Jimmy Kimmel Paying Tribute to 'All in the Family' & 'The Jeffersons' With Epic, Star-Studded Primetime Event
By Zach Seemayer
Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images
Jimmy Kimmel is gearing up to pay tribute to the classic American sitcoms that shaped television and transformed pop culture.
The Jimmy Kimmel Live host is teaming up with television icon Norman Lear and celebrated producers and filmmakers Brent Miller, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Justin Theroux for a 90-minute primetime event honoring the iconic comedies All in the Family and The Jeffersons.
To properly pay homage to the legendary shows -- both created by Lear, who is one of the most influential creator/producers of all time -- Kimmel has tapped a cast of superstars to faithfully recreate an iconic episode from each of the two sitcoms.
"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," Kimmel said in a statement released Thursday. "To be a part of this is a dream come true for me and for everyone involved."
All in the Family -- which originally starred Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton -- ran for nine seasons from 1971 to 1979 and became one of the most revolutionary, controversial and politically charged programs of the age.
The show took on taboo topics -- including racism, liberal politics, women's rights, social justice, sexual assault and sexual orientation -- through the lens of a cantankerous and stuck-in-his-ways middle class family man whose outdated opinions and philosophies served as a means by which American families' own social and poltical debates were routinely measured.
All in the Family went on to inspire a slew of spin-offs and spin-offs of spin-offs, including Archie Bunker's Place, 704 Hauser, Maude, Gloria, Good Times, Checking In and The Jeffersons.
The Jeffersons -- originally starring Isabel Sanford and Sherman Hemsley -- actually ran for longer than All in the Family and aired for 11 seasons, from 1975 to 1985 and, for years, held the record for the longest-running sitcom featuring a predominantly black cast. The show was groundbreaking in many ways, including being the first TV series to feature an interracial couple as a main aspect of the show.
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' airs May 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC.