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.'"   

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Michael Moye on the inspiration behind on co-creating Married...With Children
Michael Moye on casting Ed O'Neill on Married...With Children
Michael Moye on "the lost episode" of Married...With Children
Michael Moye on NBC wanting to do a TV show based on the movie "Arthur" - Silver Spoons
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  
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
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  
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
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

Chapter 2

On a change in the writing process on The Jeffersons
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
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
On the premise of Silver Spoons; on selling the pilot and casting the show
On creating It's Your Move with Ron Leavitt; on the show's cancellation
On co-creating 227; on working with Marla Gibbs and Jackee Harry
On co-creating Married...With Children

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"
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
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"
On Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal as "Al and Peggy Bundy"

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"
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
On retiring from the television business; on the legacy of Married...With Children; on the 2012 status between FOX and Married...With Children
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
Shows

Checking In

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

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
Michael Moye on Married...With Children being "not The Cosbys"

Diff'rent Strokes

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Michael Moye on writing an episode of Diff'rent Strokes

Good Times

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Michael Moye on writing a spec script for Good Times
Michael Moye on writing for and the premise of Good Times
Michael Moye on working with the producers of Good Times
Michael Moye on the writing process and not-so-diverse writing staff on Good Times
Michael Moye on how to be funny when writing a show (Good Times) about a socio-economically depressed area
Michael Moye on Jimmie Walker's catchphrase "Dynomite" on Good Times
Michael Moye on what he learned from working on Good Times and the legacy of the show

Jeffersons, The

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Michael Moye on writing for and becoming Story Editor and Executive Producer on The Jeffersons
Michael Moye on network notes on The Jeffersons
Michael Moye on meeting future writing partner Ron Leavitt on The Jeffersons
Michael Moye on favorite episodes of The Jeffersons and leaving the show
Michael Moye on a change in the writing process on The Jeffersons

Married… With Children

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Michael Moye on co-creating Married...With Children
Michael Moye on creating and casting Married...With Children
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, network notes, and audience reaction to Married...With Children
Michael Moye on Married...With Children being "not The Cosbys"
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
Michael Moye on typical production on the show and working with Married...With Children co-creator Ron Leavitt 
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
Michael Moye on the cast and characters of Married...With Children
Michael Moye on the original and re-cast actors to play "Bud and Kelly Bundy" on Married...With Children
Michael Moye on the neighbors of the Bundys and supporting characters on Married...With Children
Michael Moye on "the lost episode" ("The Camping Episode") of Married...With Children
Michael Moye on the second "lost episode" of Married...With Children
Michael Moye on the proposed Married...With Children spin-off
Michael Moye on FOX's reaction to his proposed spin-off and leaving Married...With Children
Michael Moye on the legacy of Married...With Children
Michael Moye on the 2012 status between FOX and Married...With Children

Sanford and Son

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Michael Moye on writing an episode of Sanford and Son

Silver Spoons

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Michael Moye on co-creating Silver Spoons
Michael Moye on the premise of Silver Spoons and meeting Mr. T on Silver Spoons
Michael Moye on the process of selling the Silver Spoons pilot to the network
Michael Moye on the Reagan era not consciously influencing the creation of Silver Spoons
Michael Moye on "the lost episode" ("The Camping Episode") of Married...With Children

227

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Michael Moye on co-creating 227 (adapting the play) and using an alias on the show
Michael Moye on working with Marla Gibbs and Jackee Harry on 227
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Michael Moye on network notes on The Jeffersons
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, and network notes for Married...With Children
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
Michael Moye on "the lost episode" ("The Camping Episode") of Married...With Children
Michael Moye on the second "lost episode" of Married...With Children
Michael Moye on FOX's reaction to his proposed spin-off and leaving Married...With Children

Characters & Catchphrases

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

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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

Criticism of TV

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Michael Moye on critics' reactions to Married...With Children

Diversity in Television

View Topic
Michael Moye on the not-so-diverse writing staff of Good Times
Michael Moye on whether or not he experienced racism in the television industry
Michael Moye on hiring diverse writers
Michael Moye on some people seeing racism where he does not

Minorities

View Topic
Michael Moye on the not-so-diverse writing staff of Good Times
Michael Moye on whether or not he experienced racism in the television industry
Michael Moye on hiring diverse writers
Michael Moye on some people seeing racism where he does not

Network Creation

View Topic
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, and network notes for Married...With Children
Michael Moye on Married...With Children 's place on the new FOX network
Michael Moye on FOX executives hating Married...With Children
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

Olympic Games

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Michael Moye on some people seeing racism where he does not

Pop Culture

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

Sports

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

Studio and Network Management

View Topic
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, and network notes for Married...With Children
Michael Moye on FOX executives hating Married...With Children
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

Television Industry

View Topic
Michael Moye on network notes on The Jeffersons
Michael Moye on the process of selling the Silver Spoons pilot to the network
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, and network notes for Married...With Children
Michael Moye on Married...With Children 's place on the new FOX network
Michael Moye on critics' reactions to Married...With Children
Michael Moye on FOX executives hating Married...With Children
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
Michael Moye on "the lost episode" ("The Camping Episode") of Married...With Children
Michael Moye on the second "lost episode" of Married...With Children
Michael Moye on FOX's reaction to his proposed spin-off and leaving Married...With Children

Women

View Topic
Michael Moye on hiring diverse writers
Professions

Show Creators

View Profession
Michael Moye on the writing staff of Married...With Children
Michael Moye on creating and casting Married...With Children

Writers

View Profession
Michael Moye on the writing process for Good Times
Michael Moye on the writing process for The Jeffersons
Michael Moye on rules for writing characters on The Jeffersons
Michael Moye on a change in the writing process on The Jeffersons
Michael Moye on his writing style
Michael Moye on advice to aspiring TV writers
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Michael Moye on writing for Good Times
Michael Moye on writing for and favorite episodes of The Jeffersons
Michael Moye on co-creating Married...With Children
Michael Moye on creating It's Your Move with Ron Leavitt and not liking shows that imitated The Cosby Show
Michael Moye on co-creating 227; on working with Marla Gibbs and Jackee Harry
Michael Moye on the premise of Silver Spoons; on selling the pilot and casting the show
Michael Moye on casting, the pilot, initial testing, network notes, and audience reaction to Married...With Children
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
Michael Moye on typical production on and casting Married...With Children
Michael Moye on casting, network problems, leaving Married...With Children, and the legacy of the show
People

Christina Applegate

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

Jason Bateman

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

David Faustino

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

Redd Foxx

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Michael Moye on writing an episode of Sanford and Son

David Garrison

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Michael Moye on casting David Garrison in It's Your Move and later in Married... With Children

Marla Gibbs

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Michael Moye on working with Marla Gibbs on 227

Jackee Harry

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Michael Moye on working with Jackee Harry on 227
Michael Moye on the Jackee Harry 227 spin-off

Joel Higgins

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Michael Moye on casting on Silver Spoons

Norman Lear

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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
Michael Moye on working with the producers of Good Times

Ron Leavitt

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Michael Moye on meeting future writing partner Ron Leavitt on The Jeffersons
Michael Moye on creating It's Your Move with Ron Leavitt
Michael Moye on the pilot, initial testing, and network notes for Married...With Children
Michael Moye on typical production on the show and working with Married...With Children co-creator Ron Leavitt 

Ed O'Neill

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Michael Moye on casting Ed O'Neill on Married...With Children
Michael Moye on Ed O'Neill as "Al Bundy" on Married...With Children
Michael Moye on how Ed O'Neill found out that Married...With Children had been canceled  

Richard Pryor

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Michael Moye on loving the comedy of Richard Pryor

Roseanne

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Michael Moye on co-creating Married...With Children

Katey Sagal

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Michael Moye on casting Katey Sagal on Married...With Children
Michael Moye on Katey Sagal as "Peggy Bundy" on Married...With Children

Rick Schroder

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Michael Moye on casting on Silver Spoons

Jimmie Walker

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

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