NEW YORK-In the spirit of remakes of such classic shows as Hawaii Five-O, Charlie's Angels and Leave it to Beaver, executives at CBS have confirmed rumors that Norman Lear intends to do a remake of his classic TV series All in the Family with a contemporary twist-the Archie Bunker character would be bigoted against gays, lesbians, transgendered and bisexuals.
And the executives may have found the perfect actor for playing the bigoted Bunker character-Alec Baldwin.
Lear acknowledges that this might be more risky than it was when Carroll O'Connor first banged on the piano with his then co-star Jean Stapleton back in 1971-after all, O'Connor played a bigot.
Baldwin's comments, on the other hand against gays and the paparazzi, have prompted a temporary suspension from his own TV talk show on rival network NBC. He was also humiliated in leaked tapes recorded during his divorce in 2007 from actress Kim Basinger, when Baldwin called his daughter a "thoughtless little pig."
But Baldwin's behavior could make the job of directing All in the Family relatively easy, noted a director who asked not to be named. "We aren't go into method acting, Shakespeare-type acting or any of that fancy stuff with Alec," the director said. "We'll just tell him to be himself."
Other details of the All in the Family reboot are being worked out. Fran Drescher, who played the title role in the long-running sitcom The Nanny, will play Edith Bunker. "She will have to learn how to join her hands with Baldwin's hands on the piano," the director noted. "But I think Fran can carry a tune or two."
Playing the Sally Struthers role might be Jennifer Aniston, Bette Midler as Maude Findlay and Jerry Seinfeld as Archie's son-in-law Michael "Meathead" Stivic.
The most critical aspect at the time is to find a stuffed chair which could fit Baldwin's big frame. Archie's original chair was donated to the Smithsonian Institution when the original TV show folded. "We're not sure if the Smithsonian intends to give up that chair. They told us they might need to use it in the common areas for visitors to use if they can't get enough in their latest budget. We might have to go to a junkyard or police auction somewhere in Los Angeles. Wait-this is the 21st century-we could go on ebay.com or Craigslist."