April 21, 2019

Get ready for Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunker and Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson.

With Marisa Tomei as Edith Bunker and Wanda Sykes Louise Jefferson.
ABC is staging one-night-only revivals of two iconic Norman Lear sitcoms, All in the Family and The Jeffersons, Jimmy Kimmel announced during his show on Thursday. Airing Wednesday, May 22 at 8/7c, [it will be a] 90-minute live event...

“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,” Lear said in a statement. “I cannot wait to see what these glorious performers make in our time of these indelible characters....”
I like all those actors (especially Wanda Sykes, who's been excellent on "Curb Your Enthusiasm").

I wonder how well they'll do "the timelessness of human nature" in the Trump Era. Obviously, Archie will have to be a big Trumpster, but the question is whether they can balance the characters and spread the love and mockery across the political spectrum they represent.

69 comments:

David Begley said...

Balance? Forget about it.

Mattman26 said...

one-night-only revivals

Thank the lord for small favors.

MayBee said...

I like Wanda Sykes but I can't picture her married to Jamie Foxx.

tcrosse said...

Let us open the floor for nominations: who will play Meathead?

Gahrie said...

This will end badly.

gspencer said...

"but the question is whether they can balance the characters and spread the love and mockery across the political spectrum they represent"

Such an easy question to answer.

We all KNOW what the Left will do. Hint: Norman Lear is involved.

Bob_R said...

Harrelson was excellent in The Highwaymen. I'll definitely give his Archie a try. I have not seen much of his film work. His choice of material has not interested me. May have to reconsider.

Darrell said...

They're going to do "Orange Man Bad." Hollywood is obsessed with this. The Star Wars idiot even said that bringing back Emperor Palpatine is intended to make an OMB statement. It's hard to watch a TV show--even foreign ones--without hearing Trump smears.

Darrell said...

It'll be cancelled when the "woke" foil of Bunker becomes a national laughingstock. And Blacks see the record employment statistics and realize the the Left is lying to them again.

tcrosse said...

BTW Norman Lear looks like a dick in that ridiculous Pinky Lee hat he always wears. There, I've said it.

Lurker21 said...

“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.”

Yeah, Norman, you're right up there with Shakespeare and Sophocles.

sinz52 said...

"All in the Family" ended in 1979--40 years ago.

That means that the 18-45 year old demographic (which is what sponsors care about) has no memory of the show. And for them, the whole Vietnam War has probably been reduced to a few pages in a history textbook.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Get ready for more "You're all a bunch of racists" lectures.

sinz52 said...

Darrell sez: "It's hard to watch a TV show--even foreign ones--without hearing Trump smears."

Even Shakespeare wasn't creative enough to write something that would portray Trump in a positive light.

What are some positive things you can write about Trump that don't reflect negatively on you?

Bay Area Guy said...

Grew up with both shows, and loved them both.

Let's see if they work again!

MadisonMan said...

I agree about Wanda Sykes. I could totally see her owning the Louise Jefferson role. Maybe Marla Gibbs should play Mother Jefferson. But now I wonder if Mother Jefferson was ever on All in the Family.

Darrell said...

What are some positive things you can write about Trump that don't reflect negatively on you?

He insured that Hillary Clinton will never be President of the United States. And started dismantling Lefty poison pills and booby traps immediately, boosting US fortunes to record highs that hadn't been seen in decades.

You can find all the specifics on the internet. You just won't acknowledge them because you are an asshole and anti-American.

bagoh20 said...

I used to like Wanda Sykes, but she has proven herself to be a racist, and she would probably admit it.

William said...

The concept inspires curiousity more than eagerness. It might be interesting to tune in to see how long one can last before changing the channel. I once watched Rachel Maddow for seven straight minutes.

Wilbur said...

Mr. Lear, you think your shows are timeless?

They're a half hour.

PaulJ said...

If they write their version of a deplorable, of course it won't be any good. Will the Trump economy have helped or hurt Archie? And if it helped will we ever know? How's Michael doing w campus censorship that would have been a hill he'd have died on as a younger man? I'll watch the first episode and it will determine my level of attention after that, but c'mon it's N Lear what do you expect?

Roughcoat said...

Will Marisa Tomei show her tits? I love her tits. If she shows her tits, everything else will be tolerated.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Chris Rock would make a much better George Jefferson.

Bill Peschel said...

This is a one-night-only event. It says so in the first line of the quote.

Please adjust your perspective.

They don't say, but I wonder if they're going to pull out an old script. The story didn't say so, and there's no writing credit.

I hope they do the "Sammy Davis Jr. visits Archie" episode. They can have the governor of Virginia appear in blackface.

Michael The Magnificent said...

And Lewis Black would make a better Archie.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

They’ll fuck it up. Guaranteed. “Orange man bad” will be the theme. Sad.

Gahrie said...

Never forget that Archie was supposed to be the villain and Meatball was supposed to be the hero in All in the Family and Lear was surprised and angry about the way the show turned out. This is his chance to set the record straight.

Birkel said...

Remember how Trump got the country to 3.1% GDP growth? And how that was 1% more than Obama averaged?
And that one percent is 200,000,000,000 US dollars.

That's an extra $600 each for every man, woman, and child.

Yeah, what has he accomplished, really?

gspencer said...

Lear's shows, "They're a half hour."

Not even that.

"Most American sitcoms generally include episodes of 20 to 30 minutes in length, where the story is written to run a total of 22 minutes in length, leaving eight minutes for commercials."

Greedy Rush Limbaugh is the same. His so-called "content" is decidedly "Money for Rush."

BUMBLE BEE said...

These folks got nothing going. Woodstock 3, marches, themes, memes and conspiracies are all retreads. Nothing creative, nothing new, same "activist" actors pretending to be something they fantasize the deplorables to be. Try this one out Edith... If democrats stop shooting people, gun crime falls %90. Geeze meathead the illegal prison population is %20 of all incarcerations. Baby killers will no longer be U.S. soldiers, but Pro-Choicers.

Michael K said...

Greedy Rush Limbaugh is the same. His so-called "content" is decidedly "Money for Rush."

There is always NPR for you non-capitalists,

BUMBLE BEE said...

In my younger days TV was said to be aimed at the 12 year old mentality. It has slipped considerably since then. Remember, it was hailed as a great "education" tool by all the teachers?

Michael K said...

And for them, the whole Vietnam War has probably been reduced to a few pages in a history textbook.

What history book ? Zinn's?

Gahrie said...

Better cast:

Archie: Dan Ackroyd
Edith: Jane Curtain
Meathead: Paul Rudd
Gloria: Kristin Wiig

George Jefferson: Katt Williams (or Chris Tucker)
Louise: Queen Latifa
Florence: Wanda Sykes
Lionel: Tyrel Jackson Williams

Gahrie said...

Remember, it was hailed as a great "education" tool by all the teachers?

Hey! I still use SchoolHouse Rock in my classroom.

loudogblog said...

The thing I remember about All In the Family is that the characters were not good people or bad people. They were all human beings with good things and bad things about their personalities. They all came off as sympathetic characters.

John henry said...

Some positive things about President Trump:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/trumps-list-289-accomplishments-in-just-20-months-relentless-promise-keeping


4.2 percent growth in the second quarter of 2018.

For the first time in more than a decade, growth is projected to exceed 3 percent over the calendar year.

4 million new jobs have been created since the election, and more than 3.5 million since Trump took office.

More Americans are employed now than ever before in our history.

Jobless claims at lowest level in nearly five decades.
The economy has achieved the longest positive job-growth streak on record.

Job openings are at an all-time high and outnumber job seekers for the first time on record.

Unemployment claims at 50 year low African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American unemployment rates have all recently reached record lows.

Female unemployment dropped to 3.6 percent in May 2018, the lowest since October 1953.

Youth unemployment recently reached its lowest level in more than 50 years.

Median household income rose to $61,372 in 2017, a post-recession high.

Wages up in August by their fastest rate since June 2009.

Paychecks rose by 3.3 percent between 2016 and 2017, the most in a decade.

Council of Economic Advisers found that real wage compensation has grown by 1.4 percent over the past year.

Some 3.9 million Americans off food stamps since the election.

Achieved massive deregulation at a rapid pace, completing 22 deregulatory actions to every one regulatory action during his first year in office.

Signed legislation to roll back costly and harmful provisions of Dodd-Frank, providing relief to credit unions, and community and regional banks.

Federal agencies achieved more than $8 billion in lifetime net regulatory cost savings.

Used the Congressional Review Act to repeal regulations more times than in history.

Biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history by signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs act into law

Provided more than $5.5 trillion in gross tax cuts, nearly 60 percent of which will go to families.

Increased the exemption for the death tax to help save Family Farms & Small Business.


And much, much more

John Henry

John henry said...

Blogger Roughcoat said...

Will Marisa Tomei show her tits? I love her tits. If she shows her tits, everything else will be tolerated.

Me too, especially with the fake piercings.

John Henry

John henry said...

Federal tax revenues:

FY 2020 - $3.64 trillion, budgeted.
FY 2019 - $3.44 trillion, estimated.
FY 2018 - $3.33 trillion.
FY 2017 - $3.32 trillion.
FY 2016 - $3.27 trillion.
FY 2015 - $3.25 trillion.
FY 2014 - $3.02 trillion.
FY 2013 - $2.77 trillion.
FY 2012 - $2.45 trillion.

https://www.thebalance.com/current-u-s-federal-government-tax-revenue-3305762

John Henry

cassandra lite said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

In the movies, they have done remakes of not-so-good movies that came out great and now are the remembered versions.
Remakes of the great movies have never come close to the originals.
Viz. "True Grit," "3:10 to Yuma," etc.

Gk1 said...

This show will be a flop because the hollywood/networks can't allow itself to show a Trump loving character in any way but a hateful bigot. They are incapable of creating complex characters when it comes to showing someone who is not a bleeding heart liberal. Norman Lear for all his faults could allow the basic humanity of an Archie Bunker to show through from time to time and make the unspoken point that Archie's beliefs were bad not Archie.

Leora said...

I'd had the thought that the way to revive All in the Family is to have Rob Reiner as the reflexive anti=Trumper dealing with his Maga hat wearing son-in-law.

Yancey Ward said...

+1 Leora at 12:16.

Narayanan said...

Over/under ... Russian meddling will be brought up ?

JAORE said...

but the question is whether they can balance the characters and spread the love and mockery across the political spectrum they represent.

The real question is whether the flying unicorns are alive or CGI.

Josephbleau said...

The new economy must be destroyed, the Democrats can’t allow people to be successful due to their own efforts. That is The lesson of the post Clinton era.

Narayanan said...

I'd had the thought that the way to revive All in the Family is to have Rob Reiner as the reflexive anti=Trumper dealing with his Maga hat wearing son-in-law.

Wasn't Roseanne an earlier stab at this?

Clyde said...

Answer to your final question: Not. A. Chance.

Rory said...

CBS disclaimer before the original pilot of All in the Family: "The program you are about to see is All in the Family. It seeks to throw a humorous spotlight on our frailties, prejudices, and concerns. By making them a source of laughter, we hope to show— in a mature fashion— just how absurd they are."

ABC disclaimer before this version: "Let's see if the rubes fall for this again."

Wilbur said...

"This show will be a flop because the hollywood/networks can't allow itself to show a Trump loving character in any way but a hateful bigot."

But if it's not exactly like that, a third of the country and all of the critics will hate it.

Rory said...

"But now I wonder if Mother Jefferson was ever on All in the Family."

Twice: when Lionel got engaged and then the episode where the Jeffersons move away.

Alex said...

I only have one question for Woody - "If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?"

rcocean said...

Why is it that only mediocre Comedians and Producers live long lives? Carl Reiner? Still alive. Norman Lear? Still Alive. Meanwhile, Harvey Korman, John Belushi, John Candy, Chris Farley, and John Hughes are dead. The only exception in Mel Brooks. Still alive thank God. But retired.

BJM said...

Michael The Magnificent said...
Chris Rock would make a much better George Jefferson.

I totes agree. Jamie Foxx is a terrific actor but he's too buttoned up for George Jefferson. Chris Rock would be perfect, he does loud, sly and funny better than his peers.

The visuals of Marisa Tomei as Edith may signal a sea change in the character. Part of Edith's appeal was that she was so meek, plain and ordinary that her opinions reflected cultural changes in a very understated way; which is what gave them weight, and Middle America got it.

I don't see how the new show can do this during the entertainment industry's Time of the Great Hatred for Middle America, and the actors will have to virtue signal to retain their place at the cool kids table. However that may be the point of it, to rub Flyover country's nose in their righteousness.

I predict a flop for All in the Family Redux, older viewers won't warm to a PC version and it has little context for a younger audience. The NYT will love it.


However The Jefferson's characters have universal appeal and unless the writers go full TDS/resistance, the original concept has the potential to engage a wide audience.

rcocean said...

Lorraine Newman still alive. Gilda Radner dead. Bill Crosby still alive. Richard Pryor Dead. Sam Kinason Dead. Al Franken still alive. No justice.

rcocean said...

Wanda Sykes for "Aunt Esther". Woody Harrelson as "Archie" LOL. Archie was a Irish Catholic blue collar New Yorker. Lear and Carroll O'Connor made a protestant to keep the Catholic Church off their back. Harrellson is a Southern Boy - complete miscasting.

Alex said...

Ricky Gervais is probably the #1 comedic talent in the world now. However... the moment he openly sides with 'Extinction Rebellion' I'll cross him off the list.

rcocean said...

Rob Reiner's character is really Jewish, but he's portrayed as a "Atheist" and "Polish" in the Series. Partly its the producers wanted to use all their Anti-Polish jokes but mostly they didn't want to deal with all the noise/controversy that would surround a Jewish "Mike".

Plus, lots of liberal Catholics loved that Mike was supposed a Catholic and Archie was supposedly a bigoted Protestant.

Wilbur said...

I believe Carl Reiner produced the greatest sitcom ever - The Dick Van Dyke Show, with five years of sustained excellence in writing and acting.

Alex said...

Aren't all sitcoms an ultimate time waste? Isn't television stupid? Throw away the idiot-box and go read some Herodotus.

Sam L. said...

I don't care to watch either.

walter said...

Judging by who occupies/accepted the roles, you know how tilted this is gonna be.
But who will play Bentley?

PB said...

If this gets younger people to watch some episodes of the original sitcoms, then great! Most of the TV filmed in 4:3 have been left to the purgatory of obscure channels.

Seeing Red said...

not Buying Marisa Tomei as Edith.

Jim at said...

I like Wanda Sykes ...

The one who wishes death on those who don't share her politics? That Wanda Sykes?

Hard pass.

Rory said...

I recently ordered the original UK series, "Till Death Do Us Part," that All in the Family was based on (hasn't arrived yet). One thing I'm interested in is that in the UK version, the son-in-law is a Labour voter, but also uneducated. It's an interesting change for Lear to make, to change the son-in-law to a college student who is effectively the Lear mouthpiece. It limited how negatively Archie could be portrayed, because when all was said and done Archie was taking care of Mike as if he were his own child. Note that in the spinoff, Maude, Lear takes another stab at it by making the neighbor, a stuffed shirt Republican surgeon, the foil.

Lurker21 said...

A real-life Archie probably wouldn't have been a big fan of Herbert Hoover either. Lear couldn't even give his character that. Archie had to be that much of right-wing stereotype.

Lear said he based Archie on his father. I don't really think that's true. I suspect it was just Norman's way of saying he didn't get along with his father. For one thing, there was the earlier British sitcom the show was based on. For another, Carroll O'Connor had a lot to do with making the character.

I never loved Norman's politics or his shows, but I guess it was impressive to go from door-to-door salesman to writing for television. Different times. Nowadays, you need a Harvard degree to break into comedy writing.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Plus, lots of liberal Catholics loved that Mike was supposed a Catholic and Archie was supposedly a bigoted Protestant.

4/21/19, 1:22 PM

Archie was a WASP. A blue collar WASP. Blue collar WASPs were not terribly common in Queens in the '70's, but Archie was Lear's buffoonish villain. Being a WASP, he could say bigoted things about Poles, Catholics, Italians, and other "white ethnics" (as if white anglo saxon Protestants are not an ethnic group). Lear must have figured that northern WASPs wouldn't be offended by Archie's WASP background because few of them were blue collar types and southern WASPs wouldn't be offended by him because he was a New Yorker. Back in the early 70's, remember, it was fashionable to be a white descended from some bunch who had come though Ellis Island. Up until then, Jews, Poles, Italians, etc. had tended to adopt WASPy stage and screen names. There was this brief burst of white ethnic pride in the '70's, as epitomized by all those "Kiss Me, I'm Polish (Irish, German, Slovak, whatever) buttons. So Lear made bigoted Archie a WASP and hip, liberal Meathead a Pole.

Those days are long gone. Now all of us, whether we are WASPs whose ancestors arrived in 1720 or Poles whose grandparents walked off the boat in 1922, are just plain old crackas responsible for all bad things in the world.