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Craig Gilbert, creator of PBS' 1973 groundbreaking docuseries An American Family, dies at 94

  • Gilbert's An American Family was a national phenomenon in 1973, and is credited as being a forerunner to reality TV ("to his chagrin," according to Deadline). Gilbert's docuseries on the Loud family of Santa Barbara made headlines for scenes deemed controversial at the time. "Two moments in particular made headlines: Matriarch Pat Loud calmly asking husband Bill for a divorce, and 21-year-old Lance coming out as gay," says Greg Evans. "In the time-capsule-worthy second episode, the outwardly sophisticated Pat has her cool put to the test when she visits Lance at New York’s infamously seedy Chelsea Hotel. As Lance describes the sounds of the city outside his window, Pat cracks, 'It looks like one firecracker might do it for this place.'" An American Family was recently featured in the Apple TV+ documentary Visible: Out in Hollywood on TV's LGBTQ history.

    TOPICS: An American Family, PBS, Craig Gilbert, Documentaries, Obits, Reality TV