ABC Rings in Norman Lear’s 100th Birthday With TV Special

Norman Lear

ABC is honoring the life and legacy of renowned storyteller, activist, and philanthropist Norman Lear with a one-night-only celebration, Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter.

The special will pay homage to the man behind some of television’s most groundbreaking stories and will feature an impressive lineup of celebrity guests and musical performances to help ring in his 100th birthday. Announced on Lear’s landmark 100th birthday, the TV special is set to air Thursday, September 22, and will be available to stream the next day on Hulu.

Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear

(Credit: ABC/Christopher Willard)

Guests and participants for the special will be unveiled at a later date and time. For now, Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment said, “Norman’s illustrious career is revered by so many, and we are honored to be celebrating his legacy with this special night of entertainment.”

“We have been lucky to work with Norman on a number of projects over the years, and it’s only fitting that his centennial birthday be marked by the biggest names in Hollywood raising a glass to toast, and perhaps gently roast, the television icon,” Erwich added.

Among some of those projects which Erwich refers to are the Live in Front of a Studio Audience… specials which Lear executive produces and co-hosts alongside Jimmy Kimmel. The specials feature sketches and scenes pulled from episodes of Lear’s former shows like All in the Family, The Jeffersons, The Facts of Life, and more.

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From Lisa Whelchel's theme song to Kevin Hart playing a convincing eight-year-old and some fun guest appearances.

“I’ve always believed music and laughter have added time to my life. I’ve seen a lot throughout my 100 years, but I would’ve never imagined America having a front-row seat to my birthday celebration,” Norman Lear shared in a statement. “Thank you, ABC. Thank you, Done & Dusted. Even, This, I get to experience.”

Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Light is produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative. David Jammy, Brent Miller, Raj Kapoor, and Eric Cook serve as executive producers on the special. Stay tuned for more on the TV event as the September airdate approaches.

Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter, TV Special, Thursday, September 22, 9/8c, ABC (next day on Hulu)