All in the Family

Last updated
All in the Family
All in the family tv series.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Based on Till Death Us Do Part created by Johnny Speight
Developed by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin
Starring
Theme music composer Lee Adams (lyrics),
Charles Strouse (music), Roger Kellaway (ending theme)
Opening theme"Those Were the Days"
Performed by Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton
Ending theme"Remembering You"
by Roger Kellaway, (music) and Carroll O'Connor (additional lyrics added in 1971; instrumental version)
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes205 (list of episodes)
Production
Production location(s) CBS Television City
Hollywood, California (1971–75)
Metromedia Square
Hollywood, California (1975–79)
Running time25–26 minutes
Production company(s) Tandem Productions
Distributor
Release
Original network CBS
Picture format Color
Original releaseJanuary 12, 1971 (1971-01-12) 
April 8, 1979 (1979-04-08)
Chronology
Followed by Archie Bunker's Place
704 Hauser
Related shows

All in the Family is an American sitcom TV-series that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network for nine seasons, from January 12, 1971 to April 8, 1979. The following September, it was continued with the spin-off series Archie Bunker's Place , which picked up where All in the Family had ended and ran for four more seasons through 1983.

A sitcom, clipping for situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comedy, where a troupe may use new characters in each sketch, and stand-up comedy, where a comedian tells jokes and stories to an audience. Sitcoms originated in radio, but today are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms. This form can also include mockumentaries.

CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.

<i>Archie Bunkers Place</i> American television series 1979-1983

Archie Bunker's Place is an American sitcom produced as a spin-off continuation of All in the Family that aired on CBS from September 23, 1979, to April 4, 1983. While not as popular as its predecessor, the show maintained a large enough audience to last for four seasons, until its cancellation in 1983. In its first season, the show performed so well that it knocked Mork & Mindy out of its new Sunday night time slot.

Contents

All in the Family was produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin. It starred Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Sally Struthers, and Rob Reiner. The show revolves around the life of a working-class father and his family. The show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for a U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, antisemitism, infidelity, homosexuality, women's liberation, rape, religion, miscarriages, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, and impotence. Through depicting these controversial issues, the series became arguably one of television's most influential comedic programs, as it injected the sitcom format with more dramatic moments and realistic, topical conflicts. [1]

Norman Lear American television writer and producer

Norman Milton Lear is an American television writer and producer who produced many 1970s sitcoms such as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Good Times, and Maude. As a political activist, he founded the advocacy organization People for the American Way in 1981 and has supported First Amendment rights and progressive causes.

Alan David "Bud" Yorkin was an American film and television producer, director, writer, and actor.

Carroll OConnor American actor

John Carroll O'Connor was an American actor, producer, and director whose television career spanned four decades. A lifelong member of the Actors Studio, in 1970 O'Connor found widespread fame as bigoted working man Archie Bunker, the main character in the CBS television sitcoms All in the Family (1971-79) and its spinoff, Archie Bunker's Place (1979-83). O'Connor later starred in the NBC/CBS television crime drama In the Heat of the Night (1988-95), where he played the role of Sparta, Mississippi police chief William (Bill) Gillespie. At the end of his career in the late 1990s, he played the father of Jamie Buchman on Mad About You.

The show was an American version of an earlier British show, the BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part , with Archie Bunker modeled after his British counterpart, Alf Garnett.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

<i>Till Death Us Do Part</i> British television sitcom

Till Death Us Do Part is a British television sitcom that aired on BBC1 from 1965 to 1975. The show was first broadcast as a Comedy Playhouse pilot, then in seven series until 1975. Six years later in 1981, ITV continued the sitcom for six episodes, calling it Till Death.... The BBC produced a sequel from 1985 until 1992, In Sickness and in Health.

Alfred Edward "Alf" Garnett is a fictional character from the British sitcom Till Death Us Do Part and its follow-on and spin-off series Till Death... and In Sickness and in Health. Alf also starred in the chat show The Thoughts of Chairman Alf. The character was created by Johnny Speight and played by Warren Mitchell.

All in the Family is often regarded in the United States as one of the greatest television series of all time. [2] Following a lackluster first season, the show soon became the most watched show in the United States during summer reruns [3] and afterwards ranked number one in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. [4] It became the first television series to reach the milestone of having topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive years. The episode "Sammy's Visit" was ranked number 13 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. [5] TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time ranked All in the Family as number four. Bravo also named the show's protagonist, Archie Bunker, TV's greatest character of all time. [6] In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked All in the Family the fourth-best written TV series ever, [7] and TV Guide ranked it as the fourth-greatest show of all time. [8]

Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems operated by Nielsen Media Research that seek to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States using a rating system.

<i>TV Guide</i><span class="nowrap" style="padding-left:0.1em;">'</span>s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time

TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time is TV Guide's list of the 50 most entertaining or influential television series in American pop culture. It appeared in the May 4–10, 2002 issue of the magazine, which was the second in a series of special issues commemorating TV Guide's 50th year. The list was also counted down in an ABC television special, TV Guide's 50 Best Shows of All Time, on May 13, 2002.

The Writers Guild of America is the joint efforts of two different US labor unions representing TV and film writers:

Premise

All in the Family is about a typical working-class Caucasian family living in Queens, New York. Its patriarch is Archie Bunker (O'Connor), an outspoken, narrow-minded man, seemingly prejudiced against everyone who is not like him or his idea of how people should be. Archie's wife Edith (Jean Stapleton) is sweet and understanding, though somewhat naïve and uneducated; her husband sometimes disparagingly calls her "dingbat". Their one child, Gloria (Sally Struthers), is generally kind and good-natured like her mother, but displays traces of her father's stubbornness and temper; unlike them, however, she is a feminist. Gloria is married to college student Michael Stivic (Reiner) referred to as "Meathead" by Archie whose values are likewise influenced and shaped by the counterculture of the 1960s. The two couples represent the real-life clash of values between the Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers. For much of the series, the Stivics live in the Bunkers' home to save money, providing abundant opportunity for them to irritate each other.

White people is a racial classification specifier, used mostly and often exclusively for people of European descent; depending on context, nationality, and point of view. The term has at times been expanded to encompass persons of Middle Eastern and North African descent, persons who are often considered non-white in other contexts. The usage of "white people" or a "white race" for a large group of mainly or exclusively European populations, defined by their light skin, among other physical characteristics, and contrasting with "black people", Amerindians, and other "colored" people or "persons of color", originated in the 17th century. It was only during the 19th century that this vague category was transformed in a quasi-scientific system of race and skin color relations. The term "Caucasian" is sometimes used as a synonym for "white" in its racial sense and sometimes to refer to a larger racial category that includes white people among other groups.

Queens Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is the largest borough geographically and is adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn at the southwestern end of Long Island. To its east is Nassau County. Queens also shares water borders with the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. Coterminous with Queens County since 1899, the borough of Queens is the second largest in population, with an estimated 2,358,582 residents in 2017, approximately 48 percent of them foreign-born. Queens County also is the second most populous county in the U.S. state of New York, behind Brooklyn, which is coterminous with Kings County. Queens is the fourth most densely populated county among New York City's boroughs, as well as in the United States. If each of New York City's boroughs were an independent city, Queens would be the nation's fourth most populous, after Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn. Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. It is the most ethnically diverse county in the United States.

New York (state) State of the United States of America

New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.

The show is set in the Astoria section of Queens, with the vast majority of scenes taking place in the Bunkers' home at 704 Hauser Street. Occasional scenes take place in other locations, especially during later seasons, such as Kelsey's Bar, a neighborhood tavern where Archie spends a good deal of time and eventually purchases, and the Stivics' home after Mike and Gloria move to the house next door. The house seen in the opening is at 89-70 Cooper Avenue near the junction of the Glendale, Forest Hills, and Rego Park sections of Queens. [9] Supporting characters represent the demographics of the neighborhood, especially the Jeffersons, a black family, who live in the house next door in the early seasons.

Astoria, Queens Neighborhood of Queens in New York City

Astoria is a middle-class and commercial neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, bounded by the East River and is adjacent to three other Queens neighborhoods: Long Island City, Sunnyside, and Woodside. As of 2016, Astoria has an estimated population of 78,793.

Glendale, Queens Neighborhoods of Queens in New York City

Glendale is a neighborhood in the west-central portion of the New York City borough of Queens. It is bounded by Forest Hills and Kew Gardens to the east, Ridgewood to the west, Woodhaven to the south, and Middle Village to the north.

Middle Village, Queens Neighborhood of Queens in New York City

Middle Village is a mainly residential neighborhood in the central section of the borough of Queens, New York City, bounded to the north by the Long Island Expressway, to the east by Woodhaven Boulevard, to the south by Cooper Avenue and the Montauk Branch railroad tracks, and to the west by Mount Olivet Cemetery. A small trapezoid-shaped area bounded by Mt. Olivet Crescent to the east, Fresh Pond Road to the west, Eliot Avenue to the north, and Metropolitan Avenue to the south, is often counted as part of Middle Village but is sometimes considered part of nearby Ridgewood.

Cast

Main characters

The Bunkers and the Stivics: standing, Gloria (Sally Struthers) and Michael (Rob Reiner); seated, Archie (Carroll O'Connor) and Edith (Jean Stapleton) with baby Joey All in the Family cast 1976.JPG
The Bunkers and the Stivics: standing, Gloria (Sally Struthers) and Michael (Rob Reiner); seated, Archie (Carroll O'Connor) and Edith (Jean Stapleton) with baby Joey

Supporting characters

When Archie visits a local blood bank to make a donation, he meets his neighbor, Lionel Jefferson, who is there to do the same thing. Archie and Lionel All in the Family 1971.JPG
When Archie visits a local blood bank to make a donation, he meets his neighbor, Lionel Jefferson, who is there to do the same thing.

Recurring characters

History and production

The show came about when Norman Lear read an article in Variety magazine on Till Death Us Do Part and its success in the United Kingdom. [17] He immediately knew it portrayed a relationship just like the one between his father and himself. [18]

Lear bought the rights to the show and incorporated his own family experiences with his father into the show. Lear's father would tell Lear's mother to "stifle herself" and she would tell Lear's father "you are the laziest white man I ever saw" (two "Archieisms" that found their way onto the show).

The original pilot was titled Justice for All [19] and was developed for ABC. Tom Bosley, Jack Warden, and Jackie Gleason were all considered for the role of Archie Bunker. In fact, CBS wanted to buy the rights to the original show and retool it specifically for Gleason, who was under contract to them, but producer Lear beat out CBS for the rights and offered the show to ABC.

In the pilot, Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton played Archie and Edith Justice.Kelly Jean Peters played Gloria and Tim McIntire played her husband, Richard. It was taped in October 1968 in New York City. After screening the first pilot, ABC gave the producers more money to shoot a second pilot, titled Those Were the Days, [20] which Lear taped in February 1969 in Hollywood. Candice Azzara played Gloria and Chip Oliver played Richard. D'Urville Martin played Lionel Jefferson in both pilots.

After stations' and viewers' complaints caused ABC to cancel Turn-On after only one episode in February 1969, the network became uneasy about airing a show with a "foul-mouthed, bigoted lead" character, and rejected the series [21] [22] at about the time Richard Dreyfuss sought the role of Michael. Rival network CBS was eager to update its image and was looking to replace much of its then popular "rural" programming ( Mayberry R.F.D. , The Beverly Hillbillies , Petticoat Junction , and Green Acres ) with more "urban", contemporary series and was interested in Lear's project. CBS bought the rights from ABC and retitled the show All in the Family. The pilot episode CBS developed had the final cast and was the series' first episode.

Lear wanted to shoot in black and white as Till Death Us Do Part had been. While CBS insisted on color, Lear had the set furnished in neutral tones, keeping everything relatively devoid of color. As costume designer Rita Riggs described in her 2001 Archive of American Television interview, Lear's idea was to create the feeling of sepia tones, in an attempt to make viewers feel as if they were looking at an old family album.

All in the Family was the first major American series to be videotaped in front of a live studio audience. In the 1960s, most sitcoms had been filmed in the single-camera format without audiences, with a laugh track simulating an audience response. Lear employed the multiple-camera format of shooting in front of an audience, but used tape, whereas previous multiple-camera shows like Mary Tyler Moore had used film. Due to the success of All in the Family, videotaping sitcoms in front of an audience became a common format for the genre during the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. The use of videotape also gave All in the Family the look and feel of early live television, including the original live broadcasts of The Honeymooners , to which All in the Family is sometimes compared.

For the show's final season, the practice of being taped before a live audience changed to playing the already taped and edited show to an audience and recording their laughter to add to the original sound track. Thus, the voice-over during the end credits was changed from Rob Reiner's "All in the Family was recorded on tape before a live audience" to Carroll O'Connor's "All in the Family was played to a studio audience for live responses". (Typically, the audience was gathered for a taping of One Day at a Time , and got to see All In the Family as a bonus.) Throughout its run, Norman Lear took pride in the fact that canned laughter was never used (mentioning this on many occasions); the laughter heard in the episodes was genuine.

Theme song

The series' opening theme song "Those Were the Days", was written by Lee Adams (lyrics) and Charles Strouse (music). It was presented in a way that was unique for a 1970s series: Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton were seated at a console or spinet piano (played by Stapleton) and sang the tune together on-camera at the start of every episode, concluding with live-audience applause. (The song dates back to the first Justice For All pilot, although on that occasion O'Connor and Stapleton performed the song off-camera and at a faster tempo than the series version.) Six different performances were recorded over the run of the series, including one version that includes additional lyrics. The song is a simple, pentatonic melody (that can be played exclusively with black keys on a piano) in which Archie and Edith wax nostalgic for the simpler days of yesteryear. A longer version of the song was released as a single on Atlantic Records, reaching number 43 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 30 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in early 1972; the additional lyrics in this longer version lend the song a greater sense of sadness, and make poignant reference to social changes taking place in the 1960s and early 1970s.

A few perceptible drifts can be observed when listening to each version chronologically. In the original version, the lyric "Those Were The Days" was sung over the tonic (root chord of the song's key), and the piano strikes a dominant 7th passing chord in transition to the next part, which is absent from subsequent versions. Jean Stapleton's screeching high note on the line "And you knew who you WEEERRE then" became louder, longer, and more comical, although only in the original version did the line draw a laugh from the audience. Carroll O'Connor's pronunciation of "welfare state" gained more of Archie's trademark whining enunciation, and the closing lyrics (especially "Gee, our old LaSalle ran great") were sung with increasingly deliberate articulation, as viewers had complained that they could not understand the words. Also in the original version, the camera angle was shot slightly from the right side of the talent as opposed to the straight on angle of the next version. Jean Stapleton performed the theme song without glasses beginning in season 6.

In addition to O'Connor and Stapleton singing, footage is also shown beginning with aerial shots of Manhattan, and continuing to Queens, progressively zooming in, culminating with a still shot of a lower middle-class semidetached home, presumably representing the Bunkers' house in Astoria. The house shown in the opening credits, however, is actually located at 89–70 Cooper Avenue in the Glendale section of Queens, New York. [23] [24] A notable difference exists, however, between the Cooper Avenue house and the All in the Family set: the Cooper Avenue house has no porch, while the Bunkers' home featured a front porch. The footage for the opening had been shot back in 1968 for the series' first pilot, thus the establishing shot of the Manhattan skyline was completely devoid of the World Trade Center towers, which had not yet been built. When the series aired two years later, the Trade Center towers, although under construction, had still not yet risen high enough to become a prominent feature on the Manhattan skyline (this did not happen until the end of 1971). Despite this change in the Manhattan skyline, the original 1968 footage continued to be used for the series opening until the series transitioned into Archie Bunker's Place in 1979. At that time, a new opening with current shots of the Manhattan skyline was used with the Trade Center towers being seen in the closing credits. This opening format – showing actual footage of the cities and neighborhoods in which the show was set – became the standard for most of Norman Lear's sitcoms, including Maude, Good Times, and The Jeffersons.

At the end of the opening, the camera then returns to a few final seconds of O'Connor and Stapleton, as they finish the song. At the end of the original version, Edith smiles at Archie and Archie smiles off at a slight distance. In the longest running version (from season 2 to season 5), Edith smiles blissfully at Archie, and Archie puts a cigar in his mouth and returns a rather cynical, sheepish look to Edith. From season 6 through the season 8, Edith smiles and rests her chin on Archie's shoulder. In the final season, Edith hugs Archie at the conclusion. Additionally, in the first three versions of the opening, Archie is seen wearing his classic trademark white shirt. In the last version of the opening for the series' ninth season, Archie is seen wearing a grey sweater-jacket over his white shirt. In all versions of the opening, the song's conclusion is accompanied by applause from the studio audience.

In interviews, Norman Lear stated that the idea for the piano song introduction was a cost-cutting measure. After completion of the pilot episode, the budget would not allow an elaborate scene to serve as the sequence played during the show's opening credits. Lear decided to have a simple scene of Archie and Edith singing at the piano.

The closing theme (an instrumental) was "Remembering You" played by Roger Kellaway with lyrics co-written by Carroll O'Connor. It was played over footage of the same row of houses in Queens as in the opening (but moving in the opposite direction down the street), and eventually moving back to aerial shots of Manhattan, suggesting the visit to the Bunkers' home has concluded. O'Connor recorded a vocal version of "Remembering You" for a record album, but though he performed it several times on TV appearances, the lyrics (about the end of a romance) were never heard in the actual series.

Except for some brief instances in the first season, scenes contained no background or transitional music.

The opening of the animated series Family Guy is a spoof of this opening, as Peter and Lois Griffin are at the piano in their living room, singing, "It seems today that all you see/Is violence in movies, and sex on TV/But where are those good old-fashioned values, on which we used to rely?"

Setting and location

The house featured in the opening credits sequence, as it appeared in late 2013 Archie Bunker House 01.JPG
The house featured in the opening credits sequence, as it appeared in late 2013

Lear and his writers set the series in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria. The location of the Bunkers' house at 704 Hauser Street is fictitious (no Hauser Street exists in Queens). The address is not presented the way addresses are given in Queens: most address numbers are hyphenated, containing the number of the nearest cross street. Nevertheless, many episodes reveal that the Bunkers live near the major thoroughfare Northern Boulevard, which was the location of Kelsey's Bar and later Archie Bunker's Place.

The façade of the house shown at the show opening is a home located at 89-70 Cooper Avenue, Glendale, Queens, New York, across from St. John Cemetery ( 40°42′45″N73°51′39″W / 40.712492°N 73.860784°W / 40.712492; -73.860784 ). [23]

Many real Queens institutions are mentioned throughout the series. Carroll O’Connor, a Queens native from Forest Hills, said in an interview with the Archive of American Television that he suggested to the writers many of the locations to give the series authenticity. For example, Archie is revealed to have attended Flushing High School, a real high school located in Flushing, Queens (although in the "Man Of The Year" episode of Archie Bunker's Place, Archie attended Bryant High School in nearby Long Island City, graduating in 1940). As another example, the 1976 episode "The Baby Contest" deals with Archie entering baby Joey in a cutest baby contest sponsored by the Long Island Daily Press , a then-operating local newspaper in Queens and Long Island.

The writers of All in the Family continued throughout the series to have the Bunkers and other characters use telephone exchange names when giving a telephone number (most other series at the time, such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, were using the standard fictitious 555 telephone exchange) at a time when the Bell System was trying to discontinue them. At different times throughout the series, the telephone exchanges Ravenswood and Bayside were used for the Bunkers' telephone number. Both exchanges were and still are applicable names for phone numbers in the neighborhoods of Astoria and Bayside. This may have had to do with the fact that at the time many major cities in the United States, such as New York, were resisting the dropping of telephone exchange names in favor of all-number calling, and were still printing their telephone books with exchange names. Actual residents of the Bunkers' age continued using exchange names into the early 1980s. This fact is referred to in the 1979 episode "The Appendectomy", when Edith, while dialing a telephone number, uses the Parkview exchange name only to correct herself by saying that she keeps forgetting that it is all-number dialing now. However, she comes to the conclusion that the number is exactly the same either way.

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired Nielsen ratings [25]
First airedLast airedRankRating
Pilots 219681969N/AN/A
1 13January 12, 1971 (1971-01-12)April 6, 1971 (1971-04-06)N/AN/A
2 24September 18, 1971 (1971-09-18)March 11, 1972 (1972-03-11)134.0
3 24September 16, 1972 (1972-09-16)March 24, 1973 (1973-03-24)133.3
4 24September 15, 1973 (1973-09-15)March 16, 1974 (1974-03-16)131.2
5 23September 14, 1974 (1974-09-14)March 8, 1975 (1975-03-08)130.2
6 24September 8, 1975 (1975-09-08)March 8, 1976 (1976-03-08)130.1
7 25September 22, 1976 (1976-09-22)March 12, 1977 (1977-03-12)1222.9
8 24October 2, 1977 (1977-10-02)March 19, 1978 (1978-03-19)424.4 [lower-alpha 1]
9 24September 24, 1978 (1978-09-24)April 8, 1979 (1979-04-08)924.9 [lower-alpha 2]
  1. Tied with 60 Minutes and Charlie's Angels
  2. Tied with Taxi

"Sammy's Visit," first broadcast in February 1972, is a particularly notable episode, whose famous episode-ending scene produced the longest sustained audience laughter in the history of the show. Guest star Sammy Davis, Jr. plays himself. Archie is moonlighting as a cab driver and Davis visits the Bunker home to retrieve a briefcase he left in Archie's cab earlier that day. After hearing Archie's bigoted remarks, Davis asks for a photograph with him. At the moment the picture is taken, Davis suddenly kisses a stunned Archie on the cheek. The ensuing laughter went on for so long that it had to be severely edited for network broadcast, as Carroll O'Connor still had one line ("Well, what the hell — he said it was in his contract!") to deliver after the kiss. (The line is usually cut in syndication.) [26]

Syndication

During the show's sixth season, starting on December 1, 1975, CBS began airing reruns on weekdays at 3 p.m. (EST), replacing long-running soap opera The Edge of Night , which moved to ABC. The show would later move to 3:30 p.m. and in September 1978, 10 a.m. This lasted until September 1979, when Viacom distributed the reruns to the off-network market where many stations picked-up the show. In 1991, Columbia Pictures Television began syndicating the show, and Columbia's successor companies have continued to do so.

Since the late 1980s, All in the Family has been rerun on various cable and satellite networks including TBS (although it held the rights locally in Atlanta, as well), TV Land, and Nick at Nite. From January 3, 2011 to December 31, 2017, the show aired on Antenna TV. As of January 1, 2018, the show began to air on GetTV.

The cast forfeited their residual rights for a cash payout early in the production run. [27]

Ratings

All in the Family is one of three television shows ( The Cosby Show and American Idol being the others) that have been number one in the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive TV seasons. The show remained in the top 10 for seven of its nine seasons.

SeasonTimeNielsen Ratings
RankRating
1 (1970–71) Tuesday at 9:30-10:00 pm on CBSNo. 3418.9 [28]
2 (1971–72) Saturday at 8:00-8:30 pm on CBSNo. 134.0 [29]
3 (1972–73) 33.3 [30]
4 (1973–74) 31.2 [31]
5 (1974–75) 30.2 [32]
6 (1975–76) Monday at 9:00-9:30 pm on CBS30.1 [33]
7 (1976–77) Wednesday at 9:00-9:30 pm on CBS (September 22—October 27, 1976)
Saturday at 9:00-9:30 pm on CBS (November 6, 1976—March 12, 1977)
No. 1222.9 [34]
8 (1977–78) Sunday at 9:00-9:30 pm on CBSNo. 424.4 (tied with 60 Minutes and Charlie's Angels ) [35]
9 (1978–79) Sunday at 9:00-9:30 pm on CBS (September 24—October 1, 1978)
Sunday at 8:00-8:30 pm on CBS (October 8, 1978—April 8, 1979)
No. 924.9 (tied with Taxi ) [36]

The series finale was seen by 40.2 million viewers. [37]

Spin-offs

According to The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present , All in the Family has the most spin-offs for a prime-time television series, spawning five other shows, three of which were very successful and two of which are spin-offs from spin-offs. [38]

Specials

At the height of the show's popularity, Henry Fonda hosted a special one-hour retrospective of All in the Family and its impact on American television. It included clips from the show's most memorable episodes up to that time. It was titled The Best of "All in the Family", and aired on December 21, 1974.

On February 16, 1991, CBS aired a 90-minute retrospective, All in the Family 20th Anniversary Special, hosted by Norman Lear to commemorate the show's 20th anniversary. It featured a compilation of clips from the show's best moments, and interviews with the four main cast members. The special was so well received by the viewing audience CBS aired reruns of All in the Family during its summer schedule in 1991, garnering higher ratings than the new series scheduled next to it, Norman Lear's sitcom Sunday Dinner . [40] The latter was Lear's return to TV series producing after a seven-year absence, and was cancelled after the six-week tryout run due to being poorly received by audiences. [41] [42]

On May 22, 2019, ABC broadcast Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons, produced by Lear and Jimmy Kimmel and starring Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, Kerry Washington and Ellie Kemper. [43]

Home media

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (formerly Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment) released the first six seasons of All in the Family on DVD in Region 1 between 2002 and 2007. No further seasons were released, because the sales figures did not match Sony's expectations.

On June 23, 2010, Shout! Factory announced that it had acquired the rights to the series, and has since released the remaining three seasons. [44] [45] [46] [47]

On October 30, 2012, Shout! Factory released All in the Family - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1. The 28-disc boxed set features all 208 episodes of the series, as well as bonus features. [48]

On February 6, 2018, Sony released All in the Family- Seasons 1-5 on DVD in Region 1. The 15-disc set features all episodes from the first five seasons. [49]

Vincent Gardenia (before becoming a regular cast member as Frank Lorenzo) and Rue McClanahan played a "wife-swapping" couple who meet the unsuspecting Bunkers in a 1972 episode. L-R: McClanahan, Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, and Gardenia. Rue McClanahan Carroll O'Connor Jean Stapleton Vincent Gardenia All In the Family 1972.JPG
Vincent Gardenia (before becoming a regular cast member as Frank Lorenzo) and Rue McClanahan played a "wife-swapping" couple who meet the unsuspecting Bunkers in a 1972 episode. L-R: McClanahan, Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, and Gardenia.
DVD NameEp #Release Date
The Complete First Season13March 26, 2002
The Complete Second Season24February 4, 2003
The Complete Third Season24July 20, 2004
The Complete Fourth Season24April 12, 2005
The Complete Fifth Season25January 3, 2006
The Complete Sixth Season24February 13, 2007
The Complete Seventh Season25October 5, 2010
The Complete Eighth Season24January 11, 2011
The Complete Ninth Season24May 17, 2011
The Complete Series208October 30, 2012

Cultural impact

Archie and Edith Bunker's chairs on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History All in the family props.JPG
Archie and Edith Bunker's chairs on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

As one of US television's most acclaimed and groundbreaking programs, All in the Family has been referenced or parodied in countless other forms of media. References on other sitcoms include That '70s Show and The Simpsons . The animated series Family Guy pays homage to All in the Family in the opening sequence which features Peter and Lois Griffin playing the piano and singing a lament on the loss of traditional values, and also paid tribute to the show's closing credits sequence at the end of the season 5 episode "Stewie Loves Lois".

Popular T-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers showing O'Connor's image and farcically promoting "Archie Bunker for President" appeared around the time of the 1972 presidential election. In 1998, All in the Family was honored on a 33-cent stamp by the USPS. [51]

Archie and Edith Bunker's chairs are on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. [52] The originals had been purchased by the show's set designer for a few dollars at a local Goodwill thrift store, and were given to the Smithsonian (for an exhibit on American television history) in 1978. It cost producers thousands of dollars to create replicas to replace the originals.

Then-US President Richard Nixon can be heard discussing the show (specifically the 1971 episodes "Writing the President" and "Judging Books by Covers") on one of the infamous Watergate tapes. [53] [54]

Rapper Redman has made references to Archie Bunker in a few of his songs, specifically his smoking of large cigars. [55]

Awards and nominations

All in the Family is the first of four sitcoms in which all the lead actors (O'Connor, Stapleton, Struthers, and Reiner) won Primetime Emmy Awards. The other three are The Golden Girls , The Simpsons , and Will and Grace .

Primetime Emmy awards and nominations

1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979

Golden Globe Awards and Nominations

1972
  • Best TV Show - Musical/Comedy (Won)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Won)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Nominated)
  • Best Supporting Actor - Television: Rob Reiner (Nominated)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Television: Sally Struthers (Nominated)
1973
  • Best TV Show - Musical/Comedy (Won)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Won)
  • Best Supporting Actor - Television: Rob Reiner (Nominated)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Television: Sally Struthers (Nominated)
1974
  • Best TV Show - Musical/Comedy (Won)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Won)
  • Best Supporting Actor - Television: Rob Reiner (Nominated)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Television: Sally Struthers (Nominated)
1975
  • Best TV Show - Musical/Comedy (Nominated)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Nominated)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Television: Betty Garrett (Won)
1976
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated)
  • Best Supporting Actor - Television: Rob Reiner (Nominated)
1977
  • Best Supporting Actor - Television: Rob Reiner (Nominated)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Television: Sally Struthers (Nominated)
1978
  • Best TV Series - Musical/Comedy (Won)
  • Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy: Carroll O'Connor (Nominated)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Nominated)
1979
  • Best TV Series - Musical/Comedy (Nominated)
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Nominated)
1980
  • Best TV Actress - Musical/Comedy: Jean Stapleton (Nominated)

TCA Heritage Award

In 2013, the Television Critics Association honored All in the Family with its Heritage Award for its cultural and social impact on society. [57]

See also

Related Research Articles

Edith Bunker

Edith Bunker is a fictional 1970s sitcom character on All in the Family, played by Jean Stapleton. She was the wife of Archie Bunker, mother of Gloria Stivic, mother-in-law of Michael "Meathead" Stivic and after 1975, grandmother of Joey Stivic. Her cousin was Maude Findlay who was one of Archie's nemeses.

<i>Maude</i> (TV series) American television series 1972-1978

Maude is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS network from September 12, 1972, until April 22, 1978.

Jean Stapleton American actress

Jean Stapleton was an iconic American character actress of stage, television and film.

Sally Struthers Actress, spokesperson, activist

Sally Anne Struthers is an American actress, spokeswoman and activist. She played the roles of Gloria Stivic, the daughter of Archie and Edith Bunker on All in the Family, for which she won two Emmy awards, and Babette on Gilmore Girls. She was the voice of Charlene Sinclair on the ABC sitcom Dinosaurs and Rebecca Cunningham on the Disney animated series TaleSpin.

<i>The Jeffersons</i> television series

The Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, to July 2, 1985, lasting 11 seasons and a total of 253 episodes. The Jeffersons is one of the longest-running sitcoms, the second-longest-running American series with a primarily African American cast, and the first to prominently feature a married interracial couple.

Michael Stivic

Michael Casimir "Mike" Stivic is a fictional character on the 1970s American television sitcom All in the Family. He was the live-in son-in-law of the series' lead character, Archie Bunker, who frequently called him "Meathead". Michael was the husband of Archie's daughter Gloria. Rob Reiner played the role of Michael Stivic throughout the series.

Gloria Stivic, is a fictional character played by Sally Struthers on the American situation comedy All in the Family and the spin-off series Gloria. She was the only child of Archie and Edith Bunker, and she was married to—and eventually divorced from -- Michael Stivic. She was born 11 months after Edith and Archie were married as stated in the episode The Longest Kiss.

<i>Gloria</i> (TV series) American sitcom of the 1980s

Gloria is an American sitcom and a spin-off of Archie Bunker's Place that aired Sundays at 8:30 p.m. (EST) on CBS from September 26, 1982, to April 10, 1983. The series starred Sally Struthers reprising her role as Gloria Stivic, the daughter of Archie Bunker on All in the Family.

Tandem Productions, Inc. was a film and television production company that was founded in 1958 by television director Bud Yorkin and television writer/producer Norman Lear.

Joseph Michael "Joey" Stivic is a fictional character who first appeared on the 1970s American sitcom All in the Family. Joey Stivic was the son and only child of Mike Stivic and Gloria Stivic, and the grandson of Archie Bunker and Edith Bunker. The character first appeared as a newborn baby in a two-part episode of All in the Family that aired in December 1975.

Stephanie Mills was a character on the 1970s American television situation comedy All in the Family and the follow-up series, Archie Bunker's Place. She was portrayed by child actress Danielle Brisebois, who joined All in the Family in 1978. Brisebois continued in the role until Archie Bunker's Place ended its run in 1983.

The 31st Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television for 1973, were held on January 26, 1974.

"Edith's 50th Birthday" were the fourth and fifth episodes of the eighth season of the American television sitcom All in the Family. The episodes, which originally aired as a two-part one hour story on CBS-TV on October 16, 1977, was written by Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf, and directed by Paul Bogart.

Cousin Liz 3rd episode of the eighth season of All in the Family

"Cousin Liz" is an episode of the American television sitcom All in the Family. The story concerns Edith Bunker's inheritance of a valuable tea service from her deceased cousin Liz and her decision, upon learning that Liz's "roommate" Veronica is really Liz's surviving longtime romantic companion, to give Veronica the service. The second episode of season 8, "Cousin Liz" originally aired on October 9, 1977.

"Maude" is the twenty-fourth and final episode of the second season of the American television sitcom All in the Family which also served as the eponymous pilot episode of its first spin-off series Maude. The episode, directed by John Rich and written by Rod Parker, was videotaped on February 18, 1972 in front of a live audience at CBS Television City in Hollywood, California and originally aired on March 11, 1972 at 8:00 p.m. EST on CBS.

"The 200th Episode Celebration of All in the Family" is a 90-minute retrospective of the American television sitcom All in the Family starring Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers which aired on Sunday, March 4, 1979 at 8:00 p.m. EST on CBS. It was directed by Walter C. Miller, hosted by Norman Lear and videotaped on February 19, 1979 in front of a live audience at Mark Taper Forum of the Los Angeles Music Center in Los Angeles, California.

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons is a television special that was broadcast by ABC on May 22, 2019. Conceptualized and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the special featured live recreations of episodes of the sitcom All in the Family and its spin-off The Jeffersons, featuring all-star casting.

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Further reading

Preceded by
The Wonderful World of Disney
1977
All in the Family
Super Bowl lead-out program
1978
Succeeded by
Brothers and Sisters
1979