Live Norman Lear special, starring Woody Harrelson, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington and more, to air on ABC tonight

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Live Norman Lear special to air on ABC this week
Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear talk about getting the idea for the special, "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons.'"

Norman Lear shows "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" will be celebrated in a star-studded live special on ABC tonight.

During the 90-minute event, "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons,'" the cast will recreate one episode of each classic show. It will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel along with Norman Lear himself. It will be directed by 10-time Emmy winner James Burrows.

Kerry Washington, the latest cast member announced, will play Louise Jefferson's friend Helen Willis. It was previously announced that Will Ferrell will play Helen's husband, Tom.

"All in the Family" aired from 1971 to 1979. One of its most popular spin-offs, "The Jeffersons" aired from 1975 to 1985.

Sandy Kenyon reports on the live Norman Lear special on ABC.

Here's a look at the all-star cast:

Woody Harrelson: Archie Bunker

Marisa Tomei: Edith Bunker

Jamie Foxx: George Jefferson

Wanda Sykes: Louise Jefferson

Ellie Kemper: Gloria Stivic

Kerry Washington: Helen Willis

Will Ferrell: Tom Willis

Justina Machado: Florence Johnston

Ike Barinholtz: Meathead

Sean Hayes: Mr. Lorenzo

Amber Stevens West: Jenny Willis Jefferson

Jovan Adepo: Lionel Jefferson

Anthony Anderson: Uncle Henry

Stephen Tobolowsky: Mr. Bentley

Jackee Harry: Diane Stockwell

Both Lear and Kimmel expressed enthusiasm for the event, especially for the actors who have signed on.

"They have said over and over again that these two shows were meant for the '70s and would not work today," Lear said. "We disagree with them and are here to prove, with two great casts depicting 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons,' the timelessness of human nature. I cannot wait to see what these glorious performers make in our time of these indelible characters."

"The fact that a group of Oscar winners eagerly agreed to play these iconic characters is a testament to the greatness of these shows and their creator, Norman Lear. To be a part of this is a dream come true for me and for everyone involved," Kimmel said.

After the special, ABC News will air "All About 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons,'" a half-hour report looking at the cultural and historical significance of the two shows.

Don't miss "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons'" on Wednesday, May 22 at 8 p.m. ET|7 p.m. CT on ABC.