"'The Cosby Show' changed the face of NBC. 'Cosby' leading off the night, 'Family Ties,' 'Cheers,' 'Night Court' behind it, with 'L.A. Law' at ten o'clock. Thursday night became a night of bests for NBC - the finest comedy and drama that we had as a network. Thursday became the destination for the best television had to offer."
About This Interview
In his two-hour-and-forty-five-minute Archive interview, Warren Littlefield discusses his early life and his big break working for Warner Brothers Television. He recalls his early days at NBC working under the legendary Brandon Tartikoff, and their attempts to get NBC out of third place with "sophisticated adult" programming like Cheers. He discusses the break-through on Thursdays nights with The Cosby Show, which would anchor what became one of the most famous line-ups in television history: The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, Night Court and L.A. Law. He also shares the inception of the mega-hit, The Golden Girls, on Saturday nights. Littlefield recounts his efforts to maintain the powerhouse line-up while dealing with cast departures from Cheers and Brandon Tartikoff's exit from NBC. He talks about being named President of NBC Entertainment, and rebuilding NBC's Thursday night with Friends, Seinfeld, Frasier and ER. He speaks of the challenge of Johnny Carson announcing his retirement from The Tonight Show and his desperate efforts to keep both Jay Leno and David Letterman at the network. Finally, he discusses leaving NBC, his later efforts as a producer, and what he sees as the future of television. Dan Harrison conducted the interview on December 12, 2011 in Burbank, CA.