‘All in the Family’ creator Norman Lear on TV’s new Golden Age

Norman Lear, the man behind “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” talks about writing comedy and his favorite show right now in this online exclusive.

Television writer and producer Norman Lear had so many hit sitcoms on the air at one time in the ’70s that 120 million people were tuning in to his shows alone each week. His groundbreaking shows made people laugh, but people also watched to see stories that dealt with the most serious issues of the day: racism, abortion, poverty and class issues, to name a few. At 92, Lear has written about his career and life in “Even This I Get to Experience,” out this week.

He sat down with senior correspondent Jeffrey Brown to talk about what makes him tick and why he thinks there is “too much” television now.

“We’ve become much more a nation of consumers than citizens,” laments the creator of “All in the Family,” “Maude,” “Good Times,” “Sanford and Son,” “The Jeffersons,” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”

Lear is also the founder of the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way and a father of six — ranging from 19 to 68. He says the reason he keeps working is simple: “I like getting up in the morning and I like … having something to do when I get up in the morning. And, I care!”

Tune in to tonight’s broadcast of the PBS NewsHour to watch the rest of Norman Lear’s conversation with Jeff. You can watch on our Ustream Channel at 6 p.m. EDT or check your local listings.