Ok, so I didn’t literally hang in a chow line at the dress rehearsal of Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family & Good Times, but I bet catering and craft services backstage was looking right!
On Tuesday night, I was honored to be invited to witness the final dress rehearsal and get a sneak peek of the revival. Visiting the set again was a bit like deja vu as I had a great time at the All In The Family/The Jeffersons dress rehearsal earlier this year. That broadcast earned a 2019 Emmy for Variety Special (Live), by the way.
Like many black kids, I grew up on Good Times. I also had a special connection to the show as my mama actually grew up in Cabrini Green, the Chicago housing project that inspired the setting for the classic show, which debuted in 1974. Naturally, watching episodes of Good Times with her would inspire countless and priceless stories.
Good Times is the new kid on the block for this live series, so look out for the actual actress of the decade, Viola Davis perfectly portraying Florida Evans, a mini-When They See Us reunion with Jharrel Jerome and Asante Blackk, a rousing theme song rendition from Patti LaBelle and Anthony Anderson and more!
One of the standouts will be Jay Pharoah, who is best known for his impersonations, so casting him as J.J. Evans was a perfect choice. He definitely leaned into portraying such a memorable character, too.
Along with getting a few more nostalgic nuggets from host Jimmy Kimmel and legendary TV producer Norman Lear, Carlena Evans, the daughter of Good Times co-creator Mike Evans, was in the audience, as well.
Though I can’t tell you too much about the episodic content (besides, this live show is best served fresh), let’s just say both episodes are very relevant to the sociopolitical climate we’re living in today. Much like the first iteration of this nostalgic live series, you should expect a few amazing surprises that’ll have you like, “Wow, they really pulled that off!”
Live In Front of a Studio Audience: All In The Family and Good Times airs tonight, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. on ABC.