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Mr. T's 'New' Dramedies

January 16, 1988

This letter is in reference to NBC Entertainment President Brandon Tartikoff's remarks regarding the "new" dramedies ("Don't Write Off the Future of the Dramedies Just Yet" by Howard Rosenberg, Jan. 11).

First, just because a new word has been invented, and no laugh track has been used, that doesn't imply that this type of programming hasn't been used before. Take any Norman Lear show ("All in the Family," "Maude," etc.). Now go back a ways to "The Honeymooners," "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and especially "The Mary Tyler-Moore Show." There haven't been many people who haven't shed a tear on one episode or another; yes, we laugh, but we're also touched.

What is innovative about these new shows is that the audience is given the opportunity to decide what is funny or not.

Good ratings will keep you in business for the time being, Mr. T, but get with it and look to the future. The day is coming when NBC will, once again, be No. 3, and guess who will take the blame for that!

Three cheers to "Hooperman," " 'Slap' Maxwell" and "Frank's Place," especially the latter, and I can't wait for the return of "Molly Dodd." It's so damn refreshing not having a laugh track, but it's really the sincerity of the writers and actors that keeps me coming back weekly.

Did you hear that, Mr. T?

MICHAEL BERMAN

Hollywood

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