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September 30, 2014

the jeffersons

Six Comedies That Traveled to Hawaii

by Rich Keller, posted May 12th 2010 1:15PM
The Brady's go to Hawaii -- One of a half-dozen sitcom familes that have traveled to the Aloha StateThis week, the Dunphys of ABC's 'Modern Family' spend some time in the islands of Hawaii. Though visiting the Aloha State during a show's first season is unprecedented in the world of television comedy, it certainly isn't the first sitcom that has spent some time there. Over the last four decades there have been a half-dozen comedies that have visited Hawaii's beaches.

1. 'The Brady Bunch' -- The standard-bearer for all future visits to Hawaii. This three-part 'Hawaii Bound' episode, which began the show's fourth season, had everything: luscious scenery, a cursed tiki, creepy caves, straight hair going curly, Don Ho, Vincent Price and Marsha Brady in a bikini. Even today, almost four decades since the episodes premiered, folks will stop everything when they air.

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'227' Cast: Where Are They Now

by Chris Jordan, posted Mar 3rd 2010 11:00AM
227 castWhere is the '227' cast now? NBC's 'Today' show stopped off at '227' today during its Classic TV Families Reunion Week. While the address might not be immediately familiar to some, it's significant as the series was one of the few '80s shows to feature an African-American cast.

'227,' which ran from 1985 to 1990, starred Marla Gibbs, who at that point was known best as the sassy maid from 'The Jeffersons.' Gibbs played a mom in a Washington, D.C. middle class neighborhood, while sexy Jackée Harry became the series' breakout star and the late Helen Martin had the best lines.

What's the cast up to now? Find out after the jump.

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'The Jeffersons' Cast: Where Are They Now?

by Kim Potts, posted Jan 13th 2010 4:00PM
The Jeffersons where are they nowThere's a sad footnote to this trip down primetime memory lane: only a handful of the original stars of 'The Jeffersons' are still alive.

But a look back at the characters we knew and loved on this 'All in the Family' spin-off -- in which Sherman Hemsley's George Jefferson was thought of as the black version of Carroll O'Connor's Archie Bunker -- is sure to put a smile on fans' faces, as will updates on how the stars spent their post-'Jeffersons' careers, from cartoons and daytime soaps to Grand Slam breakfast commercials and Christopher Guest movies.

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Best '70s TV Shows

by Kim Potts, posted Jun 22nd 2009 6:00AM
MASHIn AOL TV's continuing countdown of the best TV shows of each decade, we're back to break down the 1970s, a decade when the cop dramas were less gritty, the families were close-knit and the sitcoms were sprinkled with serious social commentary.

Our list of the best shows of the '70s features many of the best shows of all time (here's looking at you, 'Mary Tyler Moore Show,' 'M*A*S*H' and 'Taxi'). Take a gander and let us know if you agree.

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How would you like all of Norman Lear's shows in one DVD box set?

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 23rd 2009 2:10PM
All in the FamilyActually, it's not every season of every show that Norman Lear produced and/or created. That would probably take two UPS trucks to deliver and a spare bedroom to store. But this sounds like an interesting collection nonetheless.

On June 9, Sony will release The Norman Lear Collection, a 19-disc set that will include the first seasons of the shows that Norman Lear did over the years, including All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Maude, One Day At A Time, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and Good Times. The set will include lots of bonus material, including new interviews with people like Rob Reiner and Jimmie Walker, along with the two unseen pilots for All in the Family, Those Were The Days and And Justice For All (in the original pilot, the Bunkers' last name was actually Justice).

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A handy guide to sitcom homes

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 19th 2009 1:02PM
sitcom housesDamn, I wish I had thought of this.

Artist and writer Dan Meth has created a series of cool pop culture charts at his web site, and the one on the right is a handy guide to sitcom homes. Sense a pattern? The shows in the top half all have kitchens on the left and living rooms on the right (how we see them via the camera angle), and the ones on the bottom have the living room on the left and the kitchen on the right.

I guess there are only so many things you can do on a sitcom, especially if it's filmed in front of an audience as many of these were.

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Swingtown -- An early look

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 3rd 2008 1:02PM
swingtownHow swinging is CBS's new summer series Swingtown? It's not swinging in the Sinatra-Rat Pack-ring-a-ding-ding way. No, this Swingtown is set in an era ten years later, specifically July 4, 1976, the bicentennial. But Swingtown, which premieres on Thursday at 10 PM ET, is not a nostalgic, optimistic wallow. However, It does evoke a time when America was undergoing a lot of change as the college kids from the late sixties were moving into the seven-year-itch of marriage, raising children, exploring boundaries.

Swingtown reminded me of Knots Landing meets Boogie Nights with a dollop of The Stepford Wives thrown in there, too (maybe it was those scenes in the supermarket). Superficially, there are elements of Swingtown, in particular the attention to detail in the production design and music, that are as spot on for 1976 as Mad Men was for 1960. When you see that pop-top can of Tab, you can't help but go back in time.
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Family Guy's Cleveland to get own spin-off?

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 29th 2008 11:41AM
Peter's gang family manOh, Peter. They're breaking up that old gang of ours! There's a spin-off of Family Guy in the works at Fox. Peter's drinking buddy, Cleveland Brown, might be getting his own show. Oh no, does this mean he may be leaving Quahog? What, no more get-togethers at The Drunken Clam? (Note to self: He's an animated character; he could still be part of Family Guy.)

Cleveland is perhaps the most down to earth of Peter's pals on Family Guy, which could make him the perfect centerpiece of a new cartoon series. Zany new characters could be built around him. If history repeats itself, he could be the George Jefferson to Peter Griffin's Archie Bunker, i.e., The Jeffersons spinning off from All in the Family.

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Sony minisodes (mini-episodes) get wider distribution

by Brad Linder, posted Oct 20th 2007 8:36AM
Crackle
Remember Sony's Minisode Network? Basically Sony is sitting on a huge library of television episodes that don't see much airtime anymore. So the company decided to slice up classic TV shows like Charlie's Angels, and T.J. Hooker and create 5 minute "minisodes."

The interesting thing is that the cliff notes versions of these shows work surprisingly well, if you don't care about things like plot, character development, and dialog.

The minisodes were originally available online at MySpace. Now Sony is making the mini-shows available on Crackle, AOL, and Joost, as well as MySpace. Sony is also bringing more shows out of the vault including Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and The Jeffersons.

[via The New York Times]

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 26th 2007 10:38PM

Mary Hartman, Mary HartmanHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

  • 7th Heaven - Season 4
  • The Addams Family - Vol. 2
  • Family Affair - Season 3
  • The Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes - Vol. 1
  • Full House - Season 6
  • The Jeffersons - Season 6
  • Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman - Vol. 1
  • The New Adventures of He-Man - Vol. 2
  • One Foot in the Grave - Seasons 1 and 2
  • The Shield - Season 5
  • Sonic The Hedgehog - Complete Series
  • Touched by an Angel - Season 4, Vol. 2
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? - UK Version - Seasons 1 and 2

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Darlene Conley dead at 72

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 16th 2007 2:41PM

Darlene ConleyBold and the Beautiful star Darlene Conley died of stomach cancer on Sunday in Los Angeles.

She has starred on the show as Sally Spectra for 20 years, and was diagnosed with cancer only three months ago. Producers and writers were actually developing a storyline for her to deal with the diagnosis.

Besides The Bold and the Beautiful and three other soaps (Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless, and General Hospital), Conley guest-starred on several other TV shows, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Murder, She Wrote, Highway To Heaven, The Jeffersons, Little House on the Prairie, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Gunsmoke, Cagney and Lacey, and Ironside. She also did the voice of Mrs. Claus in Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July.

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Mike Evans dead at 57

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 22nd 2006 12:27PM

The JeffersonsYou'll remember Evans from his role as Lionel Jefferson on All In The Family and the spinoff show The Jeffersons. He died of throat cancer last week in California.

Besides his role as Lionel, Evans also appeared in The Streets of San Francisco, Rich Man, Poor Man, Love, American Style, Match Game, and Walker, Texas Ranger. He was also one of the creators and writers of the sitcom Good Times.

I had forgotten this, but he was actually replaced as Lionel Jefferson on The Jeffersons for four years, in the late 70s. He was replaced by Damon Evans, then returned to the show for the last couple of years.

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Do you know your sitcom homes?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 14th 2006 1:29PM

Silver SpoonsI took this quiz over at Mental Floss and scored 100%. You have to match the sitcom with the house/setting they show in the opening credits.

By the way, I'm not bragging about that score, the test is just incredibly easy, especially since two of the pictures are very, very easy to identify, which means you can guess the others by process of elimination, if you don't know one or two of them. I mean, one of the shows is The Love Boat, so you know there's going to be a boat involved, right?

This might prove to be very satisfying, that you know you TV homes as much as you do your own. On the other hand, it might be kind of scary that somewhere in your mind you have actually memorized what sitcom family homes look like (and from shows that you probably haven't seen in a long time).

Also, just so you know, scroll down very slowly and stop when you get to the sitcom names. If you go any further you'll see the answers, and you don't want that to happen.

[via Pop Candy]

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Blast from the Past: The Jeffersons

by Kim Voynar, posted Feb 11th 2006 10:08AM

As we reported yesterday, Franklin Cover, best known as dorky white guy Tom Willis on The Jeffersons in the 1970s, passed away. His death made me ruminate on The Jeffersons, which was a mainstay of my childhood. Good old George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley, the little man with big ideas, who grew to see race issues in a different light through his relationship with interracial couple Tom and Helen Willis. Helen was played by Roxie Roker, mother of rocker Lenny Kravitz, and the character of Tom was supposedly based on her real-life white husband (an interesting tale related to me by Roker's nephew several years ago).

George and wife Lousie (Weezie), played by the late Isabel Sanford, were always struggling with issues of equality in their household, not to mention issues caused by sweet-faced-but-evil Mother Jefferson (Zara Cully) but Weezie didn't take any guff from her man, and neither did their maid, Florence (the best character in the show, played with deadpan perfection by Marla Gibbs). What made The Jeffersons great was the way it dealt with issues of race, class, and equality with sharp-witted humor; George was never really quite as bad a guy, at heart, as much as he might have seemed to be at times. Through his friendship with Tom Willis and bumbling Brit neighbor Bentley (Paul Benedict), and eventually through son Lionel's marriage to mixed race Jenny, daughter of Helen and Tom, George learned to face his own prejudices, even as he dealt with the realities of racism himself, which didn't go away when he moved on up to that deeeeeluxe apartment in the sky.

But here's one thing that I find disturbing: how is it possible that in all these years, I've never realized there were TWO actors playing Lionel? Mike Evans played Lionel in 1975; his job duties as creator of Good Times forced him to leave the show, and he was replaced by Damon Evans, who played the part from 1975-1978. Mike Evans took the role back again from 1979-81. Am I the only person on the planet who didn't know there were two Lionels? I knew there were two Beckys on Roseanne, and two Masons on Santa Barbara (sorry, but Terry Lester just never did it for me as Mason Capwell #2), but two Lionels? Wow.

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Franklin Cover dead at 77

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 10th 2006 8:24AM
franklin cover deadFranklin Cover, perhaps best known as Tom Willis, George and Louise Jefferson's white neighbor on The Jeffersons, has died. Cover was being treated for a heart condition at the Lillian Booth Actor's Fund of America home in California. Besides a regular gig on The Jeffersons, Cover also appeared in The Jackie Gleason Show, All in the Family, Who's the Boss?, Will & Grace, Living Single, Mad About You,  and ER. What an awesome resume. He leaves behind a wife, Mary, a son and a daughter.

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