Norman Lear’s ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman’ Remake in the Works at Sony

by Joe Rutland

One of the 1970s’ quirkiest TV comedies from the mind of Norman Lear, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” gets a makeover at Sony.

There’s some star power behind this remake, too. “Schitt’s Creek” co-star Emily Hampshire will play the lead role, originally portrayed by Louise Lasser in the 1976-77 series.

Meanwhile, others involved with “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” are “Letterkenny” creator Jacob Tierney, Brent Miller’s Act III Productions, and, of course, Lear.

Looking back, Lasser earned an Emmy nomination for her work in the role of Mary Hartman.

Hampshire just finished up playing Stevie Budd on “Schitt’s Creek.”

“I’ve been waiting for this to come true for over a decade,” Hampshire said, “and to get to do it with my best friend Jacob Tierney and newcomer Norman Lear.”

Hampshire, Tierney, Lear, and Miller will all be executive producers.

Obviously, Sony Pictures TV is going to be handling production of the show.

Hampshire Plays Lead In ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman’

In this version, Hampshire plays a small-town woman who goes from being a nobody to getting a “Verified” social media somebody. Obviously, much like the original series, viewers can expect satire to run deep.

The show will turn a critical eye toward modern consumer culture.

Hartman, who plays a vision of “America’s Typical Consumer Housewife,” finds herself becoming the product being consumed. For instance, it means her nervous breakdown becomes a viral hit on social media.

The original series is set in a fictional city called Fernwood, Ohio. When “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” went off the air, it led to a spinoff series called “Fernwood Tonight” starring Martin Mull and Fred Willard. The show’s name changed to”Amerca 2-Night” with Mull and Willard as its stars.

Norman Lear Returns To Satire With ‘Mary Hartman’

Lear, whose shows include “All In The Family,” “Good Times,” “Maude,” and “The Jeffersons,” created “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” as a satirical look at the American media/consumer culture.

Tierney is first, an award-winning producer; second, a writer; and third, a director. He oversees the Crave/Hulu series “Letterkenny.” It is among the top-performing comedies across all streaming platforms.

This is the latest title from Lear and Miller through Act III Productions’ deal with Sony Pictures Television.

Recently, Lear steered the renewal of his series “One Day at a Time.” 

Act III has the Emmy-winning “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” series of specials. They stage live episodes of classic Lear sitcoms.

Ironically, Act III’s feature documentary, “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It,” received strong reviews during its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last week. “I Carry You With Me,” which is Heidi Ewing’s Sundance 2020 NEXT winner, has Lear and Miller as executive producers. It is distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and will open in theaters on May 21.

The remake will bring another iconic Lear series back to life.

H/T: Deadline