This past week, on 10/11, Pavan Badal updated the the Sitcoms Online News Blog
with some great news for All In The Family
We can expect to see more Archie, the dingbat, the Meathead, and the little girl on January 3, as Sony releases season 5 of All in the Family!
There were 23 "normal" episodes in this season, plus a 24th: a mid-season hour-long special, "The Best of All In The Family
," hosted by Henry Fonda and taking a look back at the memorable moments from the show's run up to that point. We certainly hope that Sony includes that episode in its proper place in the season's run...which is two episodes prior to "The Jeffersons Move On Up," which served as the pilot episode for The Jeffersons
as George, Weezie, and Lionel were spun off into their own successful, and ultimately classic series.
The season started off with a wonderful four-part story arc, each airing on separate weeks, called "The Bunkers and Inflation." Considered one of the most impressive looks on television about working-man economics, the four episodes show Archie effectively out of work due to a strike his union has called, and which is finally resolved after a long time but which doesn't leave the workers (Archie included) in a better situation than the one they started with. A few weeks afterward sees a pair of episodes without Archie in them at all, as actor Carrol O'Connor had left the set due to a salary dispute; it's interesting to note that a version of the two-part "Where's Archie?" script was made up containing a scene with news of Archie's off-screen death, "just in case." It wasn't necessary, though, as everyone well knows by now (and we're sure that O'Connor's economic situation did not suffer as a result of his own personal strike).
Guest stars show up as always, including James Cromwell (as "Stretch Cunningham"), Charlotte Rae, Hector Elias, the cast of The Jeffersons
(Franklin Cover, Roxie Roker, Paul Benedict, etc.), and Tim O'Connor. The season ends with Mike ("Meathead") and Gloria deciding to buy the old Jefferson house next door and preparing to move in, setting up a very big event for the Stivics in the debut episode of the following season. It's one of the show's best seasons, and we'll be all over it as we wait for Sony to make their official announcement. Stay tuned for more.