Friday, January 18, 2013

January 18: "The Jeffersons"

On this date in History .... 1975:

The first episode of “The Jeffersons” airs on CBS and would run for 11 years, becoming the longest running All-in-the-Family spin-off.
The series was the first show to depict a successful black family. It showed the viewing public not only the white side of bigotry but also the black side of bigoty.  “George Jefferson was .....the opposite side of Archie Bunker, a bigot on the opposite side of racial intolerance.”
In the Norman Lear method of addressing taboo topics, George even uses two “politically incorrect” terms (spoiler alert: they are used in this clip  - Click Here - ).
Several CBS executives tried to get the interracial kiss between (neighbors) Tom and Helen Willis (the first black/white “married” couple on TV) edited out, but executive producer Fred Silverman successfully lobbied to keep it in.
(The title of “1st interracial couple” is given to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz; the 1st scripted interracial kiss was in 1966 between Capt. Kirk and Lt. Uhura.)
In 1981, Isabel Sanford (Louise) became the only African-American to ever win the Emmy award for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

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