Disney’s ABC has announced a new documentary that honors the life and legacy of the remarkable storyteller, activist and philanthropist Norman Lear.
The special will pay homage to the man behind some of television’s greatest stories and will feature an impressive lineup of celebrity guests and musical performances to celebrate his 100th birthday.
Craig Erwich, president, Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, said in a statement:
“Norman’s illustrious career is revered by so many, and we are honored to be celebrating his legacy with this special night of entertainment. We have been lucky to work with Norman on a number of projects over the years, and it’s only fitting that his centennial birthday be marked by the biggest names in Hollywood raising a glass to toast, and perhaps gently roast, the television icon.”
Norman Lear added:
“I’ve always believed music and laughter have added time to my life. I’ve seen a lot throughout my 100 years, but I would’ve never imagined America having a front-row seat to my birthday celebration. Thank you, ABC. Thank you, Done & Dusted. Even, This, I get to experience.”
Norman Lear is a television and film writer/producer whose dynamic career in Hollywood has encompassed both the Golden Age and Streaming Era. He served as executive producer to the critically acclaimed reimagining of “One Day at a Time,” which ran for four seasons and was the first Netflix series to be renewed for network television (PopTV and CBS). Lear executive produces and co-hosts “Live in Front of a Studio Audience… ,” alongside Jimmy Kimmel. The series set record ratings for ABC and won the Emmy(R) for Outstanding Variety Special for two consecutive years.
Lear’s social and political activism extends beyond the messaging of his programs, and he continues to be a strong advocate for civic duty and progressive American values.
Born in 1922 in New Haven, Connecticut, Lear attended Emerson College before flying 52 combat missions over Europe during World War II. Upon his return, he began a successful career writing and producing programs like “The Colgate Comedy Hour” and “The Martha Raye Show” – ultimately leading to Lear captivating 120 million viewers per week with his iconic shows of the 1970s and ’80s – “All in the Family,” “Good Times,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”
As Lear began witnessing the rise of the radical religious right, he put his television career on hold in 1980 to found People For The American Way. Today, the organization is over 1 million members and activists strong and continues to fight right-wing extremism while defending constitutional values like free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.
Lear is a 2017 Kennedy Center Honoree; a recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 1999 and the Peabody Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016; and a proud member of the inaugural group of inductees to the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984. He has won six Primetime Emmys and a Golden Globe(R).
“Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter” is produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative. Executive producers are David Jammy, Brent Miller, Raj Kapoor and Eric Cook.
This special will air on Thursday 22nd September 2022 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC and it will be available the next day on Hulu. Special guests and performers will be announced at a later date. No international release on Disney+ has been announced .
Are you looking forward to watching “100 Years of Music and Laughter?”