"All in the Family" and its spinoff series "The Jeffersons" were two of the boldest and most beloved sitcoms of the 1970s and early '80s. In fact, both shows were so groundbreaking that many pop culture spectators and industry insiders have long claimed they'd never even make it on network TV these days.
But Norman Lear, the writer and producer behind both hits, is ready to prove the naysayers wrong with a one-night-only live special featuring new stars in the same old roles.
Archie and Edith
Standing in for Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton, the late leads on "All in the Family," will be Woody Harrelson, 57, as Archie Bunker and Marisa Tomei, 54, as his always loving (and long-suffering) wife, Edith.
In the original series, which put the spotlight on racism, sexism, socioeconomic inequalities and a number of other societal concerns, the Bunkers were a blue-collar family who lived alongside their entrepreneurial neighbors, George and Louise "Weezy" Jefferson — a couple of characters that proved so popular, they got their own show.
George and Weezy
In upcoming prime-time special, which is set to air on ABC in May, the duo who famously "moved on up" to the East Side will be back beside their old neighbors again.
The role of George, made famous by star Sherman Hemsley, will played by Jamie Foxx, 51, while Weezy, first portrayed by Isabel Sanford, will be brought to life by 55-year-old actress and comedian Wanda Sykes.
Other stars set to be seen in the production are Ellie Kemper, Will Ferrell and Justina Machado. And according to the network, more cast members will be announced soon.
Late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel will join forces with 96-year-old Lear to host the broadcast.
“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 in a press release about the TV event.
As for Lear, he can't wait for those people who never thought these programs could return to see what's in store.
"(We) are here to prove — with two great casts depicting ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’ — the timelessness of human nature," he said in a statement of his own.