Lasting 11 seasons, ten years and 253 episodes, The Jeffersons was one of the longest-running sitcoms of all time. The All in the Family spin-off centered on the titular couple and their move to a luxury Manhattan apartment building. The show broke new ground with its primarily African-American cast, its depiction of interracial marriage and its occasional coverage of tough issues. Here are 20 things that you might not know about the CBS show, though.
20. The network tried to edit out its first interracial kiss
Tom and Helen Willis – played by Franklin Cover and Roxie Roker – made headlines when they became one of TV’s first interracial couples. Sadly, not everyone behind the scenes was comfortable with their relationship. Numerous CBS executives lobbied for their first kiss to be edited out. Thankfully, executive producer Fred Silverman stood firm and the smooch stayed in.
19. Franklin Cover received hate mail from bigoted viewers
Unfortunately, some viewers also took offence to the sight of The Jeffersons’ ground-breaking interracial couple. Cover was regularly sent hate mail over his character Tom’s relationship with Roker’s Helen. But both the star and the show’s producers refused to let the bigots win and continued to push boundaries throughout the show’s 11-season run.