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TV Series
    (September 12, 1972-April 22, 1978)
    Aired on CBS
    Bea Arthur as Maude Findlay
    Bill Macy as Walter Findlay
    Adrienne Barbeau as Carol Traynor
    Conrad Bain as Dr. Arthur Harmon
    Rue McClanahan as Vivian Harmon
    Esther Rolle as Florida Evans (1972-74)
    Hermione Baddeley as Mrs. Naugatuck (1974-77)
    Marlene Warfield as Victoria Butterfield (1977-78)
    Premise: An outspoken, middle-aged, politically liberal woman living in the New York suburbs with her fourth husband and her daughter
    Theme song performed by Donny Hathaway
    Its big catchphrase was Maude telling her husband, 'God'll get you for that.'
    Thanks to its topical themes, the series has not aged that well.
    Despite being a sitcom, it had several episodes that were downright depressing, such as Walter having a nervous breakdown and contemplating suicide when his business goes bankrupt.
    When a controversial episode in which Maude has an abortion was rerun, most sponsors pulled their ads and over 30 affiliates refused to broadcast it.
    In an attempt to shake up the show and revive the ratings, during the last season Maude was elected to Congress and moved to DC with her husband while the rest of the cast was let go.
    After two episodes in the new setting, Bea Arthur decided she was tired of the role, forcing the series' cancellation.
    It had a catchy theme song.
    It spun off the hit Good Times.
    Although Maude's political beliefs were close to those of series creator Norman Lear, episodes often lampooned her as a naive 'limousine liberal.'
    It was not afraid to deal with controversial issues head on.
    Damn near every later TV show to deal with abortion would wimp out by either: (a) having a minor supporting character deal with the issue; (b) having the pregnancy scare turn out to be a false alarm; or (c) having the pregnant character assert her right to choose, then (surprise!) choose to have the kid.

Credit: C. Fishel

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