I'll Fly Away (TV series)

I'll Fly Away (TV series)

infobox television
show_name =I'll Fly Away
format = Drama
runtime = 60 minutes
creator = John Falsey
Joshua Brand
starring =Sam Waterston
Regina Taylor
Jeremy London
Ashlee Levitch
John Aaron Bennett
Kathryn Harrold
Mary Alice
Bill Cobbs
Roger Aaron Brown
Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly
Brad Sullivan
country = USA
network = NBC
PBS ("I'll Fly Away: Then and Now")
first_aired = October 7, 1991
last_aired = February 5, 1993
(TV movie: Oct. 11, 1993)
num_episodes = 38 + 1 TV movie
imdb_id = 0101124
tv_com_id = 2677|

"I'll Fly Away" was a critically acclaimed television series set during the late 1950s and early 1960s, in an unspecified Southern state. It ran on NBC from 1991 to 1993 and starred Regina Taylor as Lily Harper, a black housekeeper for district attorney Forrest Bedford (Sam Waterston) and his family. As the show progressed, Taylor's character became increasingly involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Mary Alice, who played the recurring character Marguerite Peck, won an Emmy Award in 1993 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series; she had been nominated in the same category the previous year.

"I'll Fly Away" itself won two 1992 Emmy Awards (Eric Laneuville for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing in a Drama Series, and series creators John Falsey and
Joshua Brand for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Miniseries or a Special), and 23 nominations in total. It won three Humanitas Prizes, two Golden Globe Awards, two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, and a Peabody Award.

After the program's cancellation, a two hour movie, "I'll Fly Away: Then and Now", was produced, in order to resolve dangling storylines from Season 2, and provide the series with a true finale. The movie aired on October 11, 1993 on PBS. Its major storyline closely paralleled the true story of the 1955 murder of Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi. Thereafter, PBS began airing repeats of the original episodes, ceasing after one complete showing of the entire series.

The series' title is a direct reference to a Christian hymn of the same name.


Regular cast

*Sam Waterston: District Attorney/U.S. Attorney Forrest Bedford
*Regina Taylor: Lilly Harper
*Jeremy London: Nathaniel "Nathan" Bedford
*Jason London: Nathaniel "Nathan" Bedford ("I'll Fly Away: Then and Now" only)
*Ashlee Levitch: Francie Bedford
*John Aaron Bennett: John Morgan Bedford
*Kathryn Harrold: Christina LeKatzis (except "I'll Fly Away: Then and Now")
*Peter Simmons: Paul Slocum (recurring in Season 1, principal cast thereafter)

Recurring cast

*Amy Ryan: Parky Sasser
*Rae'ven Kelly: Adlaine Harper
*Bill Cobbs: Lewis Coleman
*Brad Sullivan: Coach Zollicofer Weed
*Roger Aaron Brown: Reverend Henry
*Ed Grady: Judge Lake Stevens
*Scott Paulin: Tucker
*Deborah Hedwall: Gwen Bedford
*Dorian Harewood: Clarence "Cool Papa" Charleston
*Vondie Curtis-Hall: Joe Clay
*Harold Perrineau Jr.: Robert Evans
*N'Bushe Wright: Claudia Bishop


*Series creators John Falsey and Joshua Brand have stated that the inspiration for the series was the classic 1962 film "To Kill a Mockingbird". While the film centers around attorney Atticus Finch and his family, the pair wondered about the life of Calpurnia, the Finches' African-American maid. Her story goes unexplored in the movie. A serious and seemingly well-educated individual who is respected by her employers, Calpurnia is the inspiration for the character Lilly Harper in "I'll Fly Away".
*The role of Nathaniel "Nathan" Bedford originally went to Jason London. When he had to turn it down because of a scheduling conflict, his identical twin brother Jeremy London auditioned and won the role.
*When another scheduling conflict prevented Jeremy London from appearing in the series finale "I'll Fly Away: Then and Now", his identical twin brother Jason London portrayed Nathan in his place.
*Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate general during the Civil War, and one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan. His full name is used to provide the surname for the Bedford family, as well as the first names of the Forrest and Nathan characters.
*Ironically, while his character is named for a Confederate general, Sam Waterston's most famous role (other than "Law & Order"'s Jack McCoy) has been President Abraham Lincoln, whom he has portrayed more than once on stage and screen.
*Sam Waterston and Regina Taylor were reunited in 1994 when Taylor guest-starred in the fifth-season "Law & Order" episode "Virtue".
*The setting for the series was the fictional town of Bryland.
*The exact state in which the series took place remained unspecified throughout the series. However, at various points the following Southern states were referred to in such a manner as to eliminate them from possibly being the setting: Alabama, Mississippi.
*Each episode features an opening and closing narration by Lilly, each one an excerpt from an entry in her diary. In the series finale, it is revealed that the diary forms the basis of a book written by Lilly in the early 1990s entitled "I'll Fly Away".


*1992 - Emmy Award - Director, Drama Series - Eric Laneuville
*1992 - Emmy Award - Writing, Miniseries or Special - John Falsey & Joshua Brand
*1992 - Emmy Award - Drama Series (nominated)
*1992 - Emmy Award - Made for Television Movie (nominated)
*1992 - Emmy Award - Actor, Drama Series - Sam Waterston (nominated)
*1992 - Emmy Award - Actress, Drama Series - Regina Taylor (nominated)
*1992 - Emmy Award - Supporting Actress, Drama Series - Mary Alice (nominated)

*1993 - Emmy Award - Supporting Actress, Drama Series - Mary Alice
*1993 - Emmy Award - Drama Series (nominated)
*1993 - Emmy Award - Director, Drama Series - Eric Laneuville (nominated)
*1993 - Emmy Award - Actor, Drama Series - Sam Waterston (nominated)
*1993 - Emmy Award - Guest Actress, Drama Series - Rosanna Carter (nominated)

*1992 - Golden Globe Award - TV Series, Drama (nominated)
*1992 - Golden Globe Award - Actor, TV Series, Drama - Sam Waterston (nominated)

*1993 - Golden Globe Award - Actor, TV Series, Drama - Sam Waterston
*1993 - Golden Globe Award - Actress, TV Series, Drama - Regina Taylor
*1993 - Golden Globe Award - TV Series, Drama (nominated)

*1994 - NAACP Image Award - Drama Series, Miniseries or Television Movie
*1994 - NAACP Image Award - Actor, Drama Series, Miniseries or Television Movie - Dorian Harewood
*1994 - NAACP Image Award - Actress, Drama Series, Miniseries or Television Movie - Lynn Whitfield

*1995 - NAACP Image Award - Drama Series
*1995 - NAACP Image Award - Actress, Drama Series - Regina Taylor

External links

*imdb title|id=0101124|title=I'll Fly Away
*imdb title|id=0107181|title=I'll Fly Away: Then and Now

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