Groundbreaking sitcom producer Norman Lear (All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Maude) is lauded in this profile for the PBS series American Masters. Childhood trauma (his father was imprisoned for fraud when Norman was only nine) fueled a rigorous work ethic and a compassion for the underdog that were evident in his TV series but even more in his tireless philanthropy and social activism. Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp) don’t shy away from Lear’s behind-the-scenes battles with stars Carroll O’Connor, John Amos, and Esther Rolle, but the documentary leans more toward hagiography than gossip. If it feels a little crammed—well, we should all live such a full life. With Jon Stewart, George Clooney, Amy Poehler, and Mel Brooks.