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 that 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. (Hemsley was right.)
CBS never gave this show 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 cancelled by reading about it in the newspaper.
Like her character Helen, Roxie Roker was married to a white (Jewish) man (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. Sy Kravitz and Roxie Roker's son is musician and actor Lenny Kravitz.
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 (1971). When they told her that they were writing Louise Jefferson off of All in the Family (1971), and moving the character to this show with or without her, she decided to stay in the role.
In terms of number of seasons (eleven) and episodes (two hundred fifty-three), this is the longest airing All in the Family (1971) spin-off. In fact, this show aired more seasons and episodes than All in the Family (1971).
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 this show. Roseanna Christiansen was hired as Florence's replacement, Carmen. When the spin-off was cancelled after four episodes, Gibbs returned to the show. Roseanna went on to become the Ewing's servant on Dallas (1978) from 1982-1991. On this show, Roseanna's character, Carmen, spoke English with a Spanish accent. Roseanna speaks very clear English.
Mike Evans left the show after the first season to work on Good Times (1974), which he co-created. By the time his replacement Damon Evans quit the series, Good Times (1974) had been cancelled, enabling Mike Evans to return to the role of Lionel for the duration of the series.
The Jeffersons returned to television on two episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990); season five, episode seventeen, "Will Is From Mars ..."; and the series finale, "I, Done Part 2"; and again in 2001 for a series of Denny's Restaurant commercials.
When The Jeffersons were first introduced on All in the Family (1971), the family included George's brother Henry. Henry was never seen, and barely mentioned on this show, as was the case on All in the Family (1971) after he was written off the series.
While this show occasionally tackled controversial subjects like its parent show All in the Family (1971), (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 (1951) or The Honeymooners (1955) type show.
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.
Louise (Isabel Sanford) made one last appearance on All in the Family (1974), in season nine, episode twenty-five, "The Family Next Door", four years after the rest of the cast left and spun-off into this show.
The series finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) was a Jeffersons/Fresh Prince/Diff'rent Strokes (1978) crossover event, which had George Jefferson buying the Banks Mansion from Uncle Phil, after Arnold and Phillip Drummond are seen shopping for it.
Mike Evans and Damon Evans alternated playing Lionel on this show. 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.
This show is the longest running spin-off of All in the Family (1971), outlasting its parent show, which ran for eight years, and then spun-off into Archie Bunker's Place (1979), whereas this show lasted for ten.
From 1999 to 2002, reruns of the Jeffersons aired regularly on Nick At Nite. Ironically, Nick At Nite first officially debuted on July 1, 1985, one day before the final episode of this show, "Red Robins" originally aired.