Michael Moye

Show Creator / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his four-hour Archive interview, Michael Moye discusses his early love of reading and writing comic books. He talks of getting involved with theater in college, writing original plays, and winning the American College Theater Festival Play-writing Award sponsored by Norman Lear. Moye describes getting hired on Lear's show, Good Times and subsequently writing for The Jeffersons, where he met future writing partner Ron Leavitt. He recalls co-creating Silver Spoons with Leavitt (crafted to be "Arthur" without the alcohol), describes casting the show and touches on co-creating the short-lived series, It's Your Move. Moye comments on writing an episode each of Diff'rent Strokes and Sanford and Son and speaks of co-creating 227 and working with star Marla Gibbs. Moye then details co-creating the FOX hit Married...With Children, discussing the premise of the show, casting, problems with the fledgling FOX network and why he ultimately left the show. He gives the back story on the two "lost episodes" of Married...With Children and explains why they never aired. He tells why he ultimately decided to leave the television industry completely and also discusses his current projects. Nancy Harrington conducted the interview in North Hollywood, CA on August 8, 2012.

"I don't want anyone to learn anything from anything that I've written. Nothing. I'm not smart enough to educate you. I can't raise your children. I can't enlighten you. I can't make you any better of a person than you were 30 minutes ago. I don't even try. But you know what? I can make you laugh. I can do that. I can do the hell out of that if you give me a chance. That's the legacy of 'Married with Children.'"   

Highlights
Michael Moye on the inspiration behind on co-creating Married...With Children
01:58
Michael Moye on casting Ed O'Neill on Married...With Children
05:11
Michael Moye on "the lost episode" of Married...With Children
07:29
Michael Moye on NBC wanting to do a TV show based on the movie "Arthur" - Silver Spoons
02:02
Michael Moye on beginning to write original plays and winning the American College Theater Festival Play-writing Award sponsored by Norman Lear; on getting an offer to write for Lear's Good Times  
03:38
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on reading and writing comic books as a kid; on attending college in North Carolina
11:43
On getting involved with theater and moving to Los Angeles; on beginning to write original plays and winning the American College Theater Festival Play-writing Award sponsored by Norman Lear; on getting an offer to write for Lear's Good Times  
06:18
On writing a spec script for and eventually becoming a writer on Good Times; on the not-so-diverse writing staff of Good Times; on humor in the show, what he learned from working on the program, and the legacy of Good Times
25:48
On writing for and the premise of The Jeffersons; on meeting future writing partner Ron Leavitt; on leaving The Jeffersons and favorite episodes of the show
16:33

Chapter 2

On a change in the writing process on The Jeffersons
03:52
On co-creating Silver Spoons - a TV show based on the movie "Arthur"; on whether or not he experienced racism in the television industry; on hiring diverse writers
09:40
On his minimal writing for Checking In, a spin-off of The Jeffersons; on writing an episode of Diff'rent Strokes and of Sanford and Son; on some people seeing racism where he does not
07:45
On the premise of Silver Spoons; on selling the pilot and casting the show
09:50
On creating It's Your Move with Ron Leavitt; on the show's cancellation
11:53
On co-creating 227; on working with Marla Gibbs and Jackee Harry
09:58
On co-creating Married...With Children
06:17

Chapter 3

On casting Married...With Children; on the pilot, initial testing, network notes, and audience reaction to the program; on Married...With Children being "not The Cosbys"
29:22
On "the Rakolta incident" (so called because a woman named Terry Rakolta complained about content on Married...With Children) and FOX withholding fan mail; on subsequent problems with the network
14:01
On typical production on the show and working with Married...With Children co-creator Ron Leavitt; on story ideas that came from his life; on his favorite episodes of the show - "The Santa episode"
12:01
On Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal as "Al and Peggy Bundy"
02:56

Chapter 4

On the original and re-cast actors to play "Bud and Kelly Bundy" on Married...With Children; on the neighbors of the Bundys and the character "Seven"
17:19
On "the lost episode" ("The Camping Episode") of Married...With Children; on the second "lost episode" and a potential spin-off; on wanting to spin-off the National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood and leaving Married...With Children
21:44
On retiring from the television business; on the legacy of Married...With Children; on the 2012 status between FOX and Married...With Children
08:17
On not wanting to write for network television; on then-current projects; on advice to aspiring TV writers; on where he sees himself in 10 years
08:42
Shows

Checking In

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Michael Moye on minimal writing for Checking In, a spin-off of The Jeffersons
01:29

Cosby Show, The

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Michael Moye on creating It's Your Move with Ron Leavitt and not liking shows that imitated The Cosby Show
02:38
Michael Moye on Married...With Children being "not The Cosbys"
03:00

Diff'rent Strokes

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Michael Moye on writing an episode of Diff'rent Strokes
01:17

Good Times

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Michael Moye on writing a spec script for Good Times
02:41
Michael Moye on writing for and the premise of Good Times
05:14
Michael Moye on working with the producers of Good Times
01:56
Michael Moye on the writing process and not-so-diverse writing staff on Good Times
07:46
Michael Moye on how to be funny when writing a show (Good Times) about a socio-economically depressed area
02:25
Michael Moye on Jimmie Walker's catchphrase "Dynomite" on Good Times
00:35
Michael Moye on what he learned from working on Good Times and the legacy of the show
05:09

Jeffersons, The

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Michael Moye on writing for and becoming Story Editor and Executive Producer on The Jeffersons
07:13
Michael Moye on network notes on The Jeffersons
01:59
Michael Moye on meeting future writing partner Ron Leavitt on The Jeffersons
01:35
Michael Moye on favorite episodes of The Jeffersons and leaving the show
05:44
Michael Moye on a change in the writing process on The Jeffersons
03:52

Married… With Children

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Michael Moye on co-creating Married...With Children
06:17
Michael Moye on creating and casting Married...With Children
07:51
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, network notes, and audience reaction to Married...With Children
18:31
Michael Moye on Married...With Children being "not The Cosbys"
03:00
Michael Moye on "the Rakolta incident" (so called because a woman named Terry Rakolta complained about content on Married...With Children) and FOX withholding fan mail; on subsequent problems with the network
14:01
Michael Moye on typical production on the show and working with Married...With Children co-creator Ron Leavitt 
05:28
Michael Moye on story ideas for Married...With Children that came from his life; on his favorite episodes of the show and the writing staff
06:33
Michael Moye on the cast and characters of Married...With Children
02:51
Michael Moye on the original and re-cast actors to play "Bud and Kelly Bundy" on Married...With Children
10:52
Michael Moye on the neighbors of the Bundys and supporting characters on Married...With Children
06:27
Michael Moye on "the lost episode" ("The Camping Episode") of Married...With Children
07:29
Michael Moye on the second "lost episode" of Married...With Children
03:50
Michael Moye on the proposed Married...With Children spin-off
01:44
Michael Moye on FOX's reaction to his proposed spin-off and leaving Married...With Children
08:41
Michael Moye on the legacy of Married...With Children
02:25
Michael Moye on the 2012 status between FOX and Married...With Children
04:03

Sanford and Son

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Michael Moye on writing an episode of Sanford and Son
04:59

Silver Spoons

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Michael Moye on co-creating Silver Spoons
03:11
Michael Moye on the premise of Silver Spoons and meeting Mr. T on Silver Spoons
01:48
Michael Moye on the process of selling the Silver Spoons pilot to the network
05:44
Michael Moye on the Reagan era not consciously influencing the creation of Silver Spoons
01:47
Michael Moye on "the lost episode" ("The Camping Episode") of Married...With Children
04:45
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Michael Moye on network notes on The Jeffersons
01:59
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, and network notes for Married...With Children
08:09
Michael Moye on "the Rakolta incident" (so called because a woman named Terry Rakolta complained about content on Married...With Children) and FOX withholding fan mail; on subsequent problems with the network
14:01
Michael Moye on "the lost episode" ("The Camping Episode") of Married...With Children
07:29
Michael Moye on the second "lost episode" of Married...With Children
03:50
Michael Moye on FOX's reaction to his proposed spin-off and leaving Married...With Children
08:41

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Michael Moye on Jimmie Walker's catchphrase "Dynomite" on Good Times
00:35
Michael Moye on Jackee Harry's character "Sandra Clark" on 227
01:05
Michael Moye on Ed O'Neill as "Al Bundy" on Married...With Children
01:59
Michael Moye on Katey Sagal as "Peggy Bundy" on Married...With Children
00:52
Michael Moye on Christina Applegate as "Kelly Bundy" on Married...With Children
03:56

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Michael Moye on Laurel and Hardy being his favorite comedians as a youngster
00:51

Criticism of TV

View Topic
Michael Moye on critics' reactions to Married...With Children
01:02

Diversity in Television

View Topic
Michael Moye on the not-so-diverse writing staff of Good Times
05:24
Michael Moye on whether or not he experienced racism in the television industry
02:03
Michael Moye on hiring diverse writers
01:56
Michael Moye on some people seeing racism where he does not
04:07

Minorities

View Topic
Michael Moye on the not-so-diverse writing staff of Good Times
05:24
Michael Moye on whether or not he experienced racism in the television industry
02:03
Michael Moye on hiring diverse writers
01:56
Michael Moye on some people seeing racism where he does not
04:07

Network Creation

View Topic
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, and network notes for Married...With Children
08:09
Michael Moye on Married...With Children 's place on the new FOX network
04:18
Michael Moye on FOX executives hating Married...With Children
02:41
Michael Moye on "the Rakolta incident" (so called because a woman named Terry Rakolta complained about content on Married...With Children) and FOX withholding fan mail; on subsequent problems with the network
14:01

Olympic Games

View Topic
Michael Moye on some people seeing racism where he does not
04:07

Pop Culture

View Topic
Michael Moye on Jimmie Walker's catchphrase "Dynomite" on Good Times
00:35
Michael Moye on Jackee Harry's character "Sandra Clark" on 227
01:05
Michael Moye on Ed O'Neill as "Al Bundy" on Married...With Children
01:59
Michael Moye on Katey Sagal as "Peggy Bundy" on Married...With Children
00:52
Michael Moye on Christina Applegate as "Kelly Bundy" on Married...With Children
05:04
Michael Moye on David Faustino as "Bud Bundy" on Married...With Children
01:08
Michael Moye on David Faustino as "Bud Bundy" on Married...With Children
01:08

Sports

View Topic
Michael Moye on some people seeing racism where he does not
04:07

Studio and Network Management

View Topic
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, and network notes for Married...With Children
08:09
Michael Moye on FOX executives hating Married...With Children
02:41
Michael Moye on "the Rakolta incident" (so called because a woman named Terry Rakolta complained about content on Married...With Children) and FOX withholding fan mail; on subsequent problems with the network
14:01

Television Industry

View Topic
Michael Moye on network notes on The Jeffersons
01:59
Michael Moye on the process of selling the Silver Spoons pilot to the network
28:49
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, and network notes for Married...With Children
08:09
Michael Moye on Married...With Children 's place on the new FOX network
04:18
Michael Moye on critics' reactions to Married...With Children
01:02
Michael Moye on FOX executives hating Married...With Children
02:41
Michael Moye on "the Rakolta incident" (so called because a woman named Terry Rakolta complained about content on Married...With Children) and FOX withholding fan mail; on subsequent problems with the network
14:01
Michael Moye on "the lost episode" ("The Camping Episode") of Married...With Children
07:29
Michael Moye on the second "lost episode" of Married...With Children
03:50
Michael Moye on FOX's reaction to his proposed spin-off and leaving Married...With Children
08:41

Women

View Topic
Michael Moye on hiring diverse writers
01:56
Professions

Show Creators

View Profession
Michael Moye on the writing staff of Married...With Children
00:50
Michael Moye on creating and casting Married...With Children
07:51

Writers

View Profession
Michael Moye on the writing process for Good Times
02:22
Michael Moye on the writing process for The Jeffersons
02:06
Michael Moye on rules for writing characters on The Jeffersons
02:58
Michael Moye on a change in the writing process on The Jeffersons
03:52
Michael Moye on his writing style
02:28
Michael Moye on advice to aspiring TV writers
03:11
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Michael Moye on writing for Good Times
25:48
Michael Moye on writing for and favorite episodes of The Jeffersons
16:31
Michael Moye on co-creating Married...With Children
06:17
Michael Moye on creating It's Your Move with Ron Leavitt and not liking shows that imitated The Cosby Show
11:53
Michael Moye on co-creating 227; on working with Marla Gibbs and Jackee Harry
09:58
Michael Moye on the premise of Silver Spoons; on selling the pilot and casting the show
09:50
Michael Moye on casting, the pilot, initial testing, network notes, and audience reaction to Married...With Children
29:22
Michael Moye on "the Rakolta incident" (so called because a woman named Terry Rakolta complained about content on Married...With Children) and FOX withholding fan mail; on subsequent problems with the network
14:01
Michael Moye on typical production on and casting Married...With Children
14:52
Michael Moye on casting, network problems, leaving Married...With Children, and the legacy of the show
47:20
People

Christina Applegate

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Michael Moye on Christina Applegate as "Kelly Bundy" on Married...With Children
05:38

Jason Bateman

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Michael Moye on casting Jason Bateman in It's Your Move
03:45

David Faustino

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Michael Moye on David Faustino as "Bud Bundy" on Married...With Children
01:08

Redd Foxx

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Michael Moye on writing an episode of Sanford and Son
04:59

David Garrison

View Person Page
Michael Moye on casting David Garrison in It's Your Move and later in Married... With Children
03:32

Marla Gibbs

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Michael Moye on working with Marla Gibbs on 227
01:10

Jackee Harry

View Person Page
Michael Moye on working with Jackee Harry on 227
02:27
Michael Moye on the Jackee Harry 227 spin-off
01:22

Joel Higgins

View Person Page
Michael Moye on casting on Silver Spoons
01:49

Norman Lear

View Interview Page
Michael Moye on beginning to write original plays and winning the American College Theater Festival Play-writing Award sponsored by Norman Lear; on getting an offer to write for Lear's Good Times
03:38
Michael Moye on working with the producers of Good Times
00:56

Ron Leavitt

View Person Page
Michael Moye on meeting future writing partner Ron Leavitt on The Jeffersons
01:35
Michael Moye on creating It's Your Move with Ron Leavitt
09:55
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, and network notes for Married...With Children
08:09
Michael Moye on typical production on the show and working with Married...With Children co-creator Ron Leavitt 
05:28

Ed O'Neill

View Interview Page
Michael Moye on casting Ed O'Neill on Married...With Children
05:11
Michael Moye on Ed O'Neill as "Al Bundy" on Married...With Children
01:59
Michael Moye on how Ed O'Neill found out that Married...With Children had been canceled  
01:15

Richard Pryor

View Person Page
Michael Moye on loving the comedy of Richard Pryor
00:26

Roseanne

View Person Page
Michael Moye on co-creating Married...With Children
03:18

Katey Sagal

View Person Page
Michael Moye on casting Katey Sagal on Married...With Children
00:26
Michael Moye on Katey Sagal as "Peggy Bundy" on Married...With Children
00:52

Rick Schroder

View Person Page
Michael Moye on casting on Silver Spoons
01:02

Jimmie Walker

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Michael Moye on Jimmie Walker's catchphrase "Dynomite" on Good Times
00:35

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