1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 8 (USA)
142 x 30 minute episodes
Beatrice Arthur featured in this All In The Family spin-off from CBS as Maude Findlay, a loud, middle-aged woman living in suburban upper-middle-class Tuckahoe, New York, with her fourth husband, Walter (Bill Macy), her divorced daughter Carol (Adrienne Barbeau), and Carol’s young son Phillip.
The Findlay’s also went through three housekeepers during the run of the series. The first, Florida Evans (Esther Rolle), left in 1974 to her own spin-off, Good Times.
Maude Findlay was opinionated like her cousin Edith’s husband, Archie Bunker, but her politics and class position were completely different. Strong-willed, intelligent and articulate, the liberal progressive Maude spoke out on issues raised less openly on All In The Family.
While facelifts, birth control, abortion, alcoholism and menopause don’t seem like a recipe for prime time success, they were among the personal crises Maude faced in her six seasons on air and part of what accounted for the show’s ranking in the top ten for four consecutive years.
In a two-part episode that ran early in the series, the 47-year-old Maude finds out that she’s pregnant and decides, with her husband Walter, that she would have an abortion which, had just been made legal in New York State.
Part two of the double episode also dealt with men and birth control as Walter considers getting a vasectomy. Thousands of viewers wrote letters in protest of the episode because of the abortion issue.
In other episodes Maude gets a face-lift, Walter’s business goes bankrupt, and he deals with the resulting bout with depression; in yet another Walter confronts his own alcoholism.
The socially controversial, sometimes radical sitcom ran on CBS from 1972 to 1978, and like its predecessor, All In The Family, was created by Norman Lear’s Tandem Productions.
The show’s ratings began to fall after its fourth season, and by 1978 Bea Arthur announced that she would leave the show.
Brian Morrison (1)
Kraig Metzinger (2)
Dr Arthur Harmon
Vivian Cavender Harmon
Mrs Nell Naugatuck
J. Pat O’Malley