what are all the shows that norman lear produced?

Introduction: Norman Lear

Norman Lear is a legendary figure in the world of television, known for his groundbreaking contributions to the medium. Over the years, Lear has produced an impressive array of shows that have left an indelible mark on popular culture. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the rich tapestry of Norman Lear’s television productions, exploring the shows that have defined his illustrious career.

1. All in the Family (1971-1979): The Game-Changer

“All in the Family” is often considered a game-changer in television history. Created by Norman Lear, it centered around the character Archie Bunker, a conservative and bigoted family man. The show broke new ground by addressing taboo topics such as racism, sexism, and politics in a comedic format, challenging societal norms of the time.

2. Maude (1972-1978): A Feminist Icon

“Maude” was a spin-off of “All in the Family” and starred Bea Arthur as the titular character. The show was a feminist icon, tackling women’s rights and reproductive rights during the feminist movement of the 1970s. It explored Maude’s strong and independent character, contributing to the portrayal of complex female leads on television.

norman lear

3. Good Times (1974-1979): Exploring Social Issues

“Good Times” delved into the struggles of an African-American family living in a Chicago housing project. The show, a spin-off of “Maude,” addressed important social issues such as poverty, racism, and social inequality. It offered a realistic portrayal of urban life, contributing to the representation of diverse perspectives on television.

4. The Jeffersons (1975-1985): Moving On Up

A spin-off of “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” followed the upwardly mobile African-American couple George and Weezy Jefferson. The show humorously tackled issues of class and race as the characters moved to the upper East Side of Manhattan. It was a pioneering example of showcasing African-American success on television.

5. One Day at a Time (1975-1984): A Modern Family Tale

“One Day at a Time” focused on a divorced mother, played by Bonnie Franklin, raising two children. The show dealt with contemporary issues such as feminism, dating, and generational conflicts. It offered a realistic portrayal of a non-traditional family structure, capturing the essence of modern family life.

6. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976-1977): A Satirical Gem

“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” was a satirical soap opera parody that satirized the conventions of daytime dramas. The show, created by Lear, showcased his willingness to experiment with different genres and push the boundaries of traditional television storytelling, offering a unique and comedic take on soap operas.

norman lear

7. Fernwood 2 Night (1977): A Mock Talk Show

A spin-off of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” “Fernwood 2 Night” was a mock talk show set in a fictional town. Hosted by Martin Mull and Fred Willard, the show satirized the conventions of late-night television, providing a comedic and innovative approach to the talk show format.

8. Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1986): Breaking Barriers

“Diff’rent Strokes” focused on two African-American brothers adopted by a wealthy white man. The show, known for its catchphrase “Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” addressed racial and socioeconomic differences with humor, showcasing Lear’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity on television.

9. The Facts of Life (1979-1988): A Coming-of-Age Classic

A spin-off of “Diff’rent Strokes,” “The Facts of Life” centered around a group of girls at a boarding school. The show dealt with the challenges of adolescence, friendship, and personal growth, becoming a coming-of-age classic that resonated with audiences.

10. Gloria (1982-1983): A Spin-Off Adventure

“Gloria” was a spin-off of “All in the Family” that followed the character Gloria Stivic after her divorce. The show explored themes of independence and self-discovery as Gloria navigated life as a single mother, showcasing Lear’s ability to evolve characters beyond their initial storylines.

FAQs about Norman Lear’s TV Productions:

  1. Q: What makes Norman Lear’s shows stand out?
    • A: Norman Lear’s shows are known for their groundbreaking approach to social issues, realistic character portrayals, and a keen sense of humor that tackles important subjects.
  2. Q: Which show is considered Norman Lear’s masterpiece?
    • A: “All in the Family” is widely regarded as Norman Lear’s masterpiece, as it revolutionized television by addressing societal taboos and introducing complex characters.
  3. Q: Did Norman Lear only produce sitcoms?
    • A: While Lear is best known for his sitcoms, he has also been involved in producing dramas, talk shows, and satirical programs, showcasing his versatility as a producer.
  4. Q: Are any of Norman Lear’s shows still popular today?
    • A: Yes, many of Lear’s shows continue to have a lasting impact and are celebrated for their cultural significance. “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” have even been adapted for modern audiences.
  5. Q: How did Norman Lear influence television and popular culture?
    • A: Norman Lear challenged the traditional norms of television by introducing socially relevant content and complex characters. His impact on television and popular culture can still be felt today, as his shows paved the way for more inclusive and thought-provoking storytelling.


Norman Lear’s television legacy is a testament to his creativity, vision, and commitment to pushing the boundaries of the medium. From the iconic “All in the Family” to the heartwarming “One Day at a Time,” Lear’s shows continue to resonate with audiences, transcending time and leaving an indelible mark on the history of television. As we look back on his extensive body of work, it’s evident that Norman Lear’s influence extends far beyond the screen, shaping the way we view and discuss important societal issues.

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