"It occurred to me during the shooting of 'The Golden Girls' pilot -- 'What is this, All-Star game?' Watching Bea, Betty, Rue, and Estelle was like watching Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and all these guys play on the same team: a Dream Team. It was a magical moment."
About This Interview
In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Tony Thomas talks about growing up as the son of Danny Thomas. He recalls visiting his father on the set of Make Room For Daddy, where he learned the basics of production literally "at his father's knee." He describes the start of his career at Screen Gems, where he worked as an associate producer on the acclaimed television movie Brian's Song. He speaks about teaming with producer Paul Junger Witt and their work together (later also with Susan Harris) on several successful television series. Thomas discusses his work on The Practice, starring his father, and recounts parting ways with his father's production company, which led to the creation of the controversial series Soap. He describes casting for the satirical series, issues with Standards and Practices, and some of the show's early storylines. He talks about his work on the spin-off series Benson and on several short-lived early '80's sitcoms. He then chronicles the creation, casting, and production of The Golden Girls. Thomas also outlines several later series he produced, including Blossom. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Century City on September 25, 2006.