Linda Bloodworth-Thomason

Last updated
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Linda Joyce Bloodworth

(1947-04-15) April 15, 1947 (age 71)
Alma mater University of Missouri
  • Writer
  • director
  • producer
Years active1973–present
Harry Thomason (m. 1983)

Linda Joyce Bloodworth-Thomason (born April 15, 1947) is an American writer, director, and television producer. She is best known for creating, writing, and producing several television series, most successfully with the series Designing Women and Evening Shade . She and her husband, Harry Thomason, are also notable for their friendship with former President Bill Clinton, and the role they played in his election campaigns.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Writer person who uses written words to communicate ideas and to produce works of literature

A writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate their ideas. Writers produce various forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays, screenplays, and essays as well as various reports and news articles that may be of interest to the public. Writers' texts are published across a range of media. Skilled writers who are able to use language to express ideas well, often contribute significantly to the cultural content of a society.

<i>Designing Women</i> television program

Designing Women is an American sitcom created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason that aired on CBS from September 29, 1986, until May 24, 1993, producing seven seasons and 163 episodes. The comedy series Designing Women was a joint production of Bloodworth/Thomason Mozark Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television for CBS.


Early life

Bloodworth was born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, the daughter of Ralph and Claudia Bloodworth. [1] She graduated from Poplar Bluff High School. She went on to obtain a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. [2]

Poplar Bluff, Missouri City in Missouri, United States

Poplar Bluff is a small city in Butler County in Southeast Missouri in the United States. It is the county seat of Butler County and is known as "The Gateway to the Ozarks" among other names. The population was 17,023 at the 2010 census.

University of Missouri American public state university

The University of Missouri is a public, land-grant research university in Columbia, Missouri. It was founded in 1839 as the first public institution of higher education west of the Mississippi River. The state's largest university, it enrolled 30,870 students in 2017 and offered over 300 degree programs in 21 academic divisions. It is the flagship campus of the University of Missouri System, which also has campuses in Kansas City, Rolla, and St. Louis. There are more than 300,000 MU alumni living worldwide with over one half residing in Missouri.

Columbia, Missouri College town in the U.S state of Missouri

Columbia is a city in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is the county seat of Boone County and home to the University of Missouri. Founded in 1821, it is the principal city of the five-county Columbia metropolitan area. It is Missouri's fourth most-populous and fastest growing city, with an estimated 121,717 residents in 2017.

In the early 1970s she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she taught English at Jordan High School, in the south Los Angeles suburb of Watts. [2]


Early career

After her teaching stint concluded, Bloodworth went on to work for The Wall Street Journal in advertising. She then became a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal . During this period, she also began working as a freelance writer in television. [2]

<i>The Wall Street Journal</i> American business-focused daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The Wall Street Journal is a U.S. business-focused, English-language international daily newspaper based in New York City. The Journal, along with its Asian and European editions, is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp. The newspaper is published in the broadsheet format and online. The Journal has been printed continuously since its inception on July 8, 1889, by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser.

Her early script-writing work included five episodes of M*A*S*H  – of which one episode, "Hot Lips and Empty Arms," written with Mary Kay Place, was nominated for an Emmy Award  – as well as scripts for Rhoda , the television version of Paper Moon, and the original pilot for One Day at a Time . She also wrote scripts for the short-lived sitcoms Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers and Filthy Rich . [2] [3]

<i>M*A*S*H</i> (TV series) American TV series

M*A*S*H is an American war comedy-drama television series that aired on CBS from 1972 to 1983. It was developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film M*A*S*H, which, in turn, was based on Richard Hooker's 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. The series, which was produced with 20th Century Fox Television for CBS, follows a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the "4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" in Uijeongbu, South Korea, during the Korean War (1950–53). The show's title sequence features an instrumental-only version of "Suicide Is Painless," the original film's theme song. The show was created after an attempt to film the original book's sequel, M*A*S*H Goes to Maine, failed. The television series is the best-known of the M*A*S*H works, and one of the highest-rated shows in U.S. television history.

Mary Kay Place is an American actress, singer, director, and screenwriter. She is known for portraying Loretta Haggers on the television series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, a role that won her the 1977 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy Series. Her numerous film appearances include Private Benjamin (1980), The Big Chill (1983), Captain Ron (1992) and Francis Ford Coppola's 1997 drama, The Rainmaker. Place also recorded three studio albums for Columbia Records, one in the Haggers persona, which included the Top Ten country music hit "Baby Boy."

An Emmy Award, or simply Emmy, is an American award that recognizes excellence in the television industry, and is the equivalent of an Academy Award, the Tony Award, and the Grammy Award.

Creating and producing

Bloodworth met Harry Thomason in 1978 and married him in 1983. [4] That same year, the pair created Mozark Productions, named for their respective home states: Missouri, or "MO," and Arkansas, with an allusion to the Ozarks region overlapping both states. [2]

Harry Zell Thomason is an American film and television producer and director, best known for the television series Designing Women. Thomason and his wife, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, are close friends of President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and played a major role in President Clinton's election campaigns.

Ozarks Highland region in central-southern United States

The Ozarks, also called the Ozark Mountains or Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic region in the U.S. states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and extreme southeastern Kansas. The Ozarks cover a significant portion of northern Arkansas and most of the southern half of Missouri, extending from Interstate 40 in Arkansas to the Interstate 70 in central Missouri.

The company produced several situation comedies, most notably the show Designing Women , which reunited Bloodworth-Thomason with Filthy Rich cast members Dixie Carter and Delta Burke. The company also created and produced Evening Shade , Hearts Afire , Women of the House (a short-lived Designing Women spin-off starring Burke), and Emeril (a short-lived sitcom featuring chef Emeril Lagasse). [4] [3] Unfortunately, Emeril was to premiere on September 11, 2001 but was preempted by continuous coverage of the aftermath of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. [5] The premiere of Emeril was delayed by two weeks and was never able to find an audience due to the premiere occurring so close to the attacks, leaving the air after only seven aired episodes after November 2001. [6]

In 1994, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award in recognition of her excellence and innovation in her creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television. [7]

In 2018, Bloodworth-Thomason wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter in which she stated that, starting in 1995, then-president of CBS Les Moonves kept her shows off the air for seven years, derailing her career by turning down every pilot she proposed, despite her having what was at the time the largest writing and producing contract in the history of CBS. [8]

Other work

Her first novel, Liberating Paris, was published in 2004. Variety reported in March 2005 that the Thomasons were working on a screen adaptation of the novel, with actors Michelle Pfeiffer, Billy Bob Thornton, and Dwight Yoakam committed to the film despite there being no completed script. It was one of two film projects that the Thomasons were to produce with Jeff Sagansky, the other being a Bloodworth-Thomason script called Southern Comfort, based on a 2001 documentary of the same name by filmmaker Kate Davis. A new series, 12 Miles of Bad Road , was slated to debut on HBO. The show starred Gary Cole and Lily Tomlin. [9] After six episodes of a proposed ten-episode run were shot, the show was dropped by HBO before being broadcast. [10]

Her documentary Bridegroom premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. [11]

In 2015, Bloodworth-Thomason wrote a revised book to a reworked musical version of First Wives Club . [12]

Friendship with the Clintons

The Thomasons' friendship with the Clintons dates to Bill Clinton's days as governor of Arkansas. The couple created several short-subject political promotional films for Clinton and for other candidates, such as General Wesley Clark's presidential bid and Hillary Clinton's run for the United States Senate. [13] [14]

Related Research Articles

Delta Burke actress

Delta Ramona Leah Burke is an American actress, producer and author. From 1986 to 1991, she starred as Suzanne Sugarbaker in the CBS sitcom Designing Women, for which she was nominated for two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

<i>Evening Shade</i> television series

Evening Shade is an American television sitcom that aired on CBS from September 21, 1990 to May 23, 1994. The series stars Burt Reynolds as Wood Newton, an ex-professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who returns to rural Evening Shade, Arkansas, to coach a high-school football team with a long losing streak. Reynolds personally requested to use the Steelers as his character's former team, because he was a fan.

Dixie Carter actress

Dixie Virginia Carter was an American film, television and stage actress and singer. She starred as Julia Sugarbaker on the sitcom Designing Women (1986–93), and as Randi King on the drama series Family Law (1999–2002). She was nominated for the 2007 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Gloria Hodge on Desperate Housewives (2006–07).

Jan Hooks Actress, comedian

Janet Vivian "Jan" Hooks was an American actress and comedian, best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, where she was a repertory player from 1986 to 1991, and continued making cameo appearances until 1994. Her subsequent work included a regular role on the final two seasons of Designing Women, a recurring role on 3rd Rock from the Sun and a number of other roles in film and television.

<i>Women of the House</i> television series

Women of the House is an American sitcom and a spin-off of Designing Women that aired on CBS from January 4, 1995 to August 18, 1995 and the last four episodes airing on Lifetime on September 8, 1995. The series starred Delta Burke, reprising her role of Suzanne Sugarbaker, who had reconciled with producers of Designing Women after a bitter, highly publicized, off-screen battle.

Linda Day was an American television director, working primarily in situation comedies.

Emeril is an American sitcom starring Emeril Lagasse as himself. It aired on Tuesday nights on NBC from September 25, 2001 to November 11, 2001 from 8:00-8:30 EST. A total of 10 half-hour episodes were produced over one season, but only 7 aired.

"Killing All the Right People" is the 26th episode of the sitcom Designing Women. Originally airing on October 5, 1987, as the fourth episode of the second season. It features Tony Goldwyn as Kendall Dobbs, a young man dying of AIDS who asks the women to design his funeral. Series creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason's mother died of AIDS and her experience with her mother's disease and the prejudice associated with it inspired the episode.

Tichi Wilkerson Kassel American film personality and publisher

Tichi Wilkerson Kassel was an American film personality and the publisher of The Hollywood Reporter. She established the Women in Film organization, the Key Art and Marketing Concepts awards, and several scholarships for film students.

12 Miles of Bad Road is a television show originally created for HBO centered on a Texas matriarch who must reconcile her booming real estate business and immense wealth with the day-to-day struggles of her dysfunctional family life.

<i>Designing Women</i> (season 1) season of television series

The first season of Designing Women premiered on CBS on September 29, 1986, and concluded on May 11, 1987. The season consisted of 22 episodes. Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the series was produced by Bloodworth/Thomason Mozark Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television.

<i>Designing Women</i> (season 2) season of television series

The second season of Designing Women premiered on CBS on September 14, 1987, and concluded on March 28, 1988. The season consisted of 22 episodes. Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the series was produced by Bloodworth/Thomason Mozark Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television.

<i>Designing Women</i> (season 3) season of television series

The third season of Designing Women premiered on CBS on November 14, 1988, and concluded on May 22, 1989. The season consisted of 22 episodes. Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the series was produced by Bloodworth/Thomason Mozark Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television.

<i>Designing Women</i> (season 5) season of television series

The fifth season of Designing Women premiered on CBS on September 17, 1990, and concluded on May 13, 1991. The season consisted of 24 episodes. Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the series was produced by Bloodworth/Thomason Mozark Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television.

<i>Designing Women</i> (season 6) season of television series

The sixth season of Designing Women premiered on CBS on September 16, 1991, and concluded on May 4, 1992. The season consisted of 23 episodes. Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the series was produced by Bloodworth/Thomason Mozark Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television.

<i>Designing Women</i> (season 7) season of television series

The seventh and final season of Designing Women premiered on CBS on September 25, 1992, and concluded on May 24, 1993. The season consisted of 22 episodes. Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the series was produced by Bloodworth/Thomason Mozark Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television.

The Designing Women Reunion is a 2003 American television special that reunited the cast of the 1986–1993 sitcom Designing Women. It originally aired on Lifetime on July 28, 2003.


  1. "Ralph Bloodworth obituary". Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Behrens, Leigh (8 July 1990). "Designing Woman". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  3. 1 2 Proffitt, Steve (22 November 1992). "Linda Bloodworth-Thomason : A Key to That Hollywood-Arkansas Connection". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  4. 1 2 Park, Jeannie (28 January 1991). "When Not Battling Delta Burke, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason Are Redesigning CBS". People. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  5. "The Sitcom Behind the Sitcom: Television: The countdown to an 'Evening Shade' rehearsal can be comedic. Just ask writer and producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  6. Nemetz, Dave (17 August 2017). "A Look Back at NBC's Infamous Flop Emeril, From Co-Star Carrie Preston". TVLine. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  7. WIF Projects. "WIF". Archived from the original on June 30, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  8. Bloodworth-Thomason, Linda (12 September 2018). "'Designing Women' Creator Goes Public With Les Moonves War: Not All Harassment Is Sexual". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  9. Carter, Bill, "After 'Sopranos,' a Need for a Hit" (page 2), The New York Times , March 22, 2007.
  10. "Was HBO right to cancel 12 Miles of Bad Road?". Slate Magazine. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  11. Scheck, Frank (25 April 2013). "Bridegroom: Tribeca Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  12. Jones, Chris. "Not so sweet revenge in pre-Broadway First Wives Club", Chicago Tribune, March 12, 2015.
  13. Dowd, Maureen (27 May 1993). "Clinton's Best Friends Find It a Tough Role". New York Times. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  14. Bloodworth-Thomason, Linda (19 November 2013). "'Designing Women' Creator on Bill Clinton and Her New Documentary: I Believe in 'Honest Propaganda'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 February 2019.