All that glittersALL THAT GLITTERS (1977) – With the syndicated late-night soap opera satire Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman becoming a cultural phenomenon in the 1970s, Norman Lear launched this oddball, self-consciously “adult” program which added a touch of parallel world sci-fi stories to the soapiness.

All That Glitters was a comedy set in a world where women were in charge and men filled workplace and societal roles filled by women in our world at the time. The humor in this show is painfully dated but the inversion of roles still gives it a certain strange watchability.

All That glitters 2Want to see women running the business world and men serving as secretaries while getting ogled and sexually harassed? This show’s got it! Want to see a tuxedo-clad groom carrying flowers and walking down the aisle toward his intended bride? This show’s got it! Want to see some fairly kinky quasi-FemDom scenarios as the premise is taken to its logical conclusions? This show’s got it!

All that Glitters 3Lois Nettleton portrayed Christina Stockwood, an executive at the show’s fictional Globatron Corporation. Future Dallas star Linda Gray put her androgynous look to good use in All That Glitters, playing transsexual model Linda Murkland. Barbara Baxley starred as Chairwoman of the Board L.W. Carruthers and Jessica Walter played agent Joan Hamlyn. 

Anita Gillette, Vanessa Brown, Eileen Brennan and Louise Shaffer were along for the ride as assorted supporting characters and WKRP‘s Gary Sandy handled the role of Dan Kincaid, the secretary with “the cutest little buns in the corporation.”

The matriarchal theme was global in this show’s universe, even in the Muslim world, as we saw via female oil sheikh Madame Abu Bahn (Andrea Martin, I believe).

Stephanie Stills and Viva Knight were among the producers of All That Glitters.

all that glitters 4This program’s premise might have made for a good telefilm or two but as a continuing series its one-punchline humor was really straining. On the plus side it had a weird theme song which adds to its geeky appeal. (“From the rib of the Madam/ Came Adam” – and, needless to say, God was referred to as “She.”)

All That Glitters is an interesting curiosity item but lasted only from April 18th of 1977 to July 15th of that same year. The program’s most enduring cultural legacy may well be the way that some of the show’s scarce fans seem to have thought they just imagined the series existed, Mandela Effect-style.           



Filed under Forgotten Television


  1. Krista

    What a strange little show!

  2. Jesse

    I need to see this show! What an odd premise!

  3. Randa

    I want to make a whole site devoted to this show!

  4. Wilfred

    Kinky premise to this show.

  5. Joey

    Messed up premise dude!

  6. April-ludgate-karate-Dwyer