ABC's live remake of iconic episodes of All in the Family and The Jeffersons left fans with a lot to say on social media.
Executive producer by Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel, the network aired the special Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons, featuring an all-star cast recreating one episode of each series.
The show starred many big names including Maria Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Wanda Sykes, Ellie Kemper, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Justin Machado, Ike Barinholtz, Sean Hayes, Amber Stevens West, Jovan Adepo, Anthony Anderson, Stephen Tobolowsky and Jackie Harry.
Fans of the classic sitcoms took to Twitter to share their joy and shock at seeing the iconic episodes revived in the unique television special.
OK Marisa Tomei is already killing it. #LiveInFrontOfAStudioAudience— Rebecca Shuri She Ready Carroll (@rebel19) May 23, 2019
Loving Woody......I hope Jimmy Kimmel does more of these. He knows how to get the top actors to sign on. Lovin this.— TalentlessMedia (@TalentlessCook) May 23, 2019
Many new fans noticed the language used during the special, reflecting on how many of the jokes on the shows from the 1970s would never be accepted on broadcast television in 2019.
So they didn’t change any lines in a script from 1973. Get ready for some Nixon references. #LiveInFrontOfAStudioAudience— Steve Voorhees (@StandardDef1) May 23, 2019
Yeah can YOU IMAGINE "All In The Family" surviving a SINGLE episode in this millennium? #LiveInFrontOfAStudioAudience— MyKiss 103.1 FM (@mykiss1031) May 23, 2019
Wow this is hard to watch in places ... but because it's so real. #LiveInFrontOfAStudioAudience— Sue Kerr (@PghLesbian24) May 23, 2019
This was funny back in the day? 🤷🏻♀️ #LiveInFrontOfAStudioAudience— Jenny Shoemacher 🌊 (@cubsgirl23) May 23, 2019
The Jeffersons ran from 1975 to 1985 and is actually a spinoff of All in the Family, which aired from 1971 to 1979, Variety writes.
Ahead of the special, the network revealed the living rooms from both shows were recreated side-to-side on a sound stage at the Sony Pictures lot, making the live aspect of the special work seamlessly.
During a rehearsal, Kimmel warned the live studio audience that some of the jokes, and the bigoted character of Archie Bunker might be shocking to viewers, but despite the scripts being from the 70s, many of the themes still resonate today.
How Archie is viewed in today's climate should be interesting. #LiveInFrontOfAStudioAudience— LL Chalfant 🐱 (@LLCGLC) May 23, 2019
See this is what I want. I want to be 96 like Norman Lear watching my artistic work being honored in such a way. #LiveInFrontOfAStudioAudience— That Noble Blackstress (@Kamaria7) May 23, 2019
Woody as Archie isn’t doing it for me. Also- To quote Toby Keith; The more things change the more they never seem the same. #LiveInFrontOfAStudioAudience— DC Chucklehead (@DMVChucklehead) May 23, 2019
Lear revealed in a pre-taped segment ahead of the live performance that in the 1970s "people weren't used to TV shows dealing with issues," and despite humor being a way to approach difficult subjects "the language can still be jarring today."
One hilarious moment from the special event happened soon after Foxx arrived in the role of George Jefferson. While many fans loved his energy, many noticed when he broke character after forgetting one of his lines during the live program..
This #LiveInFrontOfAStudioAudience is absolutely genius! Casting is inspired! Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson is perfect!— Ryan Hall (@ryanhallwrites) May 23, 2019
Kimmel previously said that should the special be successful, the Live in Front of a Studio Audience concept could become an occasional event at ABC.