what should we be doing with the norman lear library?

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

NORMAN LEAR IS BACK ON TOP! It started on May 22, 2019, when ABC tele­vi­sion broad­cast “Live In Front Of A Studio Au­di­ence: Norman Lear’s All In The Family And The Jef­fer­sons.” The show con­sisted of live “recre­ations” of two episodes from the orig­inal “All In The Family” and “The Jef­fer­sons” from the 1970s. This spe­cial was con­cep­tu­al­ized and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and fea­tured an all-star cast.

Live In Front Of A Studio Au­di­ence fo­cused on two episodes in­volving George Jef­ferson: “Hen­ry’s Farewell,” which in­tro­duced George Jef­ferson in 1973, and “A Friend in Need,” from 1975. The recre­ated episodes starred Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes as George and Louise Jef­ferson with Woody Har­relson and Marisa Tomei as Archie and Edith Bunker. The show was a suc­cess and called at­ten­tion to Lear’s amazing career.

Re­cently, Va­riety pub­lished “Norman Lear Won’t Stop: TV Legend’s Sony Deal Re­newal Takes Him to Age 100.” His cat­alog of old tele­vi­sion se­ries and movies are men­tioned as having caught the in­terest of people who pass as “cre­atives” in 21st cen­tury Hol­ly­wood. Some of these people would like a shot at re­making just about every­thing Lear ever did, in­cluding Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and Fer­n­wood 2 Night, nei­ther of which at­tracted much of an au­di­ence during their orig­inal run on television.

The ar­ticle also quotes Sony Pic­tures En­ter­tain­ment CEO Tony Vin­ci­querra, who main­tains an on­going rap­port with Lear:

“He’s not resting on his lau­rels. When­ever I see him, every few weeks, he al­ways asks me, ‘What more can we do? What should we be doing with our library?’

“If there’s some­body we want to talk to, I al­ways call Norman and say, ‘Hey, do you know this person?’ If he says yes, he’ll vol­un­teer to send an email to in­tro­duce us. Be­cause if you get an en­dorse­ment from Norman, that’s a pretty strong one. We don’t want everyone to know our se­cret weapon, but he’s one of our better sales­people right now.”

Then Vin­ci­querra dropped this:

“We have so many people coming to us saying, ‘We want to re­make this show or that show.’ Very fa­mous people whose names I won’t use, but they want to redo The Princess Bride. Some people want to do an­i­mated ver­sions of some of the sit­coms. Not a month goes by when we don’t have an idea coming from some very big name wanting to do things with Norman.”

Need­less to say, this state­ment wound up all over the in­ternet. and caused Cary Elwes to tweet an as­tute observation:

“There’s a shortage of per­fect movies in this world. It would be a pity to damage this one.”

Amen . . .


PrincessBride FarmBoy Buttercup 1000

FEATURED IMAGE: A lovely photo of two beau­tiful young ac­tors seem­ingly en­joying one an­oth­er’s com­pany. The first time that I saw The Princess Bride back in 1987, my im­me­diate re­ac­tion was some pro­ducers should sign Cary Elwes to a multi-film deal and re­make a few Eroll Flynn swash­buck­lers. In fact, I can see Elwes adapting his Dread Pi­rate Roberts per­sona to the Pi­rates Of The Caribbean movies and they might work even better than Johnny Depp’s Cap­tain Jack Sparrow!




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