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Julia is an Americanmarker sitcom best remembered as being one of the first weekly series to depict an African American woman in a non-stereotypical role. Previous television series featured African American lead characters, but the characters were usually servants. The show starred actress and singer Diahann Carroll, and ran for 86 episodes on NBC from September 17, 1968 to March 23, 1971. During pre-production, the proposed series title was Mama's Man. The series was also unique in that it was among the few situation comedies in the late 1960s that did not use a laugh track; however, 20th Century-Fox Television added them when the series was reissued for syndication and cable rebroadcasts in the late 1980s.

Synopsis

In Julia, Carroll played widowed single mother Julia Baker (her fighter pilot husband had been shot down in Vietnam) who was a nurse in a doctor's office. The doctor, Morton Chegley, was played by Lloyd Nolan, and Julia's romantic interests by Paul Winfield and Fred Williamson. Julia's son, Corey (Marc Copage) was approximately six to nine years old during the series run. He had barely known his father before he died. Corey's best friend is Earl J. Waggedorn (called by that precise full name each and every time). The Waggedorns lived downstairs in the same apartment building, with Len (Hank Brandt), Marie (Betty Beaird), son Earl J. Waggedorn (Michael Link) and infant daughter.

The first two seasons included Nurse Hannah Yarby (Lurene Tuttle), who left to be married at the beginning of the third season, just as the clinic's manager, Brockmeyer, ordered downsizing — and removal of minorities from employment. (Chegley let Yarby go but kept Julia in defiance of the manager's edict.) The second and third season included Richard (Richard Steele) as a character some one or two years older than Corey. Chegley's father, Dr. Norton Chegley (also played by Lloyd Nolan) made two appearances.

Though Julia is now remembered as being groundbreaking, while on the air, it was derided by a significant segment of the African American community as not being "political" or "angry" enough, owing largely to its status as a standard, lighthearted sitcom.

Cast



Cancellation

The series was canceled in 1971 reportedly due to Carroll and series creator and executive producer Hal Kanter's desire to work on other projects (Kanter created and produced The Jimmy Stewart Show for NBC the following season).

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1969 American Cinema Editors Nominated Best Edited Television Program John Ehrin (For episode "Mama's Man")
Emmy Award Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Ned Glass (For episode "A Little Chicken Soup Never Hurt Anybody")
Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series Diahann Carroll
Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series Lloyd Nolan
Outstanding Comedy Series Hal Kanter
1970 Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Comedy Lurene Tuttle
1969 Golden Globe Award Best TV Show
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Won Best TV Star - Female Diahann Carroll
1970 Nominated Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy Diahann Carroll
2003 TV Land Awards Won Groundbreaking Show Diahann Carroll


References

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