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There was a definite television revolution taking place in the 1970's as everyone saw in the type of television programming that could now be seen. One area of programming that was definitely revolutionary was the new trend of featuring African American characters as the main characters of the shows. Before this time period there really weren't any programs that offered a positive image of a successful African American family, one who struggled past the racism and the poverty to beat the odds and find success. Well, all of that changed in 1975 thanks to 'The Jeffersons.'

'The Jeffersons' was a spin off of the popular show 'All in the Family,' yet, unlike many spin offs, this one found terrific success with audiences of all races. The show centered around the Jefferson family, an upper middle-class African American family who fought their way from the Harlem, New York ghetto to find success as dry cleaning business owners. The main characters of George and Louise Jefferson, played by Sherman Helmsley and Isabelle Sanford, are a perfect give and take of what marriage tends to be.

Although filled with comedy, mostly thanks to George's schemes to increase the family's wealth and the hysterical observances of the Jefferson's maid, Florence, played by Martha Gibbs. A large part of the shows comedic success evolves from the fact that, although having faced many racist generalizations, George has quite a few of his own to deal with, which becomes obvious in the way he interacts with his interracially married upstairs neighbors, the Willis, who also happen to be the parents of George and Louise's son, Lionel's fiancée, Jenny. Thanks to the calming and sensible influence of Louise, George is able to see his way to a more open mind in his dealings with people.

A large part of what helped make the show so great was the underlying lesson of never giving up and never giving in on your dreams.

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TV Land
11 Seasons, 254 Episodes - Ended
Comedy
6.8/10
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The Jeffersons Full Episode Guide

  • George becomes the nest mother for the Red Robins, which Jessica is in. He does this so he can qualify to be Dry Cleaner of the Year.

  • George uses a talent show started by Louise and Helen to get business for his store. The winner will get time on TV to promote their favorite charity.

  • Florence puts an ad in a column of a singles magazine, trying to find a man. The ad is responded to, but by none other than Harry Bentley.

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