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Julia (TV Show)
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TV Series
    (September 17, 1968-March 23, 1971)
    Aired on NBC
    Created/Produced by Hal Kanter
    Diahann Carroll as Julia Baker
    Lloyd Nolan as Dr. Morton Chegley
    Marc Copage as Corey Baker
    Paul Winfield as Paul Cameron
    Lurene Tuttle as Nurse Hannah Yarby (1968 - 1970)
    Premise: A young African-American nurse is widowed and struggles to raise a young son on her own
    Susan Olsen was a guest-star.
    Their Christmas episode was titled 'I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas' (groovy!)
    Hal Kanter resisted suggestions to change the show's original title of 'Mama's Man' to 'The Diahann Carroll Show' (they settled on 'Julia').
    It was one of the only sitcoms to be aired without a laugh track (which would be inserted for reruns).
    It was a bland counter-narrative to the depiction of social unrest of the late 1960s (campus unrest, race riots, etc.)
    It was unpopular with black viewers, half of its target audience, who complained that it was unrealistic (but it maintained the 'fatherless black family' stereotype - even in the suburbs).
    Its main problem seemed to be the protagonist who - while a positive representation of a professional African-American woman - came off as 'boring' without much of 'a personality.'
    It is referenced in a line in Gil Scott-Heron's 1971 'Revolution Will Not Be Televised' song ('will not star Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia'); insinuation being that there was less role model about Julie Baker than a cartoon caricature.
    By the third season, all involved parties had checked out emotionally, tired of defending it from backlash, and sought to move onto other projects, resulting in the show's cancellation with little fanfare.
    It was the first show to depict an African-American woman as a practicing professional, instead of a servant.
    Julia's husband was killed in action during the Vietnam War, after his O-1 Bird Dog fighter plane was shot down.
    It made veiled attempts to present racial tension as a problem to a broader audience.
    It was criticized for being apolitical but that concern never stopped shows like Gomer Pyle (which never acknowledged the war) from attaining a following.
    Diahann Carroll received death threats and hate mail for 'selling out' (although Marc Copage, who played her son, received loads of weekly fan mail).
    Its first season garnered five Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series (1969).
    This also included a Lead Actress in a Comedy Series nomination for Carroll, making her the first African-American woman to be nominated in the category.
    Diahann Carroll won a Golden Globe for 'Best TV Star - Female' for her work on the show (1969).
    It came under closer examination after the turbulent 60s/70s subsided, at which point it was deemed culturally significant and 'ahead of its time.'
    It was honored at the TV Land Awards as a Historically Groundbreaking Show (2003).
    It was a well-intentioned attempt at healing (Hal Kanter first put the idea to paper after hearing the NAACP's Roy Wilkins speak about positive representation of blacks on television).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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