Two of the most revolutionary shows on American television screens came back for a revival with all the stars that critics praised.
& # 39; Live for a Studio Audience: Norman Lear & # 39; s All in the Family and The Jeffersons & # 39; Wednesday night's reviews, as well as hearts across the country, won with a cast including Jamie Foxx, Woody Harrelson, Wanda Sykes, Marisa Tomei and Kerry Washington.
And although the special episodes from more than forty years old have revived, their approach to problems such as race, class and sexism still felt as widespread as ever.
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Live for a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons won Wednesday night ratings, as well as hearts across the country, with a cast including Jamie Foxx, Woody Harrelson, Ellie Kemper, and Ike Barinholtz (all pictured)
The revival included an episode of each of the two revolutionary shows, with Jennifer Hudson as singer The Jeffersons & # 39; iconic theme number Movin & # 39; On Up
The only change in the episodes was the squeak of the N word.
Norman Lear, the producer of both shows, gave the live audience and viewers at home a similar warning that CBS ran before the original episodes were broadcast all those decades ago.
& # 39; The language and themes & # 39; s from nearly 50 years ago can still be shocking, & # 39; said the 96-year-old when he sat on a replica of the famous Archie Bunker armchair. & # 39; And we are still struggling with many of those issues. & # 39;
And that clearly wasn't long after Tomei and Harrelson were sitting at a piano at & # 39; Those Were The Days & # 39; just like Carroll O & Connor and Jean Stapleton & # 39; s Archie and Edith Bunker did before every episode of All in the Family.
Wednesday's All in the Family revival episode came from season four, in which Archie attended the farewell party for George Jefferson & # 39; s brother Henry.
Just like O & # 39; Connor did in the 1973 episode, Harrelson & # 39; s Archie referred to one of his African-American neighbors as & # 39; colored & # 39 ;.
Later in the episode, Archie complains that he can't get along well with Henry, who was played on Wednesday-evening by Blackish star Anthony Anderson.
Although the special episodes of more than 40 years old have revived, their approach to problems such as race, class and sexism still felt as widespread as ever. Pictured is the original All in the Family cast (from L-R): Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, Carroll O & # 39; Connor, Sally Struthers
Pictured is the original Jeffersons (from L-R) cast: Berlinda Tolbert, Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford, Franklin Cover, Roxie Roker and Marla Gibbs in 1977
His daughter Gloria, played in the revival by Ellie Kemper, reminds him that the Jefferson's have some & # 39; best friends & # 39; belong to the family.
& # 39; Their best friends are still shrinking in Africa! & # 39; Archie declares that a & # 39; low hum of discomfort & # 39; to the studio audience, according to one Entertainment per week critic.
But that tension did not last long, thanks in part to Foxx's hilarious flub.
Foxx, who played George Jefferson on Wednesday night, was meant to offend his brother, Anderson & Uncle Henry, in the scene.
& # 39; Since I was a little boy, I always begged my mother for a little brother, & # 39; he told him. & # 39; But you know, we were broke. & # 39;
Then Foxx suddenly began to struggle to come out of the blowout.
Also included in the all-star cast of the revival was Blackish star Anthony Anderson, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell and Wanda Sykes. Jimmy Kimmel was the executive producer
After emitting a beep, Foxx broke the fourth wall and declared & # 39; It & # 39; s live! & # 39;
& # 39; Anyone sitting at home thinking their TV is confused, & # 39; the Academy Award winner joked.
Tomei, Kemper, Harrelson and Ike Barinholtz – who played Mike Stivic – struggled to stifle their laughter at Fox & # 39; s nonsense.
And Foxx let out a few giggles before he finished the line, and told Anderson: & All we could afford was you & # 39 ;.
After the All in the Family episode, the 1975 pilot for The Jeffersons was titled & # 39; A Friend in Need & # 39 ;.
The episode began with Hudson singing what would become the iconic theme song of the show, & # 39; Movin & # 39; on up & # 39 ;.
A memorable moment from the revival was when Jamie Foxx fuzzled his lines while talking to Anthony Anderson
After emitting a beep, Foxx broke the fourth wall and declared & # 39; It & # 39; s live! & # 39; as Kemper, Barinholtz and Harrelson cracked in the background
It then followed Foxx and Sykes, who are his wife Louise & # 39; Weezy & # 39; Jefferson played because they argued about whether they should hire a chambermaid for their new luxury apartment.
Both actors are praised for their portraits, with critics thanking Foxx for his ability to embody the famous style of Sherman Hemsley.
Kerry Washington and Will Ferrell were ready to play Helen and Tom, one of the first mixed-race couples on American television, and delight the audience with their duet & # 39; I have the sun in the morning & # 39 ;.
But the moment when really every critic was speaking came to an end, when Sykes opened the door for the new Jeffersons maid and revealed none other than Marla Gibbs, who played the maid Florence Johnson in the original.
Marisa Tomei and Woody Harrelson sat behind a piano to & # 39; Those Were The Days & # 39; to sing, just like Carroll O & Connor and Jean Stapleton & # 39; s Archie and Edith Bunker did before every episode of All in the Family
Kerry Washington and Will Ferrell were ready to play Helen and Tom, one of the first mixed-race couples on American television, to delight the audience with their duet & # 39; I have the sun in the morning & # 39;
The 87-year-old was welcomed on the set with a roaring applause, on top of an already moving revival with a particularly moving tribute.
After the live special went smoothly, it seems likely that we will see more Lear revivals in the future.
That will certainly be the case as its executive producer Jimmy Kimmel, who spoke about his childhood love for the Lear shows.
& # 39; He did so much for freedom of expression and inclusiveness & # 39 ;, Kimmel told the audience during a dress rehearsal this week. & # 39; We would be far without him. & # 39;
But the moment when really every critic was speaking came to an end, when Skyes opened the door for the new Jeffersons maid and revealed none other than Marla Gibbs, who played the maid Florence Johnson in the original
The special was produced by Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear, the original producer of the shows
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