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1981: The Jeffersons

The Jeffersons was a sitcom that aired on CBS from 1975 until 1985. With 11 seasons and 253 episodes, it’s one of the longest-running sitcoms in American television history. The Jeffersons was also a spin-off, but not from Happy Days! Instead, the show was a spin-off of All In The Family, where the Jeffersons were neighbors with Archie and Edith Bunker.

The long-running series was about the Jefferson family, with patriarch George and his wife Louise. The African-American family were able to move from Queens to Manhattan thanks to the success of George’s dry cleaning chain — which is a fact that is referred to in the song’s theme song, which brags about them movin’ on up “to a deluxe apartment in the sky.”

Over its 11 season run, The Jeffersons changed time slots up to 15 times, which was surprising for a hit show that already had good ratings. Likely because of the constant changes, the show’s ratings flip-flopped, ranging from the top 5 to the top 20. The show hit an all-time high in its eighth season when it hit the #3 spot in 1981.

The Jeffersons was known for its positive portrayal of an African-American family, who were rarely seen living such a prosperous lifestyle on television, as well as for being the first show to prominently feature an interracial married couple, Tom and Helen Willis. The show will now go down in history as a shining moment in American television.