Other Literary Forms
Before his first (and highly successful) efforts on Broadway with Same Time, Next Year, Bernard Slade spent seventeen years as a writer for television, first as a playwright and later as a series creator and writer. Slade’s work in television drama goes back to the days of live broadcasts in the 1950’s and 1960’s, including a number of hourlong plays first produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation between 1957 and 1963. Several of these plays were also produced on American television for the U.S. Steel Hour series. Between 1964 and 1974, Slade wrote a number of pilot films for American television that eventually became successful television series. His major achievements in this genre include Love on a Rooftop, The Flying Nun, The Partridge Family, Bridget Loves Bernie, The Girl with Something Extra, The Bobby Sherman Show, and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, all comedies. Slade’s television credits also include authorship of approximately one hundred episodes for these and other series, including Bewitched and My Living Doll. Slade has said of his experiences as a writer for television that “the controls built into network television, which is basically an advertising medium, don’t exactly encourage creativity. Still, TV was my choice. It gave me the financial freedom to sit down and write a play.” In 1974, Slade left television to devote full time to writing plays for the theater.
The successful Broadway run of Same Time, Next Year made possible Slade’s continued work in still another entertainment medium: major motion pictures. Slade has written screenplays for Stand Up and Be Counted (1971), Same Time, Next Year (1978), Tribute (1980), and Romantic Comedy (1983). The film versions of Slade’s plays will no doubt continue to entertain audiences for years to come.