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One of television’s all-time icons is getting a new honor.
Prolific TV producer and writer Norman Lear — behind such hits as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times and Diff’rent Strokes — will have one of the main television buildings on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City named after him.
Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra unveiled the honor to the 96-year-old Lear onstage at the company’s annual all-hands meeting on Tuesday.
“Norman and the shows he created defined what great television can be,” Vinciquerra was said to have told staffers at the meeting, held at one of the studios’ soundstages. “And their impact and influence can be felt in just about every situation comedy or drama that has aired since then.”
Added Vinciquerra, “A few of his accolades include four Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards and he is a Kennedy Center honoree. He sits comfortably in the pantheon of great television legends, and we are honored to have him in the Sony family.”
“When you honor me with this, you honor an awful lot of other people as well,” Lear told Sony employees onstage at the meeting. “People who I have worked with over the years who has a love of life and entertainment.”
Lear inked a two-year, first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television last July, with an eye toward possible reimaginings of classic series he created, including All in the Family, The Jeffersons and others.
On March 14, Netflix canceled Lear’s Sony Pictures Television-produced comedy One Day at a Time, based on his 1970s sitcom, after three seasons. At the time, Lear wrote on Twitter, “At my age, I can testify that you are never too old to have your heart broken. I’m also convinced love and laughter add time to one’s life.”
He also added, “I wish I could understand Netflix’s decision not to pick us up for a fourth. Is there really so little room in business for love and laughter?”
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