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The Jeffersons (TV Series 1975–1985) Poster

(1975–1985)

Trivia

When the show first started George constantly referred to Tom as a honky. After a few seasons Sherman Hemsley asked the writers to stop having George call him that, as he felt that the characters were friends and he felt George would not use a racist term on a friend. When the writers refused to stop Hemsley simply mumbled the the word every time he said it, forcing re-shoots. Eventually the writers stopped using the word.
CBS never gave "The Jeffersons" a proper series finale. The cast, bitter that they never got a chance to say goodbye, reunited years later for a stage play based on the sitcom. Sherman Hemsley said he found out the show was canceled by reading it in the paper.
The longest running sitcom to feature a predominantly African-American cast.
Like her character Helen, Actress Roxie Roker was married to a white husband (Sy Kravitz) in real life. During a casting interview, Roker was asked if she'd feel comfortable with her character having a white husband. She responded by showing the producers a photo of her husband.
Several CBS executives tried to get the interracial kiss between Tom and Helen Willis edited out, but executive producer Fred Silverman successfully lobbied to keep it in.
When Zara Cully died during the 1977-1978 season it was decided to write Mother Jefferson off the series by having her die as well.
Isabel Sanford did not want to do a spin-off. She told producers that she was happy with her recurring role on _"All in the Family" (i971)_. When they told her that they were writing Louise Jefferson off of All in the Family, and moving the character to the Jeffersons with or without her, she decided to stay in the role.
Ja'net DuBois sang the show's famous opening theme song "Movin' On Up" and its closing credits as well.
In terms of number of seasons (11) and episodes (253), this is by far the longest airing All in the Family (1971) spin-off. In fact, The Jeffersons aired more seasons and episodes than All In The Family itself.
Sherman Hemsley is only 11 years older then Mike Evans. Hemsley is also 21 years younger then Isabel Sanford.
When Mike Evans left the show for a second time, his absence was explained by having Lionel and Jenny separate and eventually divorce.
'Sherman Helmsley' found out about the show's cancellation by reading it in the newspaper. Isabel Sanford found out from a relative that called her, who had read it in a trade publication.
Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford were the only two people to appear on all 253 episodes.
Damon Evans left the series to return to musical theatre. He admitted in interviews that he did not enjoy working on a sitcom and sometimes would not show up to work.
Zara Cully missed most of the fifth season because she was ill with pneumonia and a collapsed lung. She became ill again with lung cancer and died during the sixth season.
Florence was originally intended to be a recurring cast member, but the character became so popular with fans, that the producers made Marla Gibbs a series regular.
Mike Evans left the role of Lionel Jefferson to work as a writer/producer on Good Times. When that show ended, he came back to the Jeffersons again.
During their 11 seasons, the Jeffersons were placed into 15 different time-slots.
Unlike Norman Lear's other sitcoms; topical, political and edgy content was gradually phased out as the series progressed.
Marla Gibbs was given her own spin-off, Checking In (1981), where Florence went to work as an executive at a hotel. As a precaution in case the show failed, Gibbs would be allowed to return to "The Jeffersons". Roseanna Christiansen was hired as Florence's replacement, Carmen. When the spin-off was canceled after four episodes, Gibbs returned to the show. Roseanna went on to become the Ewing's servant on Dallas from 1982-1991.
Mike Evans left the show after the first season to work on Good Times, which he co-created. By the time his replacement Damon Evans quit the series, Good Times had been canceled, enabling Mike Evans to return to the role of Lionel for the duration of the series.
Tom and Helen Willis were TV's first white and black interracial couple.
The picture on the Jeffersons' desk by the telephone changes in every episode. It alternates between shots of Louise, George, Lionel, and Mother Jefferson.
When The Jeffersons were first introduced on All In The Family, the family included George's brother Henry. Henry was never seen, and barely mentioned on The Jeffersons, as was the case on All In The Family after he was written off the series.
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The building in the opening sequence is located at 185 E 85th Street in Manhattan.
The Jeffersons returned to television in 1995 to appear on an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), and again in 2001 for a series of Denny's Restaurant commercials.
George Jefferson was a navy veteran who had served in the U.S. 7th Fleet.
The character 'George Jefferson' was ranked #44 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).
It was intended for Mike Evans to return full time for the series twelfth season under the premise of Lionel moving back to the apartment following his divorce from Jenny. This was an attempt to try to help revitalize the series, but the plans never came to fruition as a result of the show's unexpected cancellation following its eleventh season.
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The Jeffersons' neighbor, Harry Bently, worked as a Russian translator at the United Nations.
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Marla Gibbs was the fourth cast member, and is one of the surviving cast members next to Berlinda Tolbert, who's the youngest.
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Both Paul Benedict (Bentley) and Irwin Keyes, who appeared in a recurring role as Hugo, suffered from acromegaly, a condition in which the anterior pituitary gland produces excess growth hormones, noticeably in the face.
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Roxie Roker is Lenny Kravitz' mom. She would often bring him to the set of The Jeffersons.
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Isabel Sanford was the first black actress to win the Outstanding Lead Actress in a comedy Emmy award.
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Marla Gibbs in effect replaced Zara Cully after her death
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Louise had an older sister named Maxine, who ran away from home several years earlier after she got pregnant. She eventually moved to France where she worked as a singer.
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Though it is rarely mentioned on the show, the name of the building the Jeffersons live in is "Colby East".
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According to Jimmie Walker, Mike Evans was fired from The Jeffersons when he gave Norman Lear an ultimatum about getting a pay raise or leaving the show at a Tandem Christmas party.
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The Jeffersons is the longest running spinoff of All in the Family, outlasting even its parent show, which ran for 8 years and then spunoff into Archie Bunker's Place whereas The Jeffersons lasted for 10.
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The Jeffersons episode "Just a Friend" was the first sitcom episode ever to feature a transgender character.
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Both Sherman Hemsley and Damon Evans were gay. Damon Evans came out after the show wrapped and Sherman Hemsley never publically came out at all.
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The Jeffersons live on the 12th floor of the Colby East.
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George's primary business rival/arch-enemy was Cunningham Cleaners.
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Mother Jefferson's favorite drink was always a Bloody Mary.
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While this show occasionally tackled controversial subjects like its parent show All in the Family, i.e. the Ku Klux Klan start having meetings in the building; or George getting stabbed by that female gang, most of the time the show featured light hearted fare, and was more of a black I Love Lucy or Honeymooners type show.
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Mentioned in the lyrics of the song "TV Party" by Black Flag.
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Zara Cully was 46 years older than Sherman Hemsley.
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Louise had an unnamed brother that was mentioned on All In The The Family, but was never mentioned in The Jeffersons.
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Mike Evans and Damon Evans alternated playing Lionel on The Jeffersons. Damon Evans came out of the closet after the series ended. He also said playing Lionel was a terrible experience and he wouldn't repeat it.
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Norman Lear went on to coproduce another Marla Gibbs sitcom 227(1985) which ran for 5 years.
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Ralph the Doorman can be seen in the opening credits throughout the series. As he was only a semi regular, the name of Ned Wertimer, who played Ralph, was never shown in the opening credits.
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Louise (Isabel Sanford) made one last appearance on "All in the Family" in the episode "The Family Next Door" in 1979, four years after the rest of the cast left and spunoff into the "The Jeffersons".
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Mike Evans and Damon Evans were not related.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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