The Jeffersons is set to be honored in front of a live studio audience.
ABC and Jimmy Kimmel are working with producer Norman Lear to create Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons. The live event will be a 90-minute recreation of original episodes from the two series. Jamie Foxx has been cast as George Jefferson and Woody Harrelson will play Archie Bunker.
The cast also includes Marisa Tomei, who will play Archie’s wife Edith and Wanda Sykes who will play George’s wife, Louise. Will Farrell will play George and Louise’s friend and neighbor Tom Willis and One Day at a Time’s Justina Machado will play Florence, George and Louise’s housekeeper. Ellie Kemper will take on the role of Gloria, Edith and Archie’s daughter.
“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,” said Kimmel. “To be a part of this is a dream come true for me and for everyone involved.”
“They have said over and over again that these two shows were meant for the ’70s and would not work today,” said Lear. “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.”
The event will take place on May 22 at 8 p.m. ET. Farrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions will produce along with Justin Theroux. Will and Grace director James Burrows will direct the event.
The Jeffersons began as a spinoff of All in the Family in 1975 and lasted for 10 years, ending in 1985. It starred Sherman Hemsley as George Jefferson, the owner of a dry-cleaning franchise that propelled him, his wife Louise (Isabel Sanford) and son Lionel (Mike Evans) to the “deluxe apartment in the sky” in uptown Manhattan. The series also starred Franklin Cover as Tom and Roxie Roker as his wife Helen, Belinda Tolbert as Tom and Helen’s daughter Jenny, Paul Benedict as British neighbor Harry Bentley, Marla Gibbs as Florence and Zara Cully as Mother Jefferson.