The Jeffersons (TV Series 1975–1985) Poster

(1975–1985)

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10/10
They don't make them like they used too!
Syl21 July 2003
The Jeffersons happened to be a spin off from All in the Family. I loved the relationship between George's mother played the wonderful Zara Cully who passed away during the series long run and Louise known as Weezy played by the wonderful Isabel Sanford. Then they brought in Florence as the maid played by the hilarious Marla Gibbs, the sparks flew between her and George. Not those kind of sparks but a funny rapport between the two to last for years. The show explored everything like interracial relationships and race with tact and dignity. My most memorable moments from the show were about George being secret Santa to a Harlem family who now lived in his building. But then who could forget George opening the George Jefferon Museum. I am glad to watch this show again one night a week on a local station which pays homage to the seventies shows like the Jeffersons. The show had a stellar supporting cast like Roxie Roker and Franklin Cover as the interracial couple, the Willises, who become dear friends of the Jeffersons. Isabel Sanford passed away about a year ago. She was the first African American woman to win an Emmy for Best Leading Actress in a Comedy Series. She was very worthy to be a pioneer for the rest. The fact that Sanford was twenty years older than Helmsley is fascinating. Isabel always looked fabulous and younger than her actual age. I miss Isabel. She was one of a kind!
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9/10
Jeffersons-Movin' On Up Was A Possibility ***1/2
edwagreen23 September 2007
Very funny comedy of an affluent black family living the American dream in achieving success in their dry good business.

Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford provided terrific chemistry as the husband and wife team. Sanford always knew how to crack those one-liners at a vulnerable but lovable Hemsley. Militant son Lionel was always good for a laugh and as the mother-in-law, Zarra Cully, proved that having the typical mother-in-law to deal with wasn't only an Italian or Jewish problem.

Franklin Cover and Roxie Roker successfully showed that with understanding, inter-racial marriages could work.
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The Black Archie Bunker
Brian Washington11 December 2003
For the first few years, this had to be one of the funniest shows on C.B.S.. It pretty much took the concept of the show it came from, "All in the Family", and moved it uptown and instead of a bigoted middle class white man, we have a bigoted rich black man. George Jefferson proved that bigotry comes in all colors and sometimes his big mouth got him in trouble. However, just like Archie, beneath that gruff exterior was an old softy. I especially loved the episodes that showed that side of George. This show will always be one of the all time classics.
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10/10
Commemorating The Jeffersons' 40th Anniversary Movin on Up....
raysond8 June 2000
One of the best TV sitcoms ever!!! Just like his precessdor Archie Bunker,you'll never know what George Jefferson may come up with next. Very uncanny. Sherman Helmsley was the true professional actor is the utmost sense of the word. He played George down to the tilt!!! Was the most watched show in television history during its 11 year run on CBS that produced 253 episodes from its premiere on January 14,1975 until the last episode of the series on July 23,1986....the longest running African-American sitcom in television history.

The other tenants including Tom and Helen Willis,and there daughter Jenny; Mr. Bentley,Ralph the Doorman,and the housekeeper Florence whom George always teases but she gets him right back in front of his wife Louise!!!! In case you wanted to know about the shows theme song: A friend told me this that it was sung by Janet DuBois,who was Willona on another CBS sitcom "Good Times". Interesting point about this show: There were two actors who played the Jeffersons' son Lionel on the series,but only one was married off during the show's final season with Jenny and also had a baby girl. One of the best ever!! Several episodes from "The Jeffersons" do stand out as brilliant including one two parter episode that was filmed on location in Hawaii.
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Brilliant spin off to a processor from the golden age of the 1970's TV
rcj536513 February 2006
If there were a "Sitcom Hall Of Fame",for brilliance, the television series "The Jeffersons" would surely have a cherished spot as one of the best situation comedies of the 1970's. For the eleven and a half years that it ran on television,the series became one of CBS' longest-running shows of all time,right up there with "Frasier","Cheers",and even "M*A*S*H" and "Happy Days" for its longevity. From its premiere episode that aired on January 14,1975 to the final episode of the series on July 23,1986 it is amazing that the show survived during its astounding run on the air. The series cranked out more than 254 episodes during its run. It is also to note that "The Jeffersons" also was nominated for several Golden Globes and Emmys including a historic moment in the history of not only the show,but television itself. The series won the Emmy in 1981 for Isabel Sanford who in fact made history as being the first African-American woman to win for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and also for Sherman Hemsley as Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series as well,and for Marla Gibbs too who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

It is no wonder that "The Jeffersons" is one of television's top fifty all time programs in the history of television and it is right up there with the best of the bunch of classic television shows. Need I say more? This was a spin off to "All In The Family" by the way since the series was created by Norman Lear,the man who was behind some of the greatest shows of that period including "All In The Family","Maude","Good Times", "One Day At A Time","Sanford and Son",and so much more. Out of all the shows that had a predominately African-American cast of that period,the series "The Jeffersons" was the better show out of the entire bunch. Only Norman Lear's other show "Good Times" comes in a close second. The reason? For one you saw a successful black family doing something positive and for the first time in television history a successful African-American with a successful business and living the high life on TV,but at the same time you got to see not only a white side of bigotry but a black side of that too. Sherman Hemsley's character of George Jefferson was just that.....the opposite side of Archie Bunker,a bigot on the opposite side of racial intolerance. It was kind of a reflex towards the opposite The Bunkers,who basically were still living on 704 Hauser Street in Queens while their once neighbors The Jeffersons were living it up in a deluxe apartment complex on New York's upper rich side toward Park Avenue in Manhattan.

However,the set-up of a African-American family living in the high part of town and having a successful business establishment was something totally different and new when it aired back in 1975 since it was very odd to see this and America was paying very close attention to this as well since African-Americans at that time were making strides toward racial equality during that period. You saw a married couple George and Louise Jefferson(Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford)living the good life with their son Lionel(played by Mike Evans and then by Damon Evans)while making the best of any situation that comes at them with ease,but with hilarious results. The next door neighbors Tom and Helen Willis (Franklin Cover and Roxie Roker)were a interracial couple with their young daughter Jenny(Belinda Tolbert)and also their son Allan(played by Jay Hammer during the 1978-79 season)whom The Jeffersons also had another neighbor across from them as well,like the British neighbor Mr. Bentley(Paul Benedict)and others that were in the same tenant building as well like George's overbearing mother(played by Zara Cully during the 1975-78 season)who comes by for a visit and causes chaos for Louise and others like Mr. Whittington and so forth like the doorman Ralph or Charlie the bartender whose bar is downstairs but in the same building. The best part of this series and basically who could give George a run for his money in a scolding match would be the Jeffersons' housekeeper Florence Johnson(Marla Gibbs). This is what kept the series going strong because of the brilliant comedy chemistry that Sherman Hemsley and Marla Gibbs had and the sparks flew within a funny rapport that kept audiences laughing hard. Oh yeah,I forgot that Isabel Sanford kept the laughs provided too as Louise and George get into one predicament after another. But the series showed its darker side too right along with the laughs and insults as well as the series explored issues that were relevant to the day's topics from interracial relationships,racism, women's rights,and civil rights were the order of the day and other issues were added in that at the time were too intense for television but they were handled with tact and dignity.

Several brilliant episodes of this series come to mind that were memorable including the one where The Jeffersons go to Hawaii;George being a secret Santa to a Harlem family who lived in his building;The night the Jeffersons remember the riots that engulf a nation back in 1968 during the looting of his store over the death of MLK;Louise and Helen opening a health center for a lonely girl who commits suicide;and the marriage of Lionel and Jenny,which George disapproves. The proudest moment of the series came during the arrival of Lionel and Jenny as parents and George & Louise become grandparents to a little baby girl.The saddest moment of the series when George learns the death of his beloved mother.

Speaking of this series,it is to note that five of the show's cast members have passed away but will be fondly remembered. Actor Sherman Hemsley who played businessman/family provider George Jefferson passed away in 2012. Zara Cully,who played Mother Jefferson;Roxie Roker who played Helen Willis;Isabel Sanford who played Louise Jefferson,and most recently Franklin Cover,Paul Benedict and Mike Evans.
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9/10
The Jeffersons- Another 70's CBS Classic, But Are George and Archie Twins?
jrm23july@aol.com6 January 2006
If the Television Hall of Fame selected television programs as a whole to win a gold plaque similar to Cooperstown N.Y. for MLB, or Canton Ohio for the NFL, "The Jeffersons" would be there front and center.

The long running CBS sitcom which aired from 1975 through 1985, won several Emmys, including Isabel Sanford for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. To me "The Jeffersons" is one of television's top fifty All-Time Programs, and the best one with a predominately African American cast, better than "The Cosby Show" and "Sanford and Son". As a child it was a thrill to be able to watch this program when schoolwork or bedtime did not get in the way.

I now own the first two seasons of "The Jeffersons" on DVD, and I enjoy the performances of all the characters. The show is of course centered around bigoted and avaricious George (Sherman Helmsley), and his long suffering wife Louise "Weezy" Jefferson (Isabel Sanford), but the performances of the character actors are also well above par. Paul Benedict as George's goofy, bizarre neighbor, Ned Wertimer as the not so modest or polite (when it comes to tips) doorman, Mike Evans as wisecracking son Lionel, and Marla Gibbs as wisecracking live-in-maid Florence, and of course the interracial couple who are usually the butt of George's racist jokes, Tom and Helen Willis played by Franklin Cover and Roxie Roker. And of course don't forget going way back in the day when people born in the 1890's were alive, well and entertaining us all, Zara Cully as George Jefferson's quick witted Mother, Olivia. She was hilarious when seeking attention from George and Weezy she intentionally tackles herself to the ground in a season 2 episode.

But "The Jeffersons" at least the first two seasons centers around George and his vices, which often outweigh his virtues, similar to the Archie Bunker character introduced in the early 1970's. Like Archie George is set in his ways, avaricious, sometimes crude, and often bigoted. Like Archie he is a bigot without a mean streak. He is a lovable bigot, and his racist views are played out for laughs, but George is not a carbon copy of Archie. They're not twins. Archie makes fun of everyone that is not his race, religion creed, or sexual orientation. George sticks to the basics. Just make fun of whitey, and those whites that don't offer him anything in return for his efforts.

There are some whites like Wittendale, the banker who holds the key to George's future of a dry cleaning monopoly. George always wants to pander to this guy. However George has no use for "honkies" like Tom Willis and his black wife Helen. Like Archie Bunker he despises mixed marriages. (Although Archie is all for Irish marrying Italian). Mostly because Weezy has him on a short leash, George reluctantly accepts Tom and Helen Willis as neighbors and in-laws.

One major reason why Archie's ethnic and racial slurs often spiral out of control and George's doesn't is the nature of the women they're married to. Edith is tolerant, dingbatty, and naive, while Weezy is sharp, quick witted, and as shrewd as George. She puts her foot down faster on George, than Edith does on Archie. Edith tends to push Archie in the direction he's going, with some first class dingbat punchlines added in.

George is a little bit of a thing, with an obsession for power and control, much like Danny DeVito in the movies. He lusts for money and power, and he's got it, a wife a family and a full chain of cleaning stores. Archie doesn't have all this. Archie needs to shut other people down to better his own situation. George doesn't. George has money and power. However, like Archie he is set in his ways, and his lack of modesty always gets him into trouble.

What this show was missing was a crossover appearance by Archie and Edith from the slums of Flushing to the penthouses in Manhattan. Carroll O' Connor and Jean Stapleton never appeared on "The Jeffersons." "The Jeffersons" was not the greatest TV sitcom. "All in the Family" along with "Seinfeld", "The Honeymooners" and "Cheers" were better. However there was a certain charm with this show that lasted from the Gerald Ford through the second half of the Ronald Reagan presidency. This was one fine show.
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Just like All in the Family.
llihilloh9 December 2000
If I'm up late once in a while I might catch The Jeffersons. I find this show very well written with good comedic timing. (Especially with George and Florence.)

The one thing that is kind of nice is that it is a spin-off of All in the Family. The Bunkers would crack on touchy subjects like the different races and all that, so know it's kind of a reflex towards the Bunkers.

The set up of a black family living in the high part of town is a little different for the time it was aired because it WAS quite odd. Anyway, I love the background given to The Jeffersons, but most of all I like the characters and actors that portray them. Louise, Bentley, Helen, and Tom do a great job as mixed races living in the same apartment building. (Which isn't that important but its nice to see that sort of thing.) The two characters that I like the most are George and Florence. The actors that play them are very talented, and like I said earlier, they work well with mixing their comedic talents together. The verbal conflicts and caps on each other are very funny and always bring a chuckle out of me.

For its time and even for today, its great to see an episode of The Jeffersons every once in a while. Like All in the Family, this is one of the older shows that I like. It's a little touchy and that's okay, but the cast and crew do a superb job.
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A classic that will never be forgotten
Op_Prime5 January 2000
This was a great sitcom. The show had great writing and great actors/actresses to perform it. Above everyone else, Sherman Hemsley was the funniest. With all these characters and great writing, could anyone be surprised that this show lasted for ten years? I would think not.
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Well, We're Movin On Up.
blackarachnia218 October 2005
Movin on up, (moving on up) to the east side, (moving on up)to a deluxe apartment in the sky. We're moving on up to the east side (moving on up) we finally got a piece of the pie. Fish don't burn in the kitchen, beans don't burn on the grill, it took a whole lot of trying just to get up that hill. Now we're up in the big leagues taking our turn at bat and as long as we got you and me baby there ain't nothing wrong with that so we're moving on up, (moving on up) to the east side, (moving on up) to a deluxe apartment in the sky. We're moving on up, (moving on up) to the east side, (moving on up) we finally got a piece of the pie.

Even though the Jeffersons started a year before my time I found it to quite an entertaining little show. The chemistry between Sheryman Helmsley and Isabel Sandford was absolutely magical to me. Roxie Roker's character was one of my favourte characters of all time because at the time an interracial couple on TV was unheard of. I just wish that the Jeffersons had a proper send off than what happened. Maybe we could have seen Lionel and Jenny have kids and grow old gracefully together? The show, I think, had limitless possibilities for it's time and if it hadn't fallen prey to cancellation at the last possible second syndrome I think it might just have lasted a bit longer than it did.
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9/10
George and Weezy Are Movin' On Up
waiching liu2 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I must admit that I am not that familiar with its predecessor, All In The Family, seeing as I wasn't born when it was originally released, but neither was I familiar with The Jeffersons either. It wasn't until later on one of the episodes of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air back in the 90s that I saw George appear on the show for the first time. And so from then on, I caught up with The Jeffersons, thanks to the brilliance of the web and sites such as You Tube, seeing as they had hardly shown this sitcom in the UK.

George and Louise 'Weezy' Jefferson are arguably one of the funniest sitcom couples ever; as different as they are in terms of personalities, and despite their arguments and fall- outs, like all couples they have managed to stay together and see things through regardless, no matter how much they get on one another's nerves. Sherman was just excellent as the outspoken, no- nonsense George- who has a bit of a short fuse, whilst Isabel was marvellous as the care-free, down-to earth and less pessimistic Weezy. The couple live together in an apartment block along with their son, Lionel, and their mother would occasionally drop- by, much to the Jefferson's surprise, whilst their neighbours were a Caucasian man named Tom and his Afro-American wife, Helen- which, for a inter-racial couple appearing on mainstream TV- was a rarity to see back in those days. The other characters on the show were the (somewhat) likable and pleasant Mr Bentley, Ralph and Florence, the sarchastic maid.

The Jeffersons was a humorous, fun and enjoyable comedy, which ran for an astonishing 11 seasons between 1975-1985. Some of my favourite moments include George taking part in a boxing contest- I couldn't help but laugh my socks off, what with George jogging all over the ring and his movements had me in stitches - and when George, Tom and Helen are trapped in George's bathroom and the situation is further complicated when 1) Weezy is having her hair done; unaware of the predicament her husband and her friends find themselves in and 2)they realise that the door can only operated from the outside, and not whilst they are inside the bathroom! In one scene and to make matters worse, the door handle even falls off! Not to mention 'Brother Tom' when Tom tries to act Black, much to his wife's embarrassment, in an attempt to fit in with the other Black folks, of whom included George and Louise.

Even though the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Diff'rent Strokes and The Cosby Show got plenty of air time, here in the UK, it is a bit of a shame that this sitcom was never actually televised in this part of the world because as I mentioned The Jeffersons is a great show, which deserved to be seen by its audiences.

Nevertheless, this was one of CBS's fewest hit sitcoms that managed to hit the big time and sustain a longevity that rivals the likes of NBC's other long running comedies, Frasier, Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Catch it if you can
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10/10
One OF The Best Sitcoms Of All Times!
leighabc1235 August 2005
This show was so funny that it lasted 11 seasons. I watched this show from the time before I was born until I was in the 5th grade. The funniest episodes were, are, and always will be the episodes that had BOTH Mother Jefferson AND Florence the maid. This was also one of the first sitcoms that replaced a main character with another actor and the first actor came back. Two Lionels! Confusing to all people who are not devout Jefferson fans. Damon Evans married Jenny and Mike Evans was there when Jenny had the baby. RIP Mike Evans AKA the 1st and 3rd Lionel. This show also had the two actors who were the longest reoccurring guest stars in t.v. history. Charlie the Bartender and Ralph the Doorman. They played on a sitcom for 11 consecutive years without ever being a regular character. George would do something zany every episode. And Louise would have a smart remark every episode. Helen would always argue with George, but Tom would listen to him. There were so many great guest stars in this show. Sammy Davis Jr., Sister Sledge, Andre Crouch, Billy Dee Williams, Gladys Knight. Look for Ernest Thomas and Jaleel White before they became stars in episodes of this show. There are still some mysteries in this show. Whatever happened to Jenny's brother?
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Isn't it weird.... ?
fivestarmichael17 September 2006
Isn't it weird that George Jefferson is supposed to be a wealthy man who owns 13 dry-cleaning stores.... however his apartment is no where near as nice or large as "Frasiers" (a radio talk-show host) or the "Friends" apartment. In fact, the Jefferson's apartment is really small and cheap looking. A burlap couch... the dining room is connected to the living room (of course so is Frasier's)... aluminum sliding glass doors.

But someone who is "Moving on up" and owns 13 stores would have something nicer than this wouldn't they? All I am saying is, the Jefferson's apartment looks kind of "working class" to me.
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10/10
Great Show The Jeffersons
rsks51410 February 2006
Bring it back!!!!! We need a good laugh and a great sitcom like this one to enjoy!! Hail The Jeffersons!! Bring back the sitcom on TV land or nick @night. Its was a great comedy just like threes company, Archie, All in the family, Homeymooners, Lucy, Mary Tyler Moore, and The Bob Newhart Show, and now they play 10 Roseannes in a row on both channels which really stinks cause I don't even like Roseanne, so I don't even watch these channels after Good Times cause it isn't worth it at all. Dick Van Dyke show, What happened to all the great sitcom classics they USEDto play, GO Back to them and you'll probably gain another 10,0000.00 viewers!! Think about it!!
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10/10
Excellent Comedy
Seattle1028 January 2012
I watched this in the 1970s, somewhat, and I liked it, but nowadays, even much more so. Since it ran for 11 seasons, naturally, there were changes in the type of its tones, so my review is mainly for the middle period. I do not care for All in the Family, from which The Jeffersons spun off, due to the character of Archie, his harsh belittling of people; hideous racism; and over-emphasis on political events, etc., so I find George Jefferson to be a light-hearted fellow, who, even if saying negative things, does so in a jovial way and is not too serious about it.

This show is virtually as funny as two favorites, Sanford and Son, and Three's Company. It is just so, so funny. Sherman Hemsley is absolutely marvelous, so comical, animated, and the life of the party, so to speak. Isabel is a sincere actress, playing "Weezy". The others are great, but the character of Bentley or the actor himself, always seemed strange, in that he was unsure of himself, and awkward.

A great show for laughs, and Marla Gibbs as Florence, absolutely great.
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9/10
Big fan of this show
stevenackerman699 September 2009
When I was a young boy a Sunday night ritual for me would be watching several CBS shows. Jeffersons was one of them, usually the last one of the night before turning in for school the next day. Ironically, today is the first day of another school year!!!! I didn't get all the jokes when I was younger but enjoyed watching the characters and cared for them. I also liked the fact that they had the characters evolve over the years. George became less racist and was friendlier towards Tom. Louise at first didn't like being rich but once she did volunteer work, that changed. I have the feeling that she didn't want to be like an Uncle Tom and forget her past. Doing work at the help center was what helped her adjust to her new life. I also was amazed that in the 80's, they redecorated the apartment with richer furniture. What other sitcom has ever done that? Can't think of one. One other thing I liked was that George sometimes did succeed. If he had always failed in his plans like Wile E. Coyote, it would get tiring. It was good to see him come out on top once in a while. It was terrible that CBS didn't give this show a proper sendoff. I think they set it up for the ratings to go down by moving the show to Tuesday night in 1985 so the audience that watched it on Sunday may not have been able to watch it Tuesday. Therefore, ratings would drop and the network could use it as an excuse to give it the axe. I think they could've done at least one more season and I even had some story ideas for them for the new season, which I discussed on the message boards. It is sad that several of the actors have passed on, but that happens to everyone sooner of later. This show will live forever.
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Spending twelve years in a deluxe apartment
S.R. Dipaling6 September 2006
Spinning off from "All in the Family" after about two seasons on that show,dry-cleaning entrepreneur George Jefferson(Sherman Helmsley,sassy and irreplaceable as the character)and wife Louise(Isabel Sanford,just as irreplaceable as "Weezy")move to the nicer section of New York(Uptown Manhattan?).From there,they become foils and friends with their luxury apartment neighbors,particularly the interracial couple Tom and Helen Willis(Franklin Cover and Roxie Roker),the stately and genteel Bentley(Paul Benedict) and the doorman Ralph(Ned Wertimer). George,being the stubborn,scheming and curmudgeonly sort with a burr up his behind over white folks(particularly ones who marry blacks),is both the hero and the goat of this show,as his cantankerousness is the catalyst of most of the episodes. He is,however,not lacking heart,and many times can be appealed to,many times by(among others) Weezy and sometimes even by his arch-nemesis,the sharp-witted,no-nonsense maid Florence(MArla Gibbs,if it was possible to be TOO good at a role,she was it).

I was but a small boy of three when this show premiered,and probably only have even a decent memory of shows from about seasons four through nine,and to make matters worse,it seemed like it was somewhat tough to run across in syndication(would you believe!)after the show left the air in 1985. But watching it again on TVLand recently and my memories of the show were such good experiences that I thought I needed to write a blurb for it. This is a good tribute to the careers of actors Roxie Roker,Franklin Cover and Isabel Sanford,who have(among others on this shows run)passed on or recent. I am very glad TVLand is rerunning this show and hope that new generations(as well as older ones)can get acquainted or reacquainted with the family that moved on up!
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a classic sitcom, no matter how it got started...
roboto197628 September 2005
The Jeffersons may have been a spin-off of All In The Family, but it stands on it's own as one of the best sitcoms. The sad thing is that CBS canceled the show in it's tenth season, even while it was still tops in the ratings. I love the dynamic interaction between George and Florence. The hate/hate relationship between Louise and Mother Jefferson is also hilarious. It's amazing to think that an interracial married couple had never been portrayed on television before this show. The Jeffersons is a classic today and for future generations. A footnote...Ja'net DuBois sang "Movin' On Up", the theme song for this show. I never made the connection until today!
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Seventies rewind: The Jeffersons!
Mike_Tee_Vee21 October 2004
The Jeffersons (1975) was a spin-off of the madly successful "All In the

Family". The Jeffersons were the neighbors of the Bunkers. After their

characters proved to be unexpected draws, the producers decided to give

them their own series. The pilot was an "All In the Family" episode. We

saw the Jeffersons moving into a high rise. They finally made the big

leagues.

The first four seasons of this show were highly entertaining. But this

didn't last long. The show dragged on for seven more seasons before the

network decided to pull the plug. The series even had two spin-off shows

of their own but they didn't last more than a month or so. Sherman

Hemsley and Isabel Sanford become one of the biggest and most well

known t.v. couples. George and Louise along with Florence (Marla Gibbs)

and company. George's mother was around for a few seasons until she

passed away.

A fun show that was one of my favorites when I was younger. But like

most shows it just went on too long. By the time it was the 80's, the

writers were just recycling older plots are making one too many "special"

episodes. Even through all that and two actors playing one character

(George and "Wheezy's" son). The show became a t.v. classic and a big

part of American pop culture.

Factoid: The character of Mother Jefferson seems to be based upon the mother in

law in "Til Death Do Us Part", a B.B.C. program that was the basis for

"All in the Family".
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The Norman Lear Touch
juliafwilliams4 February 2004
A year short of its 30th (pearl) anniversary, The Jeffersons will be remembered for continuing the tradition of groundbreaking that was started by the show that started it all , All in the Family, from which, lest you forget, The Jeffersons is a spin-off.

Yes, George Jefferson is somewhat like Archie Bunker, opinionated to the point of sometimes being rude but never at a loss for words.

Chances are the characters of the Willises were inspired by the All in the Family episode 'Lionel Steps Out', in which he did so with Archie Bunker's visiting niece -- I had the experience of seeing that episode and then and there sensed that change was in the wind.

It is noted that Ja'Net DuBois sang theme, but few people mention that she actually CO-WROTE the theme. Just goes to show you that show business is a thinking person's business.

Happy 30th anniversary to the Jeffersons, albeit one year early!!
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A forgotten all-time classic.
IrockGswift5 April 2003
The Jefferson is the longest African-American comedy situation to date. It's a spin-off of the popular "All in the family". The Jeffersons is the most underrated comedy sitcom on television to some people. During its release in the mid 70s there were a few competitive shows like Good Times,What's Happening?,and Sanford & Son. But this show lasted the longest and enjoyed by both black and white audiences. This show was funny during its first six years (1975-81) till Embassy Television took over,and the show became boring. Lionel and Jenny made just occasional appearances on the show and Ralph still have his hand out for a tip. The writers were changed and the show lost a lot of its audiences. But what I enjoyed the most about the show was when George and Florence go at it. Though in the long run George always kept her as their maid. I think George like having Florence around because he enjoys having somebody to pick on. Which Florence at times outsmarts him. What I didn't like was that geek Lionel (Damon Evans) he seem so soft to me and wasn't confident and outspoken like the original Lionel (Mike Evans). The Jeffersons was a fun show to watch and although the show maybe somewhat forgotten everybody remembers the theme (Movin' on up).
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Pretty good show
ridgerunner77312 March 2003
It was a pretty good show. To me, Marla Gibbs made the show. Of course the bigoted George Jefferson was the black version of Archie Bunker. He hated anybody who wasn't black. In fact I used to wonder how he never ended up getting his lights punched out. Apparently, Tom Willis was either a coward or an imbecile. But I always got a kick out of the way Florence the maid always ended up putting him in his place even though he was the rich employer and she was merely a domestic.
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Excellent classic comedy for all
sand n surf2 January 2003
I remember watching this show when it first aired on television. I wasn't sure if the Jeffersons could hold their own as a seperate TV show from All In the Family (Which was an OK show, but I wasn't the biggest fan of it). Well, I quickly realized that I was wrong after viewing this show a few times. It's very funny, & rarely offensive. Extremely enjoyable to watch. While All In the Family had its moments of comedy, this show was just plain zany! Actually it's not even fair to compare the two shows really. The only thing they have in common is that this show stemmed from that show. Other than that, it's like 2 different worlds. I just recently bought the first season on DVD, & The Jeffersons are now better than ever to watch! I hope that they release the following seasons on DVD too. If you haven't seen this show (Although I don't think there are too many people that haven't) watch it on TV or DVD when you get a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised!
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Probably the funniest sitcom ever!
WeezieJefferson1 March 2003
Although my opionion may be a bit biased, I really do think this was an amazing show. People always say that the earlier episodes were the better, but quite frankly, I disagree. The best episodes I feel, and also this is the same time frame when the show was at it's most successful, was in the early 80's. For the '81-'82 season, "The Jeffersons" was the 3rd rated television show in America. People wanted to see Florence be sassy, and Tom and George be friends. Viewers wanted to see Helen and Louise get somewhat foolish. People wanted to see incredible guest stars, like Sammy Davis, Jr., Gladys Knight, Billy Dee Williams, even the popular singing group Sister Sledge. It was the 80's, and people wanted to see rich folks living in excess, and it was also at this time the show was so successful, it finally had the advertising clout to command a bigger budget for a new set, off-site shoots, and guest stars. I prefer the later set over the earlier one (the curved coffee table, gray sofa with peach throw cushions, and the round table dinette set). It outlasted the show which it originally was spun-off from even. Keep in mind also, that this show was still pulling in some great numbers in the 1984-1985 season when the plug was pulled (it was still in the top 20). It seems that anything that originated in the 70's was leaving the line-up in the mid-80's. Alice was canceled, along with The Love Boat, The Facts of Life, Hart to Hart, and a lot of other wonderful shows that were not necessarily growing tired, but the budget went towards all new shows. Shows that were not memorable at all, and were cancelled within a season or two. "The Jeffersons" ran for eleven seasons, and that's a long time in this business. I always felt that after all "The Jeffersons" had done for CBS, that it certainly deserved a better send-off than being cancelled mid-season after a hiatus. There never was a last episode, no closure. No wrap up. Nothing. The last new episode that was shown was on June 25, 1985, and it was a pretty funny episode in which George helps his grand daughter Jessica with her Red Robins group. Sadly, Tom & Helen Willis did not appear in this episode. It was actually the second to last show taped, but as you may be aware, the shows are not necessarily shown in the order that they are filmed. I read an earlier entry that claims Lark Voorhies played Lionel and Jenny's daughter, Jessica on "The Jeffersons". Actually, it was an actress by the name of Ebonie Smith. Lark portrayed Lisa on the TV show "Saved By The Bell". I think the confusion may be because Ebonie Smith was in an episode of "Saved By The Bell: The New Class".
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Absolutely the best show ever produced!
ag4423 March 2000
I remember growing up and watching this show. I always thought it was so funny. From then on, I would try to find out when it was coming on (after it stopped being produced). Finally, Nick at Nite picked up this brilliant work. It really is a true classic which often gets overlooked. The acting, especially Sherman Helmsley and Marla Gibbs is amazing. Anybody who watched this show regularly must have felt an attachment to the characters. I have never watched an episode which wasn't hilarious. However, I must say that I could never figure out the words in the theme song until just a few years ago.
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