‘All in the Family,’ 'Jeffersons' set for star-studded, live ABC primetime special to be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel
The iconic 70s sitcoms by Norman Lear will be resurrected with stars like Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx among others appearing in major roles
Disney's ABC is paying tribute to the influential 1970s sitcoms ‘All in the Family' and 'Jeffersons' in a live, 90-minute, star-studded special episode, set to air on May 22. Jimmy Kimmel and legendary producer Norman Lear will host the episode in which Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei are cast as 'All in the Family‘s Archie and Edith Bunker (originally played by Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton), along with Ellie Kemper as Gloria Stivic (originally played by Sally Struthers).
Jamie Foxx will play George Jefferson in the role originally made famous by Sherman Hemsley in 'The Jeffersons.' Wanda Sykes takes on the role of Louise Jefferson in the recreation of the 'All in the Family' spinoff.
Lear had created 'All in the Family' and its spinoff 'The Jeffersons', apart from other iconic series 'Good Times', 'Maude' and 'Mary Hartman', among others.
Justina Machado and Will Ferrell are also set to appear, with more stars yet to be announced.
"All in the Family live" what pic.twitter.com/x06nO4Mn5t— b_aisingioro (@b_aisingioro) April 19, 2019
'Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons' will recreate an original episode from the Emmy-winning shows, with 10-time Emmy winner James Burrows set to direct. Burrows is known for directing the hit NBC show 'Will and Grace'.
Both the shows were ground-breaking hits when they aired in the 70s, with 'All in the Family' which debuted in 1971, using comedy to explore racism, women’s rights and other social issues which were left untouched by many TV shows then.
'The Jeffersons' (1975-85) revolved around a black family living in a white-majority community and was one of the very few shows featuring an interracial couple.
In a statement, Lear said: "They have said over and over again that these two shows were meant for the ’70s and would not work today. We disagree with them and are here to prove, with two great casts depicting 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons', the timelessness of human nature.”
About the special, Kimmel said that “the fact that a group of Oscar winners eagerly agreed to play these iconic characters is a testament to the greatness of these shows and their creator, Norman Lear,” and called the project a “dream come true.”