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Could a TV Show Like The Golden Girls Get Made Today?

Could a Show About Older Folks Work on TV Today?


In the wake of Bea Arthur's death, much has been written about Arthur's contribution to groundbreaking TV shows that focused on powerful women and the process of aging. One interesting question is whether a television show like The Golden Girls would ever make today's TV lineup. A USA Today writer muses:

There are stars who, when they leave, you realize how far we've come. With Arthur, sad to say, you realize how far we've regressed; there's no way Maude or Golden Girls gets on the air on any of the broadcast networks today. In an era in which networks cater to young viewers and kowtow to advertisers, everything about those shows would be a no-go, from the age of their stars to their no-holds-barred, no-sacred-cows style.

That's a sad sentiment, and I'm wondering if you think it's true. We have some evidence that it may be, as original Brothers and Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz has charged that his show came to focus too much on youth and less on the older cast members. But shows like The Golden Girls and The Odd Couple once showed that aging could be both graceful and hilarious. Do you think a show starring an older cast could have a shot at success in today's entertainment climate?

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