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Live in Front of a Studio Audience is a series of specials reenacting two classic episodes of Norman Lear shows live. The first, which aired 22 May 2019 on ABC, reenacted the All in the Family episode "Henry's Farewell" and The Jeffersons episode "A Friend in Need". The second aired 18 December 2019 and recreated "The Draft Dodger" and an episode of Good Times.


Episodes Recreated[]

Series Title Directed by Written by Original
air date
Ep. no.
All in the Family "Henry's Farewell" Bob LaHendro and John Rich Don Nicholl October 20, 1973 Season 4
Episode 6
The Bunkers and the Jeffersons have a farewell party for Henry, where Archie incites another argument.
The Jeffersons "A Friend in Need" Jack Shea Story by : Barry Harman & Harve Brosten

Teleplay by : Don NichollMichael RossBernie West, Barry Harman & Harve Brosten

January 18, 1975 Season 1
Episode 1
When they experience growing pains in their posh new digs, George demands that Louise hire her friend as their maid. However, when the couple ends up hiring sassy maid Florence instead, George and Weezy learn you can "move on up" without looking down upon others.


The special was announced on April 19, 2019: Kimmel has deemed All in the Family and The Jeffersons as his favorite TV shows of all-time,[1] and stated 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."[2] On May 10, 2019, it was announced that Anthony Anderson, Ike Barinholtz, and Sean Hayes would be part of the cast.[3]

Live in Front of a Studio Audience was broadcast from the Sony Pictures Studios lot in Culver City, California.[4] Many of the details regarding the special, including which episodes would be performed, guest stars, and other aspects, were kept as surprises to encourage viewership. Lear remarked that "the whole thing was Jimmy's idea", and that the two shows' relevance remained the same in the current political climate, explaining that "seriously, the most amazing thing is listening to these two shows where we agreed word for word — we would not change a word, and nothing has been changed". Lear also hoped that the special could become a larger franchise in its own right.[5]

Justina Machado was originally announced as playing Florence Johnston: however, during the live broadcast, original The Jeffersons cast member Marla Gibbs made a surprise appearance to reprise her role as Florence.[6][7] Veteran actress Fran Bennett portrayed Mother Jefferson.[8] The original episodes aired in 1973 and 1975 on CBS respectively.[9]


  1. Patten, Dominic. "'All in the Family' & 'The Jeffersons' Live Shines With Jamie Foxx's Flub, Surprise Guest & More Than Nostalgia", Deadline Hollywood, Penske Media Corporation, May 23, 2019. (in en) 
  2. Lenker, Maureen Lee. "Jimmy Kimmel, all-star cast to recreate All in the Family, The Jeffersons episodes in live special", Entertainment Weekly, Meredith Corporation, April 19, 2019. 
  3. Lenker, Maureen Lee. "ABC's live sitcom event adds Anthony Anderson, Ike Barinholtz, Sean Hayes, and more to cast", Entertainment Weekly, Meredith Corporation, May 10, 2019. 
  4. Schneider, Michael. "Inside Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' Live Remake Special", Variety, Penske Media Corporation, May 21, 2019. 
  5. Patten, Dominic. "Norman Lear & Producer Brent Miller On 'All In The Family' & 'The Jeffersons' Live Redux Tonight & A Potential Franchise", Deadline Hollywood, Penske Media Corporation, May 22, 2019. 
  6. Lenker, Maureen Lee. "Original Jeffersons cast member made surprise cameo on Live in Front of a Studio Audience", Entertainment Weekly, Meredith Corporation, May 22, 2019. 
  7. Roots, Kimberly. "The Jeffersons' Marla Gibbs Reprises Role of Florence in Surprise Live Appearance — Watch Video", TVLine, Penske Media Corporation, May 22, 2019. Retrieved on May 23, 2019. 
  8. Mason, Charlie. "The Jeffersons Live Recap: Did the Cast Make It Look Weezy… Er, Easy?", TVLine, Penske Media Corporation, May 22, 2019. Retrieved on May 23, 2019. 
  9. Keveney, Bill. "Famous cast sticks live-TV landing in Norman Lear's 'All in the Family,' 'The Jeffersons'", USA Today, Gannett Company, May 23, 2019. Retrieved on May 24, 2019. 

External Links[]

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