Today in TV history: The Jeffersons move on up

Louise and George JeffersonIt was 38 years ago today, on Jan. 18, 1975, that the Jeffersons moved on up to their own series after being supporting players on All in the Family. The former neighbors to the Bunkers were able to move from Queens to “a dee-luxe apartment in the sky” due to George Jefferson’s success as the owner of a chain of dry-cleaning stores.

In addition to George and Louise Jefferson, the cast included their son Lionel, his fiancee Jenny, and Jenny’s parents, a biracial couple. Jenny’s mother was played by Roxie Roker, who in real life was Lenny Kravitz’s mother.

As with All in the Family and other Norman Lear shows, the show was considered edgy—in this case because it was so racially charged. The n-word and the word “honky” were frequently thrown around—something that would never happen in a prime-time sitcom today.

The Jeffersons opening, “Movin’ On Up” (1975)


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