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American Family
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TV Series
    (January 11, 1973-March 29, 1973)
    (1973)
    Originally aired on PBS
    Filmed in California
    Follows the real-life problems of the Loud family
    Patricia Loud
    Bill Loud
    Lance Loud
    Kevin Loud
    Grant Loud
    Delilah Loud
    Michelle Loud
    Subject of TV specials 'An American Family Revisited (1983)' and 'Lance Loud (2003)'
    Television's first reality series origianlly aired as a documentary
    It was only twelve episodes long, edited down from about 300 hours of footage.
    Many of the family members involved wish now that they would not have agreed to making their home drama into a television show.
    It bothered those who did not like seeing taboos of modern society (like divorce and homosexuality were, in the early 1970s) being turned into a subject of entertainment.
    The family received several threats because of their participation in the show.
    The mom developed a crush on the director, which contributed more to the disintegration of the family.
    Many believe that Lance Loud came out of the closet on television, yet his family knew he was gay long before the series was filmed.
    It is considered the first ever reality television show.
    Their openly gay son, Lance Loud, has become a gay icon as he is considered one of the first openly homosexual men on television.
    It drew in 10 million viewers which was considered (and still is) a huge audience for PBS.
    It offered an intimate glimpse into the lives of real people for the first time in television history.
    It drew considerable controversy and generated a national discussion about what the American family really was all about.
    Lance Loud died of Hepatitis C complications (2003).

Credit: Captain Howdy


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