A sitcom world must be a good one for a spin-off to spawn another spin-off! This article is about the 1981 sitcom. In the 1984-85 season, CBS aired a forgotten comedy called E/R, starring Elliot Gould. The ninth season feels more like the first ofArchie Bunkers Place, with the introduction of Stephanie (nine-year-oldDanielle Brisebois), less screen time for Jean Stapleton as Edith, and a greater reliance on the bar. Weve both mellowed. Sally Struthers was next to get her own show as Gloria Bunker Stivic, Archie and Edith's daughter. This CBS spin-off of "All in the Family" featured an African-American couple, George and Louise, who rose from their humble beginnings and moved into an expensive high rise. While many of the shows connected toAll in the Familydid extraordinarily well,Checking Inonly lasted for four episodes. The series is bookended in a very creative way. It was funny and entertaining. Gibbs says that she worked out an adjusted schedule with United that allowed her enough time to film her scenes and then race into work, where she worked the phones in their reservations office. Faced with low ratings, the series was cancelled, and the final episode aired on April 30, 1981.  Lear consulted with his associate Al Burton on the concept. A top 20 show for most of its 11 seasons, The Jeffersons was canceled abruptly without an official series finale. But as Ebony writes, this was a deliberate calibration by the show's creators to make the show and the character of George Jefferson more palatable to audiences not quite ready to accept Blacks as their equals. It took until 1975 until television finally gave Black audiences a family that looked like them and that wasn't struggling. Larry M. Harris won the Emmy for Outstanding Video Tape Editing for a Series in 1983. WebThe Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through June 25, 1985, lasting 11 seasons and a total of 253 episodes. This ill-advised spinoff featured Struthers returning as the title character, now a single mom raising her son Joey (Christian Jacobs) after Mike left her and moved to a commune with one of his students. The series follows Florence's misadventures at the hotel with her co-workers: Lyle Block, her stuffy manager; Elena Beltran, her assistant; Earl Bellamy, the inept house detective; Hank Sabatino, the lewd handyman; Betty, the floor supervisor; Dennis, the bellboy; and Mr. Claymore, the hotel owner.. Another sparring partner for Archie is neighbor George Jefferson, and the twocriticize one another's race. Although Archie and George (Sherman Hemsley) argue a lot, Louise Jefferson (Isabel Sanford) is a dear friend to Edith Bunker, and it's hard for the two to say goodbye when the Jeffersons move away. Larry Linville(Frank Burns on MASH) plays her manager. More than 20 years after AITF, Lear created 704 Hauser, the address of the Bunkers former house, again inhabited by two battling generations. As noted by The New York Times, the ostensible reason given was that he was uncomfortable walking into a white man's house, setting up the character as a foil for Archie Bunker's racism. Archie Bunkers Place(19791983 97 episodes). Members of the Black Panther Party set up a meeting with Lear to discuss Good Times. In the spring of 1981, Paul Benedict left the show for a season and a half, returning in the final two seasons of the series. Evans Mike Evans would leave The Jeffersons to work behind the camera for another show in the All in the Family family tree Good Times. CBS was nervous,Rob Reiner(Mike aka Meathead) told PBS in 2016. The Jeffersons ended up lasting 11 seasons, beating All In The Family's 9 seasons. And The Jeffersons was in many ways a broad, superficial comedy that relied on racially-charged jokes and physical comedy to get laughs. Florence and Elena suspect that a ghost is roaming the building, and Florence decides to spend the night alone in a room to prove that it's not haunted. During the January 11, 1975 episode of All in the Family, titled "The Jeffersons Move Up", Edith Bunker gave a tearful good-bye to her neighbor Louise Jefferson as her husband George, their son Lionel, and she moved from a working-class section of Queens, New York, into the luxurious Colby East, a fictitious high-rise apartment complex on East 63rd Street in Manhattan. Besides being set in the same house, the only directAll In The Familyconnection comes withCasey Siemaszkoplaying grown-up Joey Stivic. It was funny and entertaining. Normally successful shows are allowed to develop in a specific time slot in order to become an anchor for the network, but for some reason The Jeffersons was moved around constantly, forcing viewers to seek it out and figure out how to re-arrange their viewing schedules to accommodate it. The idea of the Jeffersons "moving on up" came after three members of the Black Panthers who were fans of Lear's productions visited Lear's CBS office, raising issues with the creator over the portrayal of Black people on television, including his "Maude" spin-off series "Good Times." Stage actressEsther Rolleshows up in the third episode ofMaudeas Florida, an AfricanAmerican housecleaner who has little patience for Maudes political correctness.  They subsequently re-released the first two seasons on DVD on May 20, 2014. Every time you see a Black man on the tube, he is dirt poor, wears shit clothes, cant afford nothing," Lear recalled in his autobiography. I remember watching Checking In in the early 80s and even remember the theme song. For the American Horror Story episode, see, The 200th Episode Celebration of All in the Family, Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Checking_In&oldid=1126465217, 1980s American workplace comedy television series, Television series by Sony Pictures Television, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0. Bunker has no reason to hate Blacks or to view them as inferior. Archie mentions a friend from the old neighborhood named Cumberbatch. getTV is a trademark of CPT Holdings, Inc. 2023 CPE US Networks III Inc. All rights reserved. This was perceived as an act of deep disrespect by many of the cast members, and it also meant that one of the most successful and longest-running comedies of all time didn't get to have a proper series finale. She got unlimited passes from the airline. That's exactly what happened withGood Times. Also worth noting: in the fifth season, Janet Jackson joined the cast. On this Wikipedia the language links are at the top of the page across from the article title.  The cancellation of The Jeffersons cleared the way for Marla Gibbs, who played Florence Johnston on the series, to move on to the NBC sitcom 227 in the fall of 1985, a year earlier than scheduled. As The NWI Times notes, George worked as a janitor for a large apartment building while his wife, Louise "Weezy" Jefferson, worked as a housekeeper. , Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the first six seasons of The Jeffersons on DVD in Region 1 between 2002 and 2007. Other NEC graduates include John Amos, Richard Roundtree, Denzel Washington, and Angela Bassett. While Florida's husband onMaudewas a firefighter named Henry (John Amos), her husband onGood Timeswas James, a hard worker often taking on multiple jobs to support the family. , On April 28, 2015, Shout!  Her victory in 1981 made her the first African-American actress to win an Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, and the second to win any Emmy Award; Gail Fisher, who played Peggy on the TV show Mannix, preceded her in 1970. WebThe Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through June 25, 1985, lasting 11 seasons and a total of 253 episodes. But white audiences could feel good about being more racially sensitive and evolved than Bunker, whereas George Jefferson's upward mobility could be seen as threatening. Although this backstory wasn't explicitly referenced, it showed up in the writing. Sherman Hemsley, for example, came out of the revered Negro Ensemble Company (NEC), as did Roxie Roker (Helen Willis). 1. Florence Johnston (Marla Gibbs) worked for the Jefferson family on their show, but Checking In focused on her life as the executive housekeeper of the St. Frederick Hotel in New York City. Many people can't help but note that the main difference between The Jeffersons and other successful sitcoms that both enjoyed stable a time slot and received a formal finale episode is the color of the cast's skin. And issues like these were also almost never addressed on televisionuntil The Jeffersons came along. Everybody knows it, and you can't help but sing along. s noted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as one of the writers on the show, Jay Moriarty, told The Hollywood Times, In a contemporary review by The New York Daily News. I would like to see this forgotten TV show resurrected on TV Land or Nick at Night, or maybe a special DVD release. And Louises brother-in-law Henry (Mel Stewart) appears for the first time in the last episode of season one. "Jeffersons" redirects here. Sitcom following a successful African-American couple, George and Louise Weezy Jefferson as they move on up from working-class Queens to a ritzy Manhattan apartment. Fame10 notes that executives worried depicting an interracial kiss would lead to violenceand, worse, to affiliate stations dropping the show. WebSpun-off from The Jeffersons (1975) This spin-off of The Jeffersons came out about 8 years before Marla Gibbs' second series, "227." Your subscription to our list has been confirmed.  Lionel and Jenny experienced marital issues as evidenced in a two-part season 8 episode "The Separation", and divorced in the final season two-parter "Sayonara".. Florida Evans (Esther Rolle) was Maude Findlay's maid in Tuckahoe, New York,andGood Timesmovedon to develop Florida's life with her family in Chicago. It was almost totally unlike any other theme song you would hear on TV at the time, and that was the whole point.  One episode featured George requesting Florence to insult him, in order to get to a prospective business partner who was fond of her wisecracks. OConnor didnt like it either, apparently. You would be, too, if your neighbor was Archie Bunker. Mike Evans would leave The Jeffersons to work behind the camera for another show in the All in the Family family tree Good Times.  Season 8 was released on August 11, 2015. In his autobiography, Lear wrote that three members of the Black Panther Party came to his office at CBS, complaining about Good Times: Every time you see a Black man on the tube, he is dirt poor, wears shit clothes, cant afford nothing. Rather than cast someone else, Lear decided to keep George offscreen until Hemsley was available. 10 Iconic Black TV Shows That Defined The Culture, Another interesting connection of the sitcom universe, Lionel is the first Jefferson to be seen on. More importantly, as one of the writers on the show, Jay Moriarty, told The Hollywood Times, Archie Bunker's bigotry is "pure prejudice" while George Jefferson's bigotry is a reaction to that prejudice. Dont miss on getTV:Lear got the name Cumberbatch from an early episode of ofAll In The FamilycalledWriting The President(January 19, 1971). Similar to its parent sitcom, All in the Family, the Jeffersons explored controversial issues such as alcoholism, racism, suicide, being transgender, and much more, certainly making it one of the most importantsitcoms of all time. In his autobiography, Even This I Get to Experience, Lear wrote that a relatively small group of agitators, especially when convinced God is on their side, can move corporate America to quake with fear and make decisions in total disregard of the Constitution.. Over the course of its 11-year run, the series was almost always one of the most-watched on television. They live in a public housing project and struggle to get by at times. Sherman Hemsley even appeared in the premiere. WebIn 1975, George Jefferson was eager to move out of Queens. But Gibbs knew how quickly fortunes turned in Hollywood. It's remarkable that seven shows followed All in the Family and belong to its universe. Similar to its parent sitcom, All in the Family, the Jeffersons explored controversial issues such as alcoholism, racism, suicide, being transgender, and much more, certainly making it one of the most importantsitcoms of all time. Portrayed by Mel Stewart, Henry got the lines and screen time that would have gone to George. The two-part season opener for Maude in 1973 dealt with the alcoholism of her husband Walter (Bill Macy). Affluent and successful, the Jeffersons still had to deal with race, prejudice, and economic pressures, and the show represented a more nuanced and more complex view of the Black American experience.  Bentley also had a bad back, and frequently needed George to walk on it. Maude becomes yet another person for Archie to disagree with politically. Produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, the working-class sitcom was set in Queens, New York and was based on a British sitcom calledTill Death Do Us Part. Archie and Edith travel up to wealthy Tuckahoe, New York for the wedding of Maudes daughter Carol (played in this episode byMarcia Roddand in the series byAdrienne Barbeau). The show was produced by the T.A.T. WebSynopsis. The song was co-written by Ja'Net DuBois, who portrayed Willona on Norman Lear's other show, Good Times, and Jeff Barry. Often, people calling in to book flights would tell her that her voice sounded familiar, and she'd just laugh it off. The cast commonly visited the bar for a drink or to attend a party. WebThe Jeffersons had one spin-off, titled Checking In. Florence Johnston (Marla Gibbs) worked for the Jefferson family on their show, but Checking In focused on her life as the executive housekeeper of the St. Frederick Hotel in New York City. As discussed by critic Robert E. Crafton, an insurance settlement allowed George to quit his job and launch his first dry-cleaning business, which in turn allowed the Jeffersons to move from Harlem to Queens (becoming Archie Bunker's neighbors in the process), and finally to make the move to Manhattan. The conversation resonated with Lear, and he began to conceive of The Jeffersons as an effort to show a Black family having real economic success and living the American Dream. Making George a little ridiculous softened the blow, because it made it clear that no matter how successful he and his family might be, they would always be second-class. As noted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this began to change in the 1970s, especially with the work of Norman Lear. Web3.  The most common time slot was on Sunday night. Arthur was such a hit as Maude that Lear developed a series for her, with the second season finale ofAll In The Familyacting as the backdoor pilot for the spinoff. Today were heading back to Manhattan, to revisit our favorite family, The Jeffersons. All of that changed on May 9, 1971, whenAll In The Familywon Emmys for Best Comedy, Best New Series, and Best Actress forJean Stapleton(Edith Bunker). Archie and Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton) share their home with their daughter, Gloria (Sally Struthers), and her husband, Mike Stivic (Rob Reiner). George owns a profitable dry-cleaning chain, so he and the family move to a nice apartment on the Upper East Side of New York City in a backdoor pilot onAll in the Family. A top 20 show for most of its 11 seasons, The Jeffersons was canceled abruptly without an official series finale. George Jefferson was, in some ways, a black version of the white anti-hero Archie Bunker. Shows like Sanford and Son and Good Times had all-Black main casts and made an attempt to depict Black American life more realistically. Florence is caught between Lyle and Elena when they have an argument, but she won't take anyone's side. You would be, too, if your neighbor was Archie Bunker. Danny Wells played Charlie, the owner and a bartender of a nearby bar to the Jeffersons apartment building.  The Jeffersons' sixth season peaked at No. WebThe Jeffersons: Created by Norman Lear, Don Nicholl, Michael Ross, Bernard West. Most television is ephemeral. The series was centered on the Jeffersons' housekeeper, Florence, who takes a job as cleaning management at a hotel. Paul Benedict arrived as Harry Bentley, an amiable, kind, loyal yet somewhat obtuse British next-door neighbor, who worked as an interpreter at the United Nations. After his car was rear-ended by a bus, he filed a civil action and won $5000, enough to open his first store in Queens.
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