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1975: The Jeffersons Move On Up to Their Own Sitcom
January 18, 2020  | By David Bianculli
 
The theme song of The Jeffersons, which premiered today in 1975 on CBS, was "Movin' on Up," and it was the theme of the plots as well. Sherman Hemsley's George Jefferson, having made a tiny profit in the dry-cleaning business, transplants his family from street-level Queens to high-rise Manhattan.

What made this series possible, though, is the neighborhood he left behind. Originally, the Jeffersons were neighbors of the Bunkers, and this series, like Maude and Good Times, was a successful spinoff of All in the Family. On that series, George was a funny acerbic foil to Carol O'Connor's Archie — a bigot of a different color, just as wrongheaded and spirited in his opinions as his blue-collar, white-skinned adversary.

By moving to center stage, and to Manhattan, Hemsley's George Jefferson (and Isabel Sanford's Louise, George's wife, affectionately known as Weezie) notched another small victory when it came to showcasing minorities on TV.

—Excerpted from Dictionary of Teleliteracy: Television's 500 Biggest Hits, Misses and Events

 
 
 
 
 
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