ABC Staging A Live Production of Classic Episodes of "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons"

Adam Lenhardt

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I watched the remainder tonight.

I thought "The Jeffersons "episode was much better than the "All In The Family" episode. The actors seemed to be trying to imitate the actors who originated the roles more than actually playing the characters.
Unlike the "All in the Family" episode, I was able to just get immersed in the "Jeffersons" episode without making constant comparisons, and I think this is why. In "The Jeffersons" episode, only Jamie Foxx as George seemed focused on impersonating the original performance.

Wanda Sykes tripped over her lines at a few different junctures, though she recovered quickly.

Jamie Fox was spot on in voice and look but was obviously much taller than Sherman Hemsley so George looked taller than he should be.
That's where casting Will Ferrell as Tom Willis helped, since he's tall enough to make the average height Foxx look short. I was pleasantly surprised with Ferrell's performance; he matched his energy level to the other performers, and while I wouldn't say I believed his performance, it was a very reminiscent of how television used to portray that kind of character.

Kerry Washington's take on Helen Willis made for a nice contrast with Sykes's Weezie.

I thought Stephen Tobolowsky was miscast as Harry Bentley. Someone like John Oliver or Hugh Laurie would have been better.

Was a great surprise ,that I am glad wasn't spoiled , that Marla Gibbs played Florence. Sad to think that she is last regular cast member of "The Jeffersons" still with us.
Agreed. It's gratifying that she got the biggest audience reaction of the night, too. Maybe our cultural memories aren't as short as I feared. And at 88, obviously still has all of her marbles, because she nailed all of her scenes like they were pre-taped and shot during the prime of the show's original run.
 

JohnMor

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I thought Stephen Tobolowsky was miscast as Harry Bentley. Someone like John Oliver or Hugh Laurie would have been better.
Either would have been sublime choices.

The other one who impressed me was Jackée. I’ve never seen her not doing her glamour-puss Jackée character, so that was a surprise. And she was very good. It was nice to see her and Marla together again.

I really wish there had been some behind-the-scenes footage filmed of the first time Marla saw the recreated set.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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"Live in Front of a Studio Audience" to Return to ABC December 16th With Holiday Episodes of "All in the Family" and "Good Times"
ABC Press Release said:
Nov. 5, 2019
EMMY® AWARD-WINNING ‘LIVE IN FRONT OF A STUDIO AUDIENCE’
RETURNS WEDNESDAY, DEC. 18, RECREATING CLASSIC EPISODES OF
‘ALL IN THE FAMILY’ AND ‘GOOD TIMES’

Kerry Washington Joins Executive-Producing Team of Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel,
Brent Miller, Will Ferrell and Justin Theroux

“Live in Front of a Studio Audience,” the live broadcast television event that captivated audiences with its all-star cast recreating episodes of “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” last spring, is set to return to ABC on Wednesday, Dec. 18, with newly recreated, live installments of Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin’s Emmy® Award-winning series “All in the Family” and groundbreaking sitcom “Good Times,” created by Mike Evans, Eric Monte and developed by Lear. The holiday-inspired live event produced by Sony Pictures Television, will reunite executive producers Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller, Will Ferrell and Justin Theroux. Kerry Washington, who portrayed Helen Willis of “The Jeffersons” in the original special in the spring, will join as an executive producer.

ABC’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’” was nominated for three Emmy Awards, and took home the prize for Outstanding Variety Special (Live). The premiere of ABC’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and “The Jeffersons’” on Wednesday, May 22, averaged 14.29 million Total Viewers and a 2.86 rating in Adults 18-49 across all platforms after 35 days of TV playback and reached 23.5 million Total Viewers for its original Wednesday broadcast and two encore airings on Saturday, May 25, and Saturday, Aug. 17

“The holiday season is the perfect time for families to come together and enjoy another ‘Live in Front of a Studio Audience’ special on ABC,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. “Only Jimmy and Norman can top what they accomplished the first time. From the superstar talent to the unforgettable music and the richly deserved Emmy win, their collective vision has introduced a whole new generation of people to these groundbreaking and timeless stories – and now with ‘Good Times’ as part of the lineup, this will surely be another can’t-miss television event.”

“Being a part of Norman Lear’s world was a career highlight; and working with great actors on these great shows was so much fun, we couldn’t resist tackling a holiday episode of ‘All in the Family’ and one of my favorites, ‘Good Times,’” said Kimmel.
Added Lear, “I don’t know which is greater – bringing back ‘Good Times’ or co-hosting with Jimmy Kimmel?

“We are so thrilled to be working with this brilliant team again to bring another groundbreaking special featuring Norman’s timeless and prolific works. The themes are as relevant today as when they were first presented,” said Jeff Frost, president of Sony Pictures Television.

“Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘All in the Family’ and ‘Good Times’” will be produced by Kimmelot, ACT III Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions, D’Arconville, Simpson Street, and Sony Pictures Television. Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell and Justin Theroux will executive produce

About ABC Entertainment

ABC Entertainment airs compelling programming across all day parts, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” the longest-running medical drama in prime-time television; riveting dramas “The Good Doctor,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “A Million Little Things” and “Station 19”; the Emmy® Award-winning “Modern Family” and trailblazing comedy favorites “American Housewife,” “black-ish,” “Bless This Mess,” “The Conners,” “The Goldbergs,” and “Schooled”; the popular “Summer Fun & Games” programming block, including “Card Sharks,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Holey Moley” and “Press Your Luck”; star-making sensation “American Idol”; reality phenomenon “Shark Tank”; “The Bachelor” franchise; long-running hits “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”; “General Hospital,” which has aired for more than 55 years on the network; and late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”; as well as the critically acclaimed hit special ”Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons.’” The network also boasts some of television’s most prestigious awards shows, including “The Oscars®,” “The CMA Awards” and the “American Music Awards.”
ABC programming can also be viewed on ABC.com, the ABC app and Hulu.

About Sony Pictures Television

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is one of the television industry’s leading content providers, producing, distributing and carrying programming worldwide in every genre and for every platform. In addition to managing one of the industry’s largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, SPT is home to a thriving global content business, operating 24 wholly-owned or joint-venture production companies in 12 countries, as well as linear and digital channels around the world. Sony Pictures Television is a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company.

Media Contacts:

ABC Media Relations

Chelsie Tanamachi
(818) 460-7016
[email protected]

Sony Pictures Television
Brandi Albahary
(310) 244-8906
[email protected]

Nicole Speicher
(310) 244-8806
[email protected]

Photography/video available at www.wdtvpress.com. Photography request line 818.460.6611.

Follow ABC Publicity on Twitter and Instagram.

— ABC —
Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel are expected to return as hosts. No word if the "All in the Family" cast will return, or whether they'll do the new episode with different actors.
 
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Matt Hough

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I just read that announcement. They'd be very foolish not to bring back the original Family actors from the first one if they're available.
 

Malcolm R

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Just more than a month away, you'd think they'd have the cast locked down by now.
 

Richard M S

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It is a safe bet that Will Ferrell and Kerry Washington will be a part of the cast, since they are on the production team. My main concern was Marisa Tomei would not be able to make it, since she is starring on Broadway in a limited run of The Rose Tattoo, however I see it has not extended past December 8, so she hopefully will be able to return as Edith Bunker.
 

MatthewA

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This is basically The Rerun Show: Live. Sony did that at the turn of the century to get new actors to re-enact the old shows they owned, except that also included Screen Gems ones as well and was taped. When they did Diff'rent Strokes and the Facts of Life they looked like extended Family Guy cutaways but with the original scripts.

I'm surprised they don't do Maude along with Good Times, that way whoever is playing Florida can do both. Except how do you replace Bea Arthur? If I were to actually sit down and watch a Norman Lear show today, Maude would likely be my first choice.
 

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ABC is doing a second installment of A Live Production of Classic Episodes of "All in the Family" and "Good Times" instead of "The Jeffersons ." One source said both will be Christmas episodes. If true my guess for the "All In The Family" episode is "The Draft Dodger" where the Bunkers host Archie's friend, a gold star father and Mike's friend who is wanted by the FBI for fleeing to Canada. The episodes and casting have not been announced. You can usually tell the episode by the cast list of characters who only appeared in one or a few episodes in the series. The first All In The Family Christmas episode from the second season dealt with Archie not getting his Christmas bonus. Trivia - Mike Evans the original Lionel on "All In The Family" and" The Jeffersons", was one of the creators of "Good Times."
https://www.usatoday.com/story/ente...-reunite-more-sitcom-re-creations/4170334002/

Special airs on December 18th.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Ellie Kemper and Ike Barinholtz will all be back for the new "All in the Family" episode. Kevin Bacon, Jesse Eisenberg and Justina Machado are also participating in the new "All in the Family " episode, but their roles have not yet been announced.

Casting for the "Good Times" episode has not yet been announced.
 
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JohnMor

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Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Ellie Kemper and Ike Barinholtz will all be back for the new "All in the Family" episode. Kevin Bacon, Jesse Eisenberg and Justina Machado are also participating in the new "All in the Family " episode, but their roles have not yet been announced.

Casting for the "Good Times" episode has not yet been announced.
The AITF episode is going to be “The Draft Dodger.” Kevin Bacon will be playing the Eugene Roche role of Pinky Peterson, Jesse Eisenberg will play the title character, David Brewster, and Justina Machado will be Teresa, the Bunker’s boarder. This is one of the great AITF episodes, so I hope they do it justice.
 

Matt Hough

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Well, I watched the Good Times episode tonight as it came first (I'll save AITF for tomorrow). The show was in DESPERATE need of more rehearsal. Line pick-up was abysmal, and many jokes fell flat because the insult humor needed pop-pop-pop back and forth, and we didn't get it. There were some decent imitations of the original cast, but all-in-all, it was a letdown.

It was great to see John Amos back on Good Times, but he was clearly struggling. I felt bad for him.
 

Garysb

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The All In The Family episode was a vast improvement over the episode from last May. It was a memorable episode in the original series and it still worked. I have to agree with Matt concerning Good Times. However I was very moved after the All In The Family episode when I saw the hug between John Amos and Norman Lear. When John Amos left Good Times it was pretty acrimonious so to see them hugging now was touching.
 

TonyD

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The Hood Times ep was a bit rough to watch.
The timing was really off.
John Amos said it’s good to see the Evans Family again and paused for applause but there was none.

I wonder if they prepped the studio audience for these guest appearances cause I think they may not have understood the reason for that line.

All in the Fammily was a huge improvement over the previous version.

my recording cut off the end due to the extra length added from the abc cut ins for the news tonight.

Im guessing it will be on demand or rebroadcast soon.
 

The Obsolete Man

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The AITF episode is going to be “The Draft Dodger.” Kevin Bacon will be playing the Eugene Roche role of Pinky Peterson, Jesse Eisenberg will play the title character, David Brewster, and Justina Machado will be Teresa, the Bunker’s boarder. This is one of the great AITF episodes, so I hope they do it justice.
I was not expecting that. I was expecting the safer choice of season 2's Christmas episode, not the big one.
 

Matt Hough

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I watched the All in the Family episode this afternoon. It was beautifully performed: the antithesis of Good Times in terms of the actors picking up their cues instantly and pushing the narrative forward. And it left me with a tear in my eye, too, so they did something right. Good job on this half of the production.
 

The Obsolete Man

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I watched the All in the Family episode this afternoon. It was beautifully performed: the antithesis of Good Times in terms of the actors picking up their cues instantly and pushing the narrative forward. And it left me with a tear in my eye, too, so they did something right. Good job on this half of the production.
I just finished watching that part myself.

This is the first of any of 'em I've seen.

It was good. However, Woody's Archie is too mellow. He doesn't seem about to stroke out at any moment. There was no explosive fury in the goddamn... er... rotten damn war bit that you got out of Carroll O'Connor.

Oh, and where the hell did they get that 40+ year old Santy Claus face back from?
 
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