The Jeffersons appealed to a wide audience and often tackled serious, ground-breaking subject matter. Please join us as we discuss its legacy.
What's with reboots & refashioning movies and TV series of the 70s, 80s & 90s? Will audiences expect reboots to surpass the originals?
One Day at a Time ran for 204 episodes through the late 70s and early 80s. Producer Norman Lear used the novelty of a working single mother of 2 teen to address coming-of-age social topics. Netflix & Lear have "refashioned" the premise with modern twists.
Leading this new One Day at a Time series is 86 year old Rita Moreno, an award-winning American treasure and our most prominent Latina actress.
America's TV landscape was changing rapidly in the 70s. Popular characters in Norman Lear's portfolio of shows who went on to star in spinoffs. From The Jeffersons to Sanford & Son, black performers created memorable characters, bringing decades of stage and film experience to the small screen.
At Indianapolis' Pop Con, June 2018, podcasters Martha Southgate and Jen Edds lend voices in this salute to unsung talent.
It was the late 1970s and Norman Lear and Tandem Productions were on a winning streak. Host Cynthia Bemis Abrams draws the family tree of hits All in the Family, Maude and Good Times. Good Times, which aired 1974 to 1980 broke ground in many ways and Cynthia ties its development to a 1965 Federal Report: “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action." Before Good Times hit production, there was controversy over the Evans' family structure: single mother or nuclear family
Listen in to hear how and why Esther Rolle & John Amos stood firm to the family being led by two parents and how they endured six difficult seasons. Cynthia also pays tribute to Esther Rolle's lifetime record of civil rights activism.
Host Cynthia Bemis Abrams digs into the highly original and occasionally controversial character of Maude Finley of Maude, a series that was spun off from All in the Family. Cynthia details Bea Arthur's theatrical chops and reputation that made her Lear's top choice for the role. Cynthia also touches on the controversial topics explored by the series and why it became a sought-after cameo role for big name stars.
MTV's Daria gave representation and voice to women and girls who are smart, discerning and impatient. It aired 1997-2002, but the series impact is felt today in the action and leadership of feminist movements creating change across all aspects of American culture. Even if you've never seen a Daria episode, this episode will drive you to start streaming it from MTV.
Host Cynthia Bemis Abrams finds influence and representation throughout the depths of television, including the animated series, The Powerpuff Girls which aired in the early 2000s. Cynthia celebrates the three main girl characters Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup , their traits and voice talent behind them. She goes on to provide the backstory of creator Craig McCracken and the controversy which the series generated among feminists and elementary school principals.
No-spoil review of a rare holiday classic in which two women feature prominently in the plot! Based on Elmo Shroppshire's song of the same name from the mid-90s, the made-for-TV movie's plot and quirkiness may just earn it cult status.