Barbara Corday

Writer / Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her nearly three-hour Archive interview, Barbara Corday talks about her early years working as a publicist. She describes her transition to writing, working on several popular sitcoms with her partner, Barbara Avedon. She discusses the way in which women writers were treated in the industry in the 1970s and 1980s. She talks about the six-year journey to get landmark police drama Cagney & Lacey on the air, which she co-created with Avedon. She talks about her work as an executive in development at ABC on such series as Bosom Buddies and American Dream. She describes her continued work as an independent producer and, later, her work in several executive positions including president of Columbia Television (a television first for a female executive) and Executive Vice President for Primetime Programming at CBS. Finally, she speaks about her then-recent association with USC's School of Cinema-Television. Darby Maloney conducted the interview on August 12, 2004 in Los Angeles, CA.

"As an executive, I think people have to be given their due. I think if you're hiring somebody because you think they're very talented, you need to let them do what it is that they do. I also think that you have to give them the opportunity in the community to be viewed as important. Otherwise, you have to be in every meeting, and what's the point of that?"

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Barbara Corday on the genesis and concept of Cagney & Lacey
Barbara Corday on being named Vice President of Comedy Series Development at ABC
Barbara Corday on developing Bosom Buddies
Barbara Corday on pitching a series with Barbara Avedon
Barbara Corday on the audience bringing Cagney & Lacey back from cancellation
Barbara Corday on the challenges of being a female executive in television
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on television shows she watched growing up
On getting into publicity; on her responsibilities as a publicist and what she learned from working in publicity; on moving to Los Angeles to work with Rogers & Cowan

Chapter 2

On pitching a series with Barbara Avedon; on working on a pilot with Danny Arnold and Barbara Avedon for Barbara Eden; on writing for Sons and Daughters and various other Universal Television Shows
On writing for Medical Center; on pitching Cagney & Lacey in 1974 and on being involved in the women's movement at the time; on writing for Wonder Woman and Turnabout, starring Sharon Gless

Chapter 3

On the genesis and concept of Cagney & Lacey; on the made-for-television movie of Cagney & Lacey; on taking Cagney & Lacey to series and the changes that were made from the TV movie to the series
On casting Tyne Daly as "Mary Beth Lacey" on Cagney & Lacey; on the premise of Cagney & Lacey and on dealing with women's issues on the show
On the first cancellation of Cagney & Lacey and on recasting Meg Foster as "Christine Cagney" with Sharon Gless; on the dynamic between Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly on Cagney & Lacey

Chapter 4

On her involvement as a creative consultant on Cagney & Lacey once it went to series; on writing the Cagney & Lacey episode "Who Says It's Fair" and on working with Tyne Daly as "Mary Beth Lacey"; on working with Sharon Gless as "Christine Cagney" on Cagney & Lacey
On Cagney & Lacey executive producer Barney Rosenzweig and the issues covered on the show; on how Cagney & Lacey evolved over the years and on her favorite episodes; on the cancellation of Cagney & Lacey and the influence of the show
On being named Vice President of Comedy Series Development at ABC; on her pilot American Dream; on her responsibilities as Vice President of Comedy Series Development at ABC

Chapter 5

On developing Bosom Buddies; on leaving ABC and starting her own production company; on the shows produced by her production company and being appointed president of Columbia Pictures Television
On the kinds of programs that were produced when she was at Columbia Pictures Television; on her favorite shows at Columbia including Who's the Boss, Married with Children, and Designing Women; on executive producing the made-for-television movie I Dream of Jeannie... 15 Years Later and on leaving Columbia

Chapter 6

On becoming Executive Vice President for Prime Time Programming at CBS; on the challenges of being a female executive in television; on the development of Murphy Brown
On advice to aspiring television writers and television executives; on her mentors Barbara Avedon, Herman Rush, and Frank Biondi; on how the status of women in television has changed since she started
On her greatest career achievement and on then-current projects; on career regrets and how she'd like to be remembered
Shows

Bosom Buddies

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Barbara Corday on developing Bosom Buddies

Cagney & Lacey

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Barbara Corday on pitching Cagney & Lacey in 1974 and on being involved in the women's movement at the time
Barbara Corday on the genesis and concept of Cagney & Lacey
Barbara Corday on the made-for-television movie of Cagney & Lacey
Barbara Corday on taking Cagney & Lacey to series and the changes that were made from the TV movie to the series
Barbara Corday on casting Tyne Daly as "Mary Beth Lacey" on Cagney & Lacey
Barbara Corday on the premise of Cagney & Lacey and on dealing with women's issues on the show
Barbara Corday on the first cancellation of Cagney & Laceyand on recasting Meg Foster as "Christine Cagney" with Sharon Gless
Barbara Corday on the dynamic between Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly on Cagney & Lacey
Barbara Corday on her involvement as a creative consultant on Cagney & Lacey once it went to series
Barbara Corday on writing the Cagney & Lacey episode "Who Says It's Fair" and on working with Tyne Daly as "Mary Beth Lacey"
Barbara Corday on working with Sharon Gless as "Christine Cagney" on Cagney & Lacey
Barbara Corday on Cagney & Lacey executive producer Barney Rosenzweig and the issues covered on the show
Barbara Corday on the audience bringing Cagney & Lacey back from cancellation
Barbara Corday on how Cagney & Lacey evolved over the years and on her favorite episodes
Barbara Corday on the cancellation of Cagney & Lacey and the influence of the show

Designing Women

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Barbara Corday on her favorite shows at Columbia including Who's the Boss, Married with Children, and Designing Women

I Dream of Jeannie… 15 Years Later

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Barbara Corday on Executive Producing the made-for-television movie I Dream of Jeannie... 15 Years Later

Married… With Children

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Barbara Corday on her favorite shows at Columbia including Who's the Boss, Married with Children, and Designing Women

Medical Center

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Barbara Corday on writing for Medical Center

Murphy Brown

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Barbara Corday on the development of Murphy Brown

Sons and Daughters (1974)

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Barbara Corday on writing for Sons and Daughters and various other Universal Television Shows

Turnabout

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Barbara Corday on writing for Turnabout, starring Sharon Gless

Who's the Boss?

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Barbara Corday on her favorite shows at Columbia including Who's the Boss, Married with Children, and Designing Women

Wonder Woman

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Barbara Corday on writing for Wonder Woman
Topics

Advice

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Barbara Corday on advice to aspiring television writers
Barbara Corday on advice to aspiring television executives

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Barbara Corday on pitching a series with Barbara Avedon
Barbara Corday on her mentors Barbara Avedon, Herman Rush, and Frank Biondi

Diversity in Television

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Barbara Corday on pitching Cagney & Lacey in 1974 and on being involved in the women's movement at the time
Barbara Corday on the premise of Cagney & Lacey and on dealing with women's issues on the show
Barbara Corday on how the status of women in television has changed since she started
Barbara Corday on the challenges of being a female executive in television

First Big Break

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Barbara Corday on pitching a series with Barbara Avedon

Historic Events and Social Change

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Barbara Corday on the premise of Cagney & Lacey and on dealing with women's issues on the show
Barbara Corday on the challenges of being a female executive in television
Barbara Corday on how the status of women in television has changed since she started

Pivotal Career Moments

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Barbara Corday on pitching a series with Barbara Avedon
Barbara Corday on her mentors Barbara Avedon, Herman Rush, and Frank Biondi

Television Industry

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Barbara Corday on leaving ABC and starting her own production company
Barbara Corday on the shows produced by her production company and being appointed President of Columbia Pictures Television
Barbara Corday on the kinds of programs that were produced when she was at Columbia Pictures Television
Barbara Corday on becoming Chief Operating Office of Columbia/Embassy Television and on leaving Columbia
Barbara Corday on becoming Executive Vice President for Prime Time Programming at CBS
Barbara Corday on advice to aspiring television writers
Barbara Corday on advice to aspiring television executives

Women

View Topic
Barbara Corday on pitching Cagney & Lacey in 1974 and on being involved in the women's movement at the time
Barbara Corday on the premise of Cagney & Lacey and on dealing with women's issues on the show
Barbara Corday on the challenges of being a female executive in television
Barbara Corday on how the status of women in television has changed since she started
Professions

Executives

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Barbara Corday on advice to aspiring television executives

Television Executive

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Barbara Corday on advice to aspiring television executives

Writers

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Barbara Corday on advice to aspiring television writers
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Barbara Corday on writing for Wonder Woman

Comedy Series

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Barbara Corday on writing for Turnabout, starring Sharon Gless
Barbara Corday on Murphy Brown

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Barbara Corday on pitching Cagney & Lacey in 1974 and on being involved in the women's movement at the time
Barbara Corday on Cagney & Lacey
Barbara Corday on creating Cagney and Lacey

Drama Series

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Barbara Corday on writing for Sons and Daughters and various other Universal Television Shows

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Barbara Corday on Executive Producing the made-for-television movie I Dream of Jeannie... 15 Years Later
People

Danny Arnold

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Barbara Corday on working on a pilot with Danny Arnold and Barbara Avedon for Barbara Eden

Barbara Avedon

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Barbara Corday on pitching a series with Barbara Avedon
Barbara Corday on working on a pilot with Danny Arnold and Barbara Avedon for Barbara Eden
Barbara Corday one of her mentors: Barbara Avedon

Frank Biondi

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Barbara Corday on one of her mentors: Frank Biondi

Tyne Daly

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Barbara Corday on casting Tyne Daly as "Mary Beth Lacey" on Cagney & Lacey
Barbara Corday on the dynamic between Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly on Cagney & Lacey

Barbara Eden

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Barbara Corday on working on a pilot with Danny Arnold and Barbara Avedon for Barbara Eden

Sharon Gless

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Barbara Corday on writing for Turnabout, starring Sharon Gless
Barbara Corday on the first cancellation of Cagney & Lacey and on recasting Meg Foster as "Christine Cagney" with Sharon Gless
Barbara Corday on the dynamic between Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly on Cagney & Lacey

Tom Hanks

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Barbara Corday on developing Bosom Buddies starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari

Barney Rosenzweig

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Barbara Corday on Cagney & Lacey executive producer Barney Rosenzweig and the issues covered on the show

Peter Scolari

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Barbara Corday on developing Bosom Buddies starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari

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