With many shows' seasons already over, the networks are going to start packing in the summer specials. One of the first this year is ABC's unprecedented 90-minute live re-enactment of classic All in the Family and The Jeffersons episodes featuring two Oscar-winning actors.
The special, Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons,' will air Wednesday, May 22 at 8 p.m. ET and was spearheaded by Jimmy Kimmel. Norman Lear, who produced the original shows, also gave the project his blessing.
“They have said over and over again that these two shows were meant for the ‘70s and would not work today," Lear said in a statement last month. "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. I cannot wait to see what these glorious performers make in our time of these indelible characters, and I couldn’t be more grateful for Jimmy Kimmel, Sony and ABC for their collective willingness to conceive and pursue this never-been-done-before event."
"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. "To be a part of this is a dream come true for me and for everyone involved."
Scroll on for a look at the cast for this unique special.
Photo credit: Getty Images
Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunker
The most eye-catching casting is Woody Harrelson playing Archie Bunker, the role originally played by Carroll O'Connor.
Harrelson is a three-time Oscar nominee for his roles in The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), The Messenger (2009) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017). He also won an Emmy for his star-making role as Woody Boyd on Cheers in 1989. His next movie is Zombieland: Double Tap, which opens on Oct. 11.prevnext
Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson
Jamie Foxx will play George Jefferson, the role originated by Sherman Hemsley. An Oscar-winner for his performance as Ray Charles in Ray (2004), Foxx was last seen on the big screen in 2018's Robin Hood. His next movie is Just Mercy, a drama co-starring Brie Larson and Michael B. Jordan that opens on Jan. 17, 2020.prevnext
Marisa Tomei as Edith Bunker
Marisa Tomei will step into Jean Stapleton's shoes to play Edith Bunker.
Tomei won an Oscar for her supporting role in My Cousin Vinny (1992) and plays Aunt May in the recent string of Spider-Man movies for Marvel and Sony. She also earned Oscar nominations for her supporting roles in In The Bedroom (2001) and The Wrestler (2008). She will be seen in Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 2.prevnext
Ellie Kemper as Gloris Stivic
Ellie Kemper is playing Gloris Bunker-Stivic in the special. The role was originally played by Sally Struthers. Kemper is best known for playing the title character in Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Kemper also starred as Erin on The Office. Her other credits include Bridesmaids, 21 Jump Street, The Secret Life of Pets and the upcoming The Stand-In with Drew Barrymore.prevnext
Anthony Anderson as Uncle Henry
Anthony Anderson was cast as Uncle Henry Jefferson, originally played by Mel Stewart. Anderson has two Golden Globe nominations for playing Andre Johnson on ABC's Black-ish. The role has also earned him four Emmy nominations. He also earned nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series as an executive producer on the show. Anderson also appeared in The Departed, Hustle & Flow, The Town That Dreaded Sundown and Law & Order.prevnext
Wanda Sykes as Louise Jefferson
Isabel Sanford originally played George Jefferson's wife Louise. This time, she will be played by comedian Wanda Sykes. Sykes won an Emmy in 1999 as a writer on The Chris Rock Show and was most recently nominated for her guest role on ABC's Black-ish. Sykes also played Dr. Karl in Bad Moms (2016) and A Bad Moms Christmas (2017).prevnext
Will Ferrell as Tom Willis
Will Ferrell will star as Tom Willis, originally played by Franklin Cover.
Ferrell is a two-time Golden Globe nominee and easily one of the biggest stars taking part in the special. He recently starred in Holmes & Watson, Daddy's Home Two, The House and Zoolander 2. Ferrell has six Emmy nominations.prevnext
Kerry Washington as Helen Willis0comments
Jamie Foxx's Ray and Django Unchained co-star Kerry Washington is also taking part in the special. She will play Helen Willis, a role originated by Roxie Roker. Washington is best known for her Emmy-nominated turn as Olivia Pope on ABC's Scandal. She also earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Confirmation, in which she played Anita Hill.
The ABC special will also feature Ike Barinholtz as Mike 'Meathead' Stivic; Amber Stevens West as Jenny Willis Jefferson Justina Machado as Florance; Stephen Tobolowsky as Mr. Bently; Sean Hayes as Mr. Lorenzo; and Jackee Harry as Diane Stockwell. Jimmy Kimmel will host the special.prev