George Burditt (writer)
George Henry Burditt
July 29, 1923
|Died||June 25, 2013 (aged 89)|
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Resting place||San Fernando Mission Cemetery (Mission Hills, Los Angeles)|
Joyce Rebeta (m. 1957)
|Children||3, including Jack Burditt|
|Parent(s)||John and Dorothy Burditt|
George Henry Burditt (July 29, 1923 – June 25, 2013) was an American television writer and producer. He wrote sketches of variety shows and other television shows, like Three's Company, which he also served as an executive producer in its last few seasons.
George Henry Burditt was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in July 29, 1923, to John and Dorothy Burditt. He had one brother. He served in the United States Marine Corps around the Pacific Ocean during World War II. In Cleveland, Ohio, he worked for American Greetings and married his former employee Joyce Rebeta-Burdett on May 11, 1957.
Burditt moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles to become a television writer. All together with his writing partner Paul Wayne and other writing crew, they earned Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Series: The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour in 1972 and 1974, and Van Dyke and Company in 1977, a variety show starring Dick Van Dyke. Burditt and Wayne co-wrote mainly the first three seasons (1977–79) of the television series Three's Company, and Burditt served as an executive producer of the series in 1981–84. Both together co-wrote one episode of All in the Family, "Archie Eats and Runs" (1974), and another episode of Sanford and Son (alongside Aaron Ruben), "The Way to Lamont's Heart" (1974).
Individually or with other writers, in 1976, Burditt earned also an Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Variety or Music Special nomination for the television special Van Dyke and Company, a predecessor to its short-lived television series of the same name. He also wrote episodes of its short-lived spinoffs, The Ropers (1979–80) and Three's a Crowd (1984–85), which he also produced, the first season of Doc (1975–76), and one episode of The Jeffersons, "George vs. Wall Street" (1975). He also wrote sketches for other variety shows of the Hudson Brothers, of Joey Heatherton and her father Ray, of Lola Falana, and of individually Sonny Bono. He also served only as executive producer of Silver Spoons and 227.
- Unless otherwise, years indicate duration of the show, not duration of Burditt's work.
- The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1971–74)
- All in the Family, "Archie Eats and Runs" (1974; Season 4, Episode 21) — with Paul Wayne
- Sanford and Son, "The Way to Lamont's Heart" (1974; Season 3, Episode 23) — with Paul Wayne (story/teleplay) and Aaron Ruben (teleplay only)
- The Sonny Comedy Revue (1974)
- The Hudson Brothers Show (1974) — later revised to The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Comedy Show (1974–77), for which Burditt did not write
- The Jeffersons, "George vs. Wall Street" (1975; Season 2, Episode 15)
- Joey and Dad (1975) — starring Joey and Ray Heatherton
- Doc (1975–76) — first season only
- Lola (1975–76) — three specials, starring Lola Falana
- Van Dyke and Company (1975–77) — starring Dick Van Dyke
- Three's Company (1977–84) — writer and executive producer
- The Ropers (1979–80)
- Three's a Crowd (1984–85) — writer and executive producer
Executive producer (only)
Burditt earned four Emmy Award nominations alongside writing crew of the television variety series that he wrote for:
- 24th Primetime Emmy Awards, 1972 — Outstanding Writing Achievement in Variety or Music, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
- 26th Primetime Emmy Awards, 1974 — Best Writing in Variety or Music, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
- 28th Primetime Emmy Awards, 1976 — Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Special, Van Dyke and Company
- 29th Primetime Emmy Awards, 1977 — Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series, Van Dyke and Company
Personal life and death
Burditt and his wife Joyce were the parents of two sons, Paul and Jack, and one daughter, Ellen. Joyce later became a network executive and a mystery writer; Jack is a TV writer and producer.
Burditt resided for 46 years in Burbank, California. He had nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, one of whom predeceased him. He died at age 89 on June 25, 2013, and was buried at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, Los Angeles.
- Lewellen, Scott (2013). Funny You Should Ask: Oral Histories of Classic Sitcom Storytellers. ISBN 978-0-7864-7148-5.
- Terrace, Vincent (1985). "Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials". Encyclopedia of Television: Series, Pilots and Specials. 1974–1984 (Volume 2). New York Zoetrope. ISBN 0-918432-61-8.
- "R.I.P. George Burditt". Deadline. June 26, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
- "George Henry BURDITT - Obituary". Los Angeles Times via Legacy. June 26, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- O'Sullivan, Joan (April 19, 1978). "Close-up of New Author—Her Novel Approach to Alcoholism". The Hour. Norwalk, Connecticut. p. 24. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- "CTV's New Sitcom Laughs at French-English Mixups". The Calgary Herald. September 6, 1974. TV Times pullout, September 6–13, 1974 issue, p. 37 (page number not shown in source). Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Lewellen 2013, p. 10 "The Writers"
- "24th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners: OUTSTANDING WRITING ACHIEVEMENT IN VARIETY OR MUSIC". Emmys. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- "26th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners: BEST WRITING IN VARIETY OR MUSIC - 1974". Emmys. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- "29th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners: OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY-VARIETY OR MUSIC SERIES - 1977". Emmys. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Lewellen 2013, p. 60 "Careening to a Wall"
- Lewellen 2013, p. 85 "We Had to Cut the Laugh"
- "28th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners: OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY-VARIETY OR MUSIC SPECIAL - 1976". Emmys. Retrieved December 5, 2013. There is no mistake from this source.
- Terrace 1985, pp. 112–13.
- Terrace 1985, p. 200.
- Terrace 1985, p. 218.
- Terrace 1985, p. 246.
- Terrace 1985, p. 385.
- Gennis, Sadie (June 27, 2013). "Three's Company Producer George Burditt Dies at 89". TV Guide.
- Biederman, Patricia Ward (June 20, 1996). "Valley Weekend: Writer Finding Elusive Secret to Success". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 5, 2013.