Late to the Party: What Makes “Nashville” and “Switched at Birth” Great Television
by Herbie J Pilato
Kudos to ABC and ABC Family for doing TV right!
From the fall of 1989 to the spring of 1993, ABC aired the TV show titled, LIFE GOES ON, about a family who just so happened to have a son with Down syndrome (played by the amazing Chris Burke) became the first series, family-geared or otherwise, to feature a weekly character with a disability. Chad Lowe later joined the series in his Emmy-winning role as Jesse McKenna (who was diagnosed with HIV-virus, which developed into full-blown AIDS), and the already-ground-breaking series made further historic strides.
Further back in 1975, Robert Altman directed the Oscar-winning (for Best Song) critically-acclaimed feature film, NASHVILLE, which interlocked the country and gospel musical lives of those living in the Tennessee country musical capitol.