The Jeffersons first aired in January of 1975 on CBS as a mid-season replacement. The series was a spinoff of All in the Family in which the Jeffersons were Archie and Edith Bunker's next door neighbors.
In 1975, The Jeffersons moved on up when George found success in a dry cleaning business. This allowed him and his wife, Louise and their son Lionel to "move on up" into a spacious high rise apartment. At the beginning of the series, Lionel was attending college and graduated in February 1976. He married Jenny Willis in December of the same year and they had a daughter in 1979, Jessica Jefferson.
Other members of the cast include, Tom and Helen Willis were upstairs neighbors and also Jenny's parents. Florence Johnston was the Jefferson's sassy maid who was hired as a part-time maid in the first episode but in October 1976 moved in and became a full-time maid. Mother Jefferson was George's fiesty mother who forever put Louise down but deep down loved her. Harry Bentley was the British, next door neighbor. Besides being quite eccentric and forever borrowing things from the Jeffersons, Bentley worked as a translator at the United Nations. In 1981, Bentley was written out as being transferred to Russia, but returned in 1983. Ralph was the building doorman who forever begged for tips from George and the other tennents in the building.
Tom and Helen Willis were controversial characters since they were most likely TV's first interracial couple. Helen was Louise's best friend and they ran a Help Center which opened in 1977. As for Tom and George, it took the entire run of the series to develop their love/hate friendship.
The series was unceremoniously pulled from the air with no warning, so the cast, bitter that they never got to shoot an appropriate finale episode, later reunited for a theatrical stage play. Sherman and Isabel also reprised their roles as George and Louise Jefferson on a couple episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the mid-90's and have most recently reprised their roles on Denny's commercials.
Spinoff of: All in the Family
Spinoffs: Checking In
CBS Broadcast History
January-August 1975----Saturdays----8:30 p.m.
September 1975-October 1976----Saturdays----8:00 p.m.
November 1976-January 1977----Wednesdays----8:00 p.m.
January 1977-August 1977----Mondays----8:00 p.m.
September 1977-March 1978----Saturdays----9:00 p.m.
April-May 1978----Saturdays----8:00 p.m.