The star-studded television event, hosted by Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel, dominated the ratings Wednesday night with an average 1.8 demo rating and 10.4 million total viewers.
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons marked ABC's third-highest comedy broadcast of the season, behind only the first two episodes of Roseanne spinoff series, The Conners, TVLine first reported.
The strong lead-in from the live event, and a Norman Lear-centered edition of Nightline — which saw 7.8 million total viewers and a 1.7 in the rating — helped canceled freshman series Whiskey Cavalier to hit an 11-week high in the demo for its ABC finale.
The series, which is now rumored to be close to being saved at ABC after fan outcry, scored 3.6 million viewers and a 0.7 in the 18-49 demographic.
The live sitcoms starred many Hollywood stars in eluding Marissa Tomei, Woody Harrelson. Jamie Foxx, Wanda Sykes, Ellie Kemper, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Ike Barinholtz, Sean Hayes, Jovan Adepo, Anthony Anderson, Stephen Tobolowsky and Jackée Harry.
Harrelson and Foxx were reportedly the first actors to be asked to participate in the live event, and they agreed instantly to the opportunity to honor Lear's work on live television.
The special event also included a surprise appearance Jeffersons original cast member Marla Gibbs, reprising her beloved role of Florence Johnston.
Foxx made headlines during the broadcast after he forgot one of his lines and completely broke character during the All in the Family portion of the special."
"It's live," Foxx said. "Everyone sitting at home just thinks their TV messed up." He then turned around, fought back another laugh, finished the joke and accepted praise from the cheering audience.
The moment led Harrelson, who played Archie Bunker, as well as other members of the cast to laugh in the moment, before getting back to the scene.0comments
Another highlight from the episode came when Oscar and Grammy-nominated singer Jennifer Hudson appeared ahead of The Jeffersons episode to sing a stunning rendition of the comedy's theme song. The performance received endless praise on social media.
Live in Front of a Studio Audience is available to stream on Hulu. The 90-minute special, and the Nightline special on the legendary television producer will air once again Saturday, May 25 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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