Though prolific producer Norman Lear called this the Golden Age of television, he also thinks what we’re seeing on the small screen these days is too politically correct.
The creator of such boundary-pushing shows as All in the Family, The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time was on hand at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Pasadena on Tuesday to promote his guest-spot on Ovation’s Rough Draft with Reza Aslan, a talk show that delves into the minds of some of the biggest writers on TV. For his part, Lear said the influx of programming on cable and streaming services has provided more opportunity for writers of all backgrounds to make their voices heard.
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“I think the answer to it is in your face every day,” Lear said. “I don’t know how many signals I can turn to for great drama, great dramedy. This has to be the Golden Age. There is so very much good quality, so much excellence in drama. I live a life, probably we all do, where people are constantly saying, ‘You mean you haven’t seen…’ and they mention a show that’s been on for 10 years… It’s the Golden Age.”
Among the shows Lear says falls into that Golden Age category? “Transparent is a giant show,” Lear told EW after the panel. “My wife and I just binged on — for us, four episodes is a binge — Homeland. We had done the same thing a week or so ago on Ray Donovan.”
However, Lear also believes that a lot of networks are taking a sensitive approach and the current programming falls on the side of being too PC. “I don’t think the narrow point of view serves the American people well,” Lear said on the panel. “I don’t think the bumper-sticker quality of news and discussion helps us understand, and I think the obligation of broadcasters — when that word existed and there were three networks, the news was not expected to make money. I think the American people don’t get what they earn by way of help and understanding in context what is going on in their world.”
Rough Draft with Reza Aslan premieres Feb. 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Ovation.