This series was a revamped continuation of the Bea Arthur series Maude (1972). In the final three episodes of the sixth season of that series, Maude moves to Washington, D.C. and becomes a congresswoman. After sixth season wrapped, Arthur quit the series. Executive producer Norman Lear decided to retool the concept into "Onward and Upward" starring John Amos about an African-American congressman. Amos had disputes with the show's producers over the script and left the show after the pilot was shot. Lear planned to recast the role with Peter Boyle. But the NAACP asked Lear to keep the character as an African-American. The role was given to Cleavon Little and the series was retitled. Three episodes were taped and set to air on CBS beginning in March 1979. A screening was held for the Congressional Black Caucus but the congresspeople objected to what they perceived to be a negative portrayal of African-Americans in politics. Lear also held a screening at his home with an African-American audience who all disliked the show. Lear halted production and retooled the concept again which finally became Hanging In (1979).