The series was video taped at the KTTV Studio, Hollywood, CA., where Norman Lear had his Empire (production office) established. The "All That Glitters" offices had been set up at the KTTV studios, assigned a stage where the art department and wardrobe had offices within the stage complex; including the stage control room--director, AD, tech director, lighting director, editor video-tape facility. Scenery was built outside of the studio at an independent Hollywood set construction shop (Dick Sheehan). Don Roberts asked for, and hired Hub Braden, joining Braden with Norman Lear's art department team, to be Production Designer, art directing and dressing the new series. The show's "soap" schedule identified with a daily drama, taped similar to a network day-time drama, for a night-time syndicated Monday through Friday viewing time slot. The scenario established a role reversal between male and female character. The comedic intent was when God made Woman, called Eve. Afterwards, God (a woman) felt Eve needed a partner creating Adam. The dominate female role "Eve" model had carried down through Centuries: Moses had been Mosea, a woman, Jesus had been Jessia, a woman, not King Louis XIV, but Queen Louisa XIV. Women ran the corporate world with a woman president. The counter-part for office personnel was a male secretary, no house-wife but a house-husband, staying at home to clean, raise the kids, cook, minding the home requirements! An interesting premise for a twist of fate. Dialogue and situations in the projected scenarios expanded this premise. Norman Lear went as far as to make the Producing staff all female, women Producers including the production personnel, except for Production Designer Hub Braden, the Director Herb Kenwith, Prop-master Warren Schaffer, stage hands, and camera men and studio facility support technicians.
The first day on stage with cast and crew, the director, Jim Frawley was fired by Norman Lear. The cast and crew were released, ordered to report back the next day. Herb Kenwith was brought into the production, that late afternoon. Herb Kenwith directed the entire series.
The show's female production staff, headed by Stephanie Sills, the producer, were a mirror image of the show's scenario. The female "All That Glitters" cast were located in a corporate kingdom titled "Globatron". Preliminary production (design) discussion centered upon a corporate logo for the fictional Globatron business empire. Stephanie Sills dictated that the logo should feature a rose, a world globe being held, balanced with-in the open rose (petals) blossom. Specifically, the rose represented a woman's sex organ trapping the world power within. In the main board room set, the sculptured logo was featured prominently, on the wall behind the corporate director's glass top desk and chair.
"All That Glitters" was a five night series which aired on the local Los Angeles Channel 13 television station, weekly. The entire series ran all the shows taped in the schedule. After Norman Lear canceled the show, the scenery was dumped. All permanent (which had been purchased) set dressing furniture pieces were divided up and relocated in the Lear Office empire.
The world of the Norman Lear's limited night-time television series "All That Glitters" was exactly like ours except that the women were the dominate gender. Women were the captains of industry and men were household workers, secretaries and waiters trying to attract attention with their sexuality. To add some additional twists to that twist there were characters into dominance/submission, a woman, the first transvestite or trans-gender role portrayed on television, who had been a man (played by Linda Gray) and, of course, women CEOs having affairs with their male secretaries. This was the TV series that Norman Lear had Herb Kenwith take over the directorial assignment after Norman Lear fired the first choice of his female producing team, the film director James Frawley. Jim Frawley's background was in feature film, where one camera films the action, resets for secondary shots, close ups, etc. During the first day stage blocking rehearsal, a four camera blocking plotting day, Frawley dismissed three camera men, announcing he would video tape the show with only one camera. Mid-day morning, Norman Lear was called to the KTTV studio-stage to observe. The lack of experience with the "Glitter's" team of lady producers created a multiple state of confusion. The producing team, unprepared for an unexperienced film director's state of confusion having to deal with blocking many actors in consecutive scene staging's, while blocking four television camera positions and shots. The television medium format for multiple camera shot positions, multiplied by the camera tape editing process, created a stage of mass pandemonium and tension. With Norman Lear on stage, the women producers blamed the production designer Hub Braden for his stage layout of the ten sets to justify Jim Frawley's failure to stage multiple cameras. To justify Frawley's dismissal of three camera men, his failure in dealing with multiple cameras, the producers frantically put the order out to "find Hub" so we can fire him! No one could find Braden because early in the day, Braden had been so exasperated with the inexperienced film director's handing of actors and technical crew, he had departed the stage mayhem, to supervise his free-lance design project being set up, to be taped at across town's NBC Burbank studio: the Hollywood based-columnist Rona Barrett's Academy Award interview special featuring Academy Award Nominee guests. The Ronna Barrett theatrical interview background stage set was designed to collapse on camera at the conclusion of the TV interview show. Braden's art director assistants at KTTV had been instructed to deal with any stage problems. Therefore, no one could find Braden to tell him the "Glitter's Producers" wanted to fire him. Around four-thirty, that afternoon, Lear fired Jim Frawley on stage in front of the entire crew of actors, producers and technicians, with everyone dismissed until the next day. Norman Lear immediately brought Herb Kenwith into the studio-facility to take over the show's directing reigns. Told by the producers that they were firing their production designer Hub Braden, Herb Kenwith replied "you can't fire him! He is the only one here that knows what he is doing! HE STAYS!" Braden, that night at seven p.m., returned to the KTTV stage to check out the day's progress; discovering an empty stage with Herb Kenwith standing in the middle of the stage, holding an open script book studying each stage set arrangement, analyzing scene blocking shots. Braden, ignorant of the day's sequence of mayhem, greeted Herb in amazement, blurting out "thank God you are here!" Herb filled Braden in with all the day's consequences, including how he, Herb, had saved Braden's job! The success of the series was primarily Herb Kenwith's sense of humor and tongue in cheek direction of the outlandish situation comedy scripts. Probably the first ever night time television comedy dealing with female sexual mores, twists, and compulsions. The Norman Lear project was short-lived, canceled after twelve weeks; a five night television comedy series, telecast on Los Angeles' local syndicated Channel 13 network with terribly dismal ratings.
Two featured characters in "All That Glitters" were Eileen Brennan as Ma Packer and her lazy son, Sonny Packer, played by Tim Thomerson. Sonny's (Thomerson's) role idol and wannabe impersonation of an Elvis Presley character, always strumming his guitar, practicing swinging hips and rock movements was diligently encouraged by his Ma (Eileen Brennan) Packer. Their principal abode was a run down farm shack. In preparation for the first introduction of the outlandish pair, Herb and Eileen requested the littered straw and dirt studio set floor be inhabited with a small pot bellied pig and a dozen chickens. The first day to video-tape Ma and Sonny Packer's introduction in the series, Eileen picked up one of the hens, holding the chicken in her arms like a pet cat, petting and soothing the clucking hen while performing her character's motherly role. The entire week of staged scenes, Eileen carried the same hen in her arms, with the chickens pecking seeds from the straw on the ramshackle shack floor. The following week, the producers decided to cancel the livestock. Arriving early on set for rehearsal, Eileen and Herb confronted the dull witted lady producers. Where were the Chickens? Canceled to save money on a chicken wrangler and his flock of hens! The cast and crew waited for one hour while the wrangler and his flock of hens could arrive. Thereafter, Eileen, her chicken-hen co-star, with the floor flock of hens were featured until Ma moved uptown, with Sonny becoming a full fledged rock star on a local television station talent show, landing a gig at a local Western bar and stardom! Ma Packer, now a sexy glamorous theatrical agent, became a music-rock group phenomena.
Norman Lear's comedy night time 1976-1977 popular syndicated television series "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" - in 1977, transitioned into "Forever Fernwood" when the series was terminated. During the years between 1976-1977, Norman Lear (at age 54 in the spring of 1977; b:07/27/1922) with his wife Frances developed the television prime-night-time syndicated situation satire lampoon comedy "All That Glitters" - as a limited pilot series. (Frances at age 53 in the spring of 1977; b:07/14/1923 - d:09/30/1996, deceased at age 73), (Norman and Frances married on December 7, 1956 in NYC; divorced in LA, 1986). Lear's wife, Frances Lear, was, some would call - a 'some-what-very silent partner' in her husband's Tandem-TAT Communications television production company's formal staff credential listings. Actually, Frances Lear was NOT a silent 'Norman Lear associate' with her husband Norman Lear's Hollywood KTTV television studio production unit Tandem-TAT Communications - studio offices. Frances Lear attended creative conference and development meetings when "All That Glitters" was in preparation and during the TV show's production. The husband-wife team - Norman and Frances Lear - created an unusual revolutionary satire role reversal scenario of a man's power and a woman's humble secondary role position - that occurred in their very unusual 1977 independent television show property "All That Glitters" - far ahead of the nation's 1990's-through-2000's decade women's feminist political movement. Norman Lear's wife Frances, a head-hunter, had personally developed a job-search-placement program for professional executive career women, for a woman executive to transition into career opportunities in new professional business arenas unrelated to their previous business career professional executive positions. Frances, very strong in her woman's feminist power movement philosophy, proposed and dictated that their new television property "All That Glitters" above-the-line-executive production staff be assembled from women executives, promoting within the Lear organization, secretary's to associate producer positions, production managers, and support office female staff job promotions. Searching outside the theatrical television business-career field - where Norman and Frances found Stephanie Sills, who had been a director at the Ford Institute Grant program in Washington, D.C., placing Sills as Norman Lear's lead associate producer, without Sill's previous history of any theatrical experience - as a show biz wonder-kind! The nearly entire Lear production above-the-line-staff team were composed of and positioned with women within their organization. The exception was - Norman Lear and Stephanie Sills hired the 40 year old film director James Frawley (b:09/29/1936) to direct the six-video camera taped and edited television serial comedy-drama. They had reason to be nervous because Frawley's directorial background and expertise came from his narrow single camera feature filmed television production; who had NO previous experience running a content company directing a television stage full of multiple cast of actors-performers, a technical multiple four-to-six electronic video camera engineering camera-crew, 2 sound studio boom operators; with no experience dealing with situation-comedy studio personnel, no experience with multiple camera video taped stage and tape-edited production, uncomfortable in not having a four-wall stage set interior; Frawley was unprepared blocking performers with multiple cameras in 'three wall' stage-settings, nor understanding typical situation comedy stage lighting perimeters. James Frawley was fired by Norman Lear late-mid-day, on the first rehearsal-taping day. James Frawley never set foot back on the KTTV lot property after departing the stage upon his dismissal, replaced with Herbert "Herb" Kenwith (at age 63, b:07/14/1917-d:01/30/2008, deceased at age 90), who directed the entire series. Norman Lear's Tandem-TAT Communications Art Department production design executive Don Roberts (at the age of 42 in the spring of 1977; b:11/16/1934-d:01/10/1999, deceased at age 64) hired free-lance production designer and professional friend Hub Braden (at age 42) to design, art direct and decorate the production's studio-stage scenery. Braden utilized Don Robert's Tandem-TAT Norman Lear-Production art department team of male and female staff assistant art directors. (Hub Braden and Don Roberts had known each other since 1961, where they were individually known as main stage-scenic production-designers at the famed West Coast theatrical school and professional theater "The Pasadena Playhouse." During the 60s, in network television, they each had established themselves as Society of Motion Picture and Television Art Directors' IATSE #876 television assistant art directors, becoming art directors joining staff positions, Don at CBS' Television City, and Hub at NBC Burbank TV.) Warren L. Shaffer (IATSE #44 Property), from Norman Lear's CBS Television City successful series "All In The Family" - was brought onto the staff in the show's property master (job classification) position.
"All That Glitters" is a television-satire-situation-comedy by producer Norman Lear, who marketed the syndicated program through his company, Tandem - TAT Communications' program syndication division. The series ran five nights a week. The series consisted of 65 episodes; aired, beginning the third week in the month of April, between Monday April 18, continuing 13 weeks, ending Friday, July 15, 1977 in broadcast syndication. Jimmy Carter was the U.S. President (Democratic). People were listening to "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston. In the U.K. "Knowing Me Knowing You" by Abba was in the top 5 hits. "Annie Hall," directed by Woody Allen was one of the most viewed movies released in 1977 while "Oliver's Story" by Erich Segal was one of the best selling books. The daily week-day "All That Glitters" sitcom, a spoof of the soap opera format, depicted the trials and tribulations of a group of female executives at the "Globatron" corporation. The twist of the series was that it was set within a world of complete role-reversal: Women were the "stronger sex," the executives and breadwinners, while the "weaker sex" - the men - were the secretaries or stay-at-home house-husbands. Men were often treated as sex objects. The series featured Barbara Baxley, Eileen Brennan, Greg Evigan, Lois Nettleton, Wes Parker, Anita Gillette, Gary Sandy, Tim Thomerson, Jessica Walter, Rhea Perlman and Danny De Vito. Comic actor and cartoon voice artist Chuck McCann was also a regular. Linda Gray played transgender fashion model Linda Murkland, the first transgender series regular on American television. "All That Glitters" was series creator Norman Lear's attempt to duplicate his success with the syndicated soap opera spoof "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." Lear described the premise simply: "God created Eve first, took out her rib and gave her a companion so she wouldn't be lonely." Lear came up with the idea on a trip to Washington, D.C.. "I had visited the Institute of Policy Studies, and I just loved the whole thing. And I thought there was a series in it - a-five-times-a-week series: I went to bed thinking about that, and I woke up the next morning thinking what would happen if the male-female equation were changed? What would happen if the women had all the power and all the advantage, and the men had what the women normally would have?" The world of "All That Glitters" had always been female-dominated but Lear also used the series to comment on changing sex roles in the United States in the 1970s. In test screenings prior to its premiere, reaction to the show was sharply divided. Producer Stephanie Sills said of the sitcom, "the strongest negative reaction came from male executives. They didn't mind being portrayed by women. It was simply that they detest the way we depicted them." Feminists were uncertain how to react to the series, with some being concerned that audiences would not perceive the show as satire but as an attempt to represent how a female-dominated society would actually operate.
Former Major League Baseball player Wes Parker literally walked into his role. He was doing play-by-play reporting for a Los Angeles television station owned by Norman Lear's Tandem-TAT partner, Jerry Perenchio. Wes Parker said, "Lear casually asked if I'd be interested in the part. I said yes, but knew it was out of the question, because in real life things don't happen that way. Nobody walks in and gets on a Norman Lear show. I read for the part, got it and didn't sleep at all that night." On Wes Parker's role in his first day engagement on the television studio stage interior living room set with Chuck McCann, Parker appeared top-less, in bare feet with only white-white-styled-beach loosely tied limp cotton pants. Parker was a hunk. His first day appearance was like being in a shark's tank! The stage set's periphery circumference was occupied by the female secretarial TAT Communications secretarial production office team pool-ensemble - observing Wes Parker's moves on his living room interior stage setting! After his rehearsal blocking was established, and the next set and scene was moved into, the studio-office-pool of secretaries dispensed, returning to their KTTV office work stations. The rehearsal and camera blocking of Wes Parker's sessions remained a favorite extra benefit to Lear's staff secretarial personnel.
Linda Gray was somewhat non-pulsed upon being offered the role of transgender Linda Murkland. "I remember meeting Norman and Frances and him saying, 'You'll be perfect for the role.' I didn't know whether to take that as a compliment or what." To prepare for her role, Linda Gray asked Lear to arrange for her to meet with a transgender woman. Gray met with her for several hours prior to the beginning of filming and on a couple of occasions during production. The character's role also established a romance between a black and white relationship, with the pair shown on camera - in bed together. Lois Nettleton reportedly based her characterization of her role as Christina Stockwood on Clark Gable.
After "All That Glitters" was in production with an established cast, broadcast as an independent syndicated-prime-time off-network series, Norman Lear created a bickering exiled oil rich Saudia Arabian Sheikh princess Abu Bahn and her prince husband which was based upon his own married relationship with wife Francis Lear. The Lear's asked their friends Rhea Perlman, at age 29 (b.03/31/1948), to be Sheikh Abu Bahn and Danny Devito, at age 33 (b.11/19/1944), to be the Sheikh to perform as the oil rich Suadia Arabian royal couple in their satire.
The lyrics for the "All That Glitters" opening are as follows: "One morning the Lord, She woke up to say, "I feel like I want to be creative today. So by virtue of the power I have invested in me I make the heaven, earth and the deep blue sea. Things that swim, fly, walk by, creep and crawl. Now I'd better make someone to name it all. Yes, a human was needed in the neighborhood. So the Lord made woman and it was good. Now the garden of Eden is no place to be alone. So from the rib of the Madam came Adam full grown. As time went by this groom and bride followed the instructions and multiplied. She'd hunt, he'd cook. She'd work, he'd play. While she administered the government, he crocheted. She wore the mail, he wore the vale He concubined and walked behind, She was, you'll pardon the expression, the mastermind. So is it any wonder why the men complain that from the dawn of time it's been a woman's domain". - ("She wore the mail" refers to medieval chain mail body armor).
Video taped production started in early March 1977 with director Herbert Kenwith replacing James Frawley on the first day of cast rehearsal with multiple, six electronic video camera blocking rehearsal session, and then, video taping the sit-com's half hour program. The production designer, Hub Braden, initially had very little in-put nor contribution from Stephanie Sills, nor from associate producers in the "look" and conceptualizing - in designing the scenic set elements. More vocal attention dictated the premise for the Globatron corporate logo, and designing the producer's office stationary graphics featuring a long stemmed red rose. The original director, James Frawley, was not hired when production began, nor was he involved in developing graphics nor any scenic elements (sets) for the series. Nor did James Frawley comprehend the scenic tricks of built-in video-camera paths inside the set for multiple camera angle coverage when blocking shots. Frawley's film directing limited practical expertise - was - blocking performers in a four-wall interior set environment related to a one camera group or single shot position, allowance for lighting each single shot set-up, moving the film camera, relighting, enabling setting-up a reverse angle cover shot. Frawley had no experience with multiple (video) camera blocking shots, lighting performers, dealing with sound boom engineers. On the first day of cast rehearsal and camera blocking coverage, frustrated, he dismissed all but one of his camera-men and his video camera; the five camera-men and electronic video cameras were side-lined on the stage's perimeter camera-pen. The producers had no control of their stage since Frawley was now their show's king-pin! Blaming their production designer, they looked for Braden, to fire him! Norman Lear, learning of the pan-demoniac producers quandary, the stage's turmoil, arrived unannounced after being alerted, observing the day's proceeding activity. After silently standing by observing the stage's stymied progress, (a two and half hour observation), Lear fired James Frawley! Lear brought in his favorite director Herb Kenwith, to take over the directorial reigns, who met with Stephanie Sills and her associate producers late in the evening. Learning that the producer was firing Braden, Kenwith responded, who had worked with Braden on the NBC drama "Return to Peyton Place" - "You can't fire him, he is the only one who knows what is going on in this studio!" After Herb Kenwith joined the production company, Kenwith collaborated with Braden developing scenic elements required in the progress of the show's scenario. Kenwith, a witty and charming character, himself, was a hands-on inspired director who knew how to communicate with every production department, with the producers, the writers, and cast performers. Kenwith knew he was the central force in the progression of the Norman Lear series' concept.
Six permanent stage sets were designed for the series. The large studio's foot-print accommodated three large sets, lined up, on each side of the studio's perimeter. The three sets, designed to be in line, utilized connecting stair units between each set, co-coordinating entrance/access elements within each interior set. Each set was separated by two (2'-06") foot division space for lighting ladder access. An expansive central bowling-aisle-alley divided the studio's center-floor plan allowing a utility area for video-electronic-cameras and technical sound equipment. Each setting had a unique vinyl mock wooden, or marble, textured floor treatment, with area rugs decorating specific areas. Swing sets were designed to fit inside the permanent stage settings. The overhead pin-rail stage grid lighting pipes hung parallel, in line - to the open six (6) wall stage setting. The series purchased furniture, draperies, paintings, pictures, set decoration props and accessories. Swing stage set decoration was all rental. The designer had single-faced hard-wall stage stock units which provided for the various swing set requirements. After the series had been established, and with completed scripts available, when a swing set was set up and decorated, the cast and scenes were video-taped in one, or two days, as scheduled, allowing the performer to tape their swing-set scenes, as well as their regular permanent stage set scenes.
Norman Lear's 1976-1977 comedy television series "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," transitioned into "Forever Fernwood" which concluded production in early 1977. Comedian and actress Dody Goodman, at age 62 (b.10/28/1914-d.06/22/2008, deceased at 93), who was cast in a featured role on "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," was cast in "All That Glitters" after Lear's syndicated comedy "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" had been shut down in early 1977. Because of actress Eileen Brennan's success using a prop "alive - hen chicken" in her earliest scenes in the "Glitters" establishing scenario, director Herb Kenwith wanted Dody Goodman to have a cat in her kitchen set. A crew member brought his caged docile female Abyssinian pet cat "Sister" onto the stage's kitchen set. During video taping of Dody's segment, the Abyssinian, instead of eating her bowl of treats, paced the kitchen counter, following Dody back and forth on the set's kitchen counter, meowing with every step. After the segment was finished, Dody remarked, "I've been upstaged by children, but never an Abyssinian cat!". "Sister's" first and only screen and meowing song fest ended her show-biz career.
Album art director Bernie Yeszin followed founder Berry Gordy Jr. and his Motown's Music recording company when Gordy relocated from Detroit, Michigan, to Los Angeles in 1972. Bernie Yeszin was Motown's record company's in house art director, designing and supervising photo sessions for the recording companies album jacket covers. Production designer Hub Braden, after interviewing Bernie, hired Yeszin to design graphics and develop the production's correspondence letterheads, and assist in designing the series "Globatron" logo. With tongue in cheek, the wall mounted "Globatron" three dimensional graphic presentation was centered on a 48 inch iron 3/4" tubular ring. The foam dimensional sculpted symbolic red rose had a clear plastic world globe nestled inside the rose's bloom of flower petals. The featured world globe and red rose was centered upon the corporate office wall, mounted upon an open silver leaf finished swastika connected to the iron tubular outer ring. No one recognized the not so subtle implication of the "Globatron" symbolism.