Classic ‘70s sitcom “The Jeffersons” will be making a much-lauded return to TV next month for a one-night-only live special featuring new cast members portraying the same beloved characters.
For 11 seasons, “The Jeffersons” was an undisputed favorite on American television, and now, fans and TV lovers can get to relive the experience of watching the Norman Lear-produced series.
According to “The Hollywood Reporter,” famed TV host Jimmy Kimmel and Lear are teaming up with the ABC network to host and executive produce the star-studded special.
'They have said over and over again that these two shows were meant for the '70s and would not work today.'
“The Jeffersons,” a spin-off of another Norman Lear production, “All In The Family,” follows the lives of George and Weezie, a black couple who moved from Queens to the East Side of Manhattan after George’s dry-cleaning business takes off.
Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes have been tapped to play the sitcom’s main characters, George Jefferson and his wife, Louise “Weezie” Jefferson. The roles were initially portrayed and made famous by the late stars, Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford.
Other actors confirmed for the one-night-only reboot include Justina Machado, who will play George and Louise's housekeeper, Florence Johnston and Will Ferrell appearing as the couple’s friend, Tom Willis.
The big night will also include a live special of “All In the Family” and has been aptly named: “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons.”
“The fact that a group of Oscar winners eagerly agreed to play these iconic characters is a testament to the greatness of these shows and their creator, Norman Lear,” Kimmel said of the production. “To be a part of this is a dream come true for me and for everyone involved.”
Lear, the original creator of “All In The Family” and “The Jeffersons,” highlighted the relevance of both several decades later:
“They have said over and over again that these two shows were meant for the '70s and would not work today. We disagree with them and are here to prove, with two great casts depicting All in the Family and The Jeffersons, the timelessness of human nature.”
“I cannot wait to see what these glorious performers make in our time of these indelible characters,” the 96-year-old icon added. “And I couldn’t be more grateful for Jimmy Kimmel, Sony, and ABC for their collective willingness to conceive and pursue this never-been-done-before event.”
“Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons” is scheduled to begin at 8 pm Eastern Time on May 22.