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Discussion Starter #1
Probably best known for what I think was the lesser creation - WKRP in Cinncinati - Hugh Wilson was also responsible for the exquisite, but sadly short-lived, show Frank's Place. Frank's Place also starred Tim Reid (Venus Flytrap on WKRP), as an English lit prof from an Ivy League university who inherits a New Orleans restaurant after his wayward estranged father passes away. Just a smart smart series, well ahead of its time, that would have undoubtedly been a hit in 2018's Netflix or HBO.
Hugh Wilson, Who Created ‘WKRP in Cincinnati,’ Dies at 74
Here are some interviews with Wilson from 2 years ago. There are a few episodes of FP to be found on YOutube, but the audio quality is appalling, so I didn't post them.
 

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To a certain extent I agree with Mark about "Franks Place". It even won an Emmy award even though it was only on for one season but unfortunately the ratings weren't what CBS was hoping for. EDIT: I just checked out Colchars link and found that it won three Emmys. I've been a huge fan of WKRP for years and even bought the box set three years ago. I remember whenever Hugh Wilson was asked about the syndicated follow up to WKRP, The New WKRP, that ran for two years in the early nineties, his first response would always be "I had nothing to do with that one". Frankly it wasn't a very good show. There were maybe three decent episodes from that incarnation. He was also responsible for the very first "Police Academy" movie. R.I.P. Mr. Wilson.
 

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One of the bravest episodes of that show, indeed one of the bravest of just about any primetime sitcom-category show, concerned Frank's invitation to join a posh local men's social club. When his staff turned on him for being excited about finally feeling like he had been welcomed into New Orleans society, they introduced him to "the paper bag test". Although this club was for African-American men, it was aimed specifically at lighter-skinned men. If one was darker than a brown paper bag, one was excluded from membership. While Frank could "pass", none of his staff could. As an outsider, coming from a region where black-was-black-was-black, simply because of being such a tiny minority (especially within his scholarly community in Rhode Island), the shock of confronting entrenched within-group discrimination was jarring for Frank. It was certainly one of the only times I've ever seen the topic of within-group discrimination come up in a TV show, then or since, for any group, whether African-American, Asian-American, Native-American/Indigenous, linguistic or religious minorities Like I say, brave. Frank declined the invitation.
 
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