‘Live In Front Of A Studio Audience’: ABC Renews Normal Lear Special For Two More Installments – TCA08/05/2019
ABC is bringing back Live in Front of a Studio Audience for two more outings. The broadcaster is to air a live holiday special this winter as well as another special in spring 2020.
This comes after Jimmy Kimmel’s live staging on Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons scored over 22M viewers when it aired in May.
The network hasn’t revealed which classic shows are set for either special, but there are plenty of shows to choose from in Lear’s library including Maude, Good Times and Sanford and Son.
Kimmel is once again teaming with Lear and exec producer Brent Miller, Will Ferrell and Justin Theroux for the next two installments. They will be produced by Kimmelot, ACT III Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions, Sony Pictures Television and D’Arconville.
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons starred Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Wanda Sykes among many others including Jennifer Hudson’s belting out of The Jefferson’s “Movin On Up” theme song and Marla Gibbs’ surprise appearance reprising her role as George and Louise Jefferson’s maid Florence Johnston.
The original special received three Emmy nominations including Outstanding Variety Special (Live), Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special for James Burrows and Andy Fisher and Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special.
In June, ABC’s President of Entertainment Karey Burke revealed that they looked at Live in Front of a Studio Audience as a franchise.
“We didn’t know if people would still care and it was nice they did. With something like that we would look to return it, not on a weekly basis, I think these things are tentpoles around which we can build sustaining weekly scripted programming, to use as a big circulation play,” she said. “We’ve been leaning really hard into live event programming. It introduced a whole new generation of people to those shows and those themes in a way that hadn’t been done before and I don’t know if that’s something that would have been as relevant on streaming.”
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