Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Officially premiering April 27, 1981, the weekly TV drama American Dream was preceded by a 90-minute pilot film, telecast April 26. The six-member Novak family, headed by Marshall Field employee Danny Novak (Stephen Macht), moves from the comfort of suburban Arlington Heights to inner-city Chicago (gosh only knows why). Danny's wife Donna (Karen Carlson) approves of the move, while sons Casey and Todd (Tim Waldrip and Michael Hershewe) want no part of it. The Novak's new neighbors include feisty, combatitive Paula Navarro (Helen Rubio), and old philosophical realtor Berlowitz (Hans Conreid). The American Dream series itself lasted two months; for details of the compromises and the broken dreams that led to its demise, see media critic Todd Gitlin's 1984 book Inside Prime Time.
poverty, cross-cultural-relations, downward-mobility, family, life-changes, life-choices, neighbor, poor-family, riches-to-rags, survivor