It has been a transformative year for transgender people on television, from Orange Is The New Black’s Laverne Cox becoming the first transgender performer to earn an acting Emmy nomination to Transparent earning star Jeffrey Tambor accolades to Bruce Jenner unveiling his transition to Caitlyn in a high-rated TV special on ABC, followed by an E! reality series.
But long before Cox’s Sophia on OITNB and Tambor’s Maura on Amazon’s Transparent — and before Rebecca Romijn’s Alexis Maede on Ugly Betty and Candis Cayne’s Carmelita on Dirty Sexy Money — there was Linda Gray’s Linda Murkland on All That Glitters, the 1977 syndicated sitcom by Norman Lear. It featured the first regular transgender character on TV, played by the Dallas star.
I hear there has been recent interest from several places about licensing the show for a possible remake. Sony TV, which owns the Norman Lear library, is expected to discuss the idea with the iconic producer.
In soap opera spoof All That Glitters, All In The Family creator Lear once again tried to push the envelope. Switching gender stereotypes, the series put women in charge, running a powerful corporation with men working as their secretaries, serving as househusbands and often viewed as sex objects.
While All That Glitters did not last beyond its original order — it aired 65 episodes stripped over 13 weeks — Lear has said how much he loved the show and regretted the fact that it had been cancelled so quickly.
Lear had been talking to Sony TV about reboots of All In The Family and, more recently, a Latino version of One Day At A Time. Here is a local TV promo for All That Glitters: