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Hollywood Flashback: 'Alice' Brings CBS Success in 1976

FX/Hulu’s Chicago restaurant dramedy The Bear as a frontrunner in multiple categories, including Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri are frontrunners. But The Bear isn’t the first foodservice-centric series: at 1974 , Alice premiered on CBS, following her namesake waitress as she starts her new job at a Phoenix restaurant.

This series is adapted from the 1974 movie Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore , directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Robert Getchel, won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Ellen Burstyn. Getchell adapted his story into a sitcom centered on Linda Lavin as Alice, an unemployed widow who travels from New Jersey to Los Angeles with her son to pursue a music career, but on travel.

Written by I Love Lucy Duo Bob Carroll Jr. and Madelyn Davis from the first four seasons served as executive showrunners. While Alice doesn’t delve into the workings of a restaurant kitchen, the restaurant serves as a backdrop for the daily challenges Alice and her co-worker, the sassy Flo (Polly Holliday) face. ) and wide-eyed Vera (Beth Howland) and their gruff boss Mel (Vic Tyback), from single parenthood to relationships to equal rights for women.

Critics are not always satisfied— THR Reviews over the years have praised Lavin for giving the protagonist “admirable repression— angry and clever expressions,” but also claimed that the series “relies more on visual gags than comedic characters.”

Audiences have an appetite for it, though, because TV Academy and HFPA recognize Alice for eight Emmy nominations and 1974 Golden Globe nominations (and eight Golden Globes), each over its nine-season run. Two-time Universal Supporting Actress winner Holliday returns to spin-off series titled Flo in the role of Alice Most Memorable Slogan: “Kiss my grits!”

This story first appeared in the December issue of The Hollywood Reporter’s standalone Medium Magazine. To receive the magazine, 2022 click here to subscribe .



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