A poor Afro-American family make the best of things in the Chicago housing projects.
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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Thelma Evans / ... (132 episodes, 1974-1979)
 Michael Evans (131 episodes, 1974-1979)
 James 'J.J.' Evans, Jr. (128 episodes, 1974-1979)
 Willona Woods (120 episodes, 1974-1979)
 Florida Evans (103 episodes, 1974-1979)
 James Evans, Sr. (58 episodes, 1974-1976)


Life in the Chicago projects is never easy, However, the Evans family never gives up trying to make the best of things. While Florida and James struggle to provide for their family, their sons J.J., an aspiring painter, Micheal, the undying political crusader, causing trouble while their sister, Thelma, stands between them as the voice of reason. Living in the same building were Willona Woods, Florida's best friend from High School who provided support, love and gossip and Nathan Bookman, the overweight janitor who gave them grief and was the butt of alot of fat jokes, especially Willona who often referred to him as Buffalo Butt or Booger. Life, at least, is never boring while they fight to keep their heads above water and one day leave the projects, which they did in the series finale. Sadly, it was without James who was killed off in the 4th season. Written by Kate Tripper

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Release Date:

8 February 1974 (USA)  »

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(133 episodes)

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Did You Know?


J.J.'s real name is James, as in James Evans Jr. The actor who played him is named James too; Jimmie Walker. See more »


J.J.: Looking for dead roaches. Because if they ate that cake, they couldn't got too far.
See more »


Spoofed in Girl 6 (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting '70s time capsule
4 March 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An interesting comedy series about a poor black family trying to make ends meet and make a better life in the projects of Chicago. I first saw the reruns once our local WB affiliate took off the weekday morning reruns of Happy Days and began airing this instead. And it made me laugh! The Evans were a real family with real problems, but they also truly loved each other. I think JJ was a precursor to characters such as Horshack, Screech, Urkel, Rerun, etc. The gospelish theme song and title sequences shown over inner-city Chicago only added to the realism. Speaking of theme songs, Ja'net DuBois (neighbor Willona) co-wrote and sang another truly memorable one during this time. What was it? "Movin' On Up" for The Jeffersons, of course.

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