This Day in Black History: Sept. 16, 1983

(Photo: ABC)

This Day in Black History: Sept. 16, 1983

"Webster," starring Emmanuel Lewis, premieres on ABC on Sept. 16, 1983.

Published September 16, 2013

The American situation comedy Webster premiered on ABC on Sept. 16, 1983.

Created by Stu Silver, the show starred African-American child star Emmanuel Lewis in the lead role as 5-year-old orphan Webster Long. After his biological parents died in a car accident, Long is adopted by a retired NFL player played by Alex Karras and a socialite-turned-family psychologist played by Susan Clark.

Webster earned several awards and nominations, including one Golden Globe nod in 1985 for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Comedy or Musical Series. A slew of celebrities, including Diahann Carroll and The Four Tops, also guest-starred on the series.

Although Webster proved to be an international hit, Karras and Clark disliked that the show centered predominantly on Webster, an issue with which the actors frequently confronted ABC and Paramount Television.

They were ultimately granted their wish in the long run, and the series adopted more inclusive storylines about the couple’s romantic and adult life.

The hugely popular show aired on ABC until May 8, 1987, and was syndicated from Sept. 21, 1987 until March 10, 1989.

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(Photo: ABC)

Written by Patrice Peck


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