In explaining that life was a contract, Mr Shorofsky told Coco in an episode of 'Fame', "You had an audition but when a friend needed help, you responded. You shared yourself with friends. It's like a contract. The same with performing. You have a contract with the audience to share your best performance with them, your friends."
Coco: What about my grandmother? Didn't I have a contract with her?
Shorofsky: ...Your contract was with her memory and her teaching and that contract was for you to be the best performer that you could be for yourself, for the audience and for her.
Unlike 'Dallas', the TV series 'Fame' did not attract the American mass audience. But like 'Dallas', 'Fame' attracted the British mass audience. In explaining its universal appeal, Mel Swope told the New York Times in 1982, "When I talk to regular viewers of 'Fame', they believe it is a hit in this country (the U.S.). Young people really identify with the struggle of our young people striving for excellence."
David De Silva recounted, "When I conceived and produced the motion picture 'Fame', I always imagined that it would be the ultimate reality-based stage musical. There's a logical reason for the kids to be performing, because it's part of their daily lives. They don't just burst into song out of the blue. My first goal was to create a show that would be relevant and timeless as a musical. 'Fame - the Musical' is a blueprint for the ultimate ensemble production. It has a chorus of anywhere from 8 to 80, and it allows for flexibility in staging, based on the talent available. It makes stars; it doesn't need stars to make it happen."
In another episode of 'Fame', Miss Sherwood told students in her English class, "Now I would never be one to use guilt as a motivating force in your education but if you don't want to take the risk of personally setting back civilization on this planet 20,000 years, I suggest you study your grammar tonight."
By the end of the 1982-83 season in the U.S., 'Fame' was the most watched foreign show in England. Around the world, 'Fame' was also popular throughout Europe. Larry Gershman of MGM/UA remarked at the time, "'Fame' is one of the 3 most successful shows in the world." At the time, the other 2 being 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty'.
Bruno: With all due respect Mr Shorofsky, you're wrong...I don't think we're doing anyone any favors by whitewashing American history in this show...We've got to show off all sides of American history – the good, the bad, the ugly. I'm sorry I think it's time we took off our rose-colored glasses and saw ourselves as we really are.
Shorofsky: Look Martelli, do it my way, you will see how well it will work. I guarantee it.
Bruno: Do I have a choice?
Shorofsky: Not to speak of.
Bruno: Wait a minute! Let me get this straight. You're asking me to write a show that celebrate democracy and you're given me a royal order how to do it? Am I right?
Shorofsky: I think you're finally getting the idea.
Debbie Allen observed, "This show is a first. We cast the mold and redefined song and dance on film when we did 'Fame' - the movie. It was a major challenge to continue on TV, to put together original music and dance each week. I'm a better artist for having lived through that."
By the 1983-84 season, 'Fame' became a syndicated show in the U.S. after being dropped by the network. Some 72% of the local stations decided to give the green light for 24 episodes to be produced "shot in 35mm at a cost of approximately $700,000 an episode." Of the new episodes, it was reported at the time, "At least 80% clearance by the time the (first) show airs in October (1983)."
John Stringer was in charge of operations for BBC in the U.S. made the comment at the time, "I think the popularity of 'Fame' took everyone by surprise. It is a good lively show, and I suppose it just hit the nerve, especially with the young audience. I don't think anybody is learning any great lessons from it. The record sales are really quite exceptional."
In December 1982, some 10 concerts, 'Fame - Live in Concert' lasting 90 minutes for each concert were being organized in London, Birmingham and Brighton. Concert organizer Charles Koppelman remembered, "When we announced that we were going to run these concerts, within 3 days, 60,000 seats were sold."
Angelo Martelli: Is he (Bruno) going to get in trouble for playing the wrong song?
Shorofsky: Do you know the words to that song?
Angelo: Words to the 'Moonlight Sonata'? I didn't know there were any.
Shorofsky: Very obscure. Not many people know they exist.
In the second episode of the second season of 'Fame', Erica Gimpel and Jimmy Osmond sung "Songs", the music and lyrics were provided by Dennis Scott. "Songs are around whenever you need them. Songs follow you wherever you lead them…Songs, don’t know how we'd get on without them."