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  Mutant
May 12 - 18, 2003

 
X2 Busts The
Summer Block...

 
Hunter Don't
Hunt....

 
Jesse Jackson
Speaks
Out...Again...

 
Five All In
The Family

Spinoffs...

 



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 Five All In The Family Spinoffs

As the only sitcom to top the Nielsen ratings five straight years, All In The Family's influence should not be underestimated. The influence of its spinoffs, however, should be. Here are five fruits of Archie's loins (pronounced "lerns"):
Maude. The connection to the Bunkers was a tenuous one, but this sitcom managed to succeed right out of the gate. Maude was a groundbreaking show. In its most noteworthy episode, the main character had an abortion. Viewers understandably tuned out. Not because of the politics; it was just the imagery of Bea Arthur having sex.

Good Times. This was actually a spinoff of Maude, set in the public housing projects of Chicago. It made a star of Jimmie Walker. Not an enduring star. You know, more like a Richard-Greico-type star. Good Times was also notable because John Amos left early in the run to protest the shiftlessness of Walker's character. To get his point across, Amos later wrote a pilot where Jimmie Walker was a nuclear physicist. It remains unaired.

Gloria. Budget problems did in Sally Struthers' show. The food allowance was just supposed to be pennies per day, but somehow it spiraled out of control.

704 Houser Street. Technically more of a remake than a spinoff, this show was set in the Bunkers' house 25 years later. It was short-lived, most likely because of a John Amos-penned script where he urinates on Archie's grave.

The Jeffersons. George and Weezie started out as the Bunkers' neighbors in Queens, but then magically moved to their de-luxe apartment in the sky. The Jeffersons did a good job of making all of the main characters funny, though it did revert to the stereotyped geeky English neighbor with a bad back who worked at the U.N. and got more tail than Hugh Hefner. Man, has that grown tiresome!


Emil Gam