The history of TV cannot be written without Norman Lear and as the legendary producer turns 100 in 2022, he is being honored by the medium he is so integral to with a TV special — Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter, airing on ABC on Thursday, September 22.
Even if you don’t know the name offhand or you have never watched any Norman Lear TV shows before (you really should), Lear’s impact on the modern TV landscape is undeniable. He revolutionized the sitcom format and helped bring new stories to people’s homes in half-hour doses every week.
ABC says they are paying "homage to the man behind some of television’s greatest stories," with the TV event. Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter will contain intimate conversations, musical performances and a few surprise reunions.
Helping to do so is an incredible lineup of celebrity guests and musical performances. Set to appear are:
- Anthony Anderson
- Jennifer Aniston
- Kristen Bell
- Asante Blackk
- George Clooney
- Laveren Cox
- Tracee Ellis Ross
- Isabella Gomez
- Emily Hampshrie
- Tom Hanks
- Jimmy Kimmel
- Justina Machado
- Rita Moreno
- Ms. Pat
- Jay Pharoah
- Amy Poehler
- Rob Reiner
- Aida Rodriguez
- Kelly Rowland
- Octavia Spencer
- George Wallace
- Michelle Williams
Here’s what you need to know about tuning in for the special TV event.
How to watch Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter
Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter is a two-hour event that airs on ABC Thursday, September 22, starting at 9 pm ET/PT.
Since it is airing on ABC, the special is available live to anyone who has a traditional cable TV subscription. If you’ve moved on to a live TV streaming service, ABC is carried as part of the channel lineup on FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV, among others.
If you can’t watch the special when it airs on TV, it is also available to stream starting Friday, September 23, on Hulu. You can sign up for Hulu as a standalone service, as part of the Disney Bundle or combine it with live TV with the previously mentioned Hulu with Live TV.
There has been no UK or international release date announced for Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter, though if/when it should be made available outside the US, it’ll likely do so on Disney Plus.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.