‘All in the Family’: Here Are the 7 Spinoffs of the Iconic Show
A comedy writer turned television creator and producer, Norman Lear has single-handedly helped define American TV. In the late 1960’s Lear began trying to sell a TV pilot centering on a working-class family. They both failed until CBS picked up All in the Family in 1971.
The prolific series ran from 1971 to 1979 and spawned seven spinoffs, some of which were more or equally as popular as the original series.
‘All in the Family’ centered on a working-class family
Set in Queens, New York, All in the Family followed patriarch Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), a narrow- minded and bigoted man who was continually disgusted by the massive changes of the 1970s. Archie was married to Edith (Jean Stapleton), a sweet and gentle woman whose gentleness and anxiety often got the better of her and thoroughly annoyed Archie.
The Bunker’s only child, their daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers), was warm and kind like her mother but often had a stubborn streak like her father. Her feminism and her “meathead” husband, Michael Stivic (Rob Reiner), often rubbed Archie the wrong way.
All in the Family ran for nine seasons, nearly the duration of the 1970s, and tackled everything from racism, infidelity, homosexuality, rape, religion, miscarriages, abortion, breast cancer, and the Vietnam War.
Carroll O’Connor’s Archie Bunker was beloved
All in the Family has been called one of the greatest television series in history. Though it got off to a rocky start with poor ratings during Season 1, it garnered a massive audience during its reruns in the summer months. During its run, it was the highest-rated TV show. A major part of that was due to O’Connor’s portrayal of Archie.
“I think [Archie] was acceptable because he was real,” Reiner told the Television Academy Foundation in 2004. “He loved his family, and even though he was bigoted and was ignorant, he was human. We saw a very vulnerable, loving person towards his family, and that made him acceptable in a certain way.”
The Princess Bride director added, “We didn’t accept his viewpoints, we didn’t accept his bigotry, but we certainly can accept his humanity as a loving father and husband.”
‘All in the Family’ has 7 spinoffs
Since All in the Family was such a massive hit, Lear decided to expand his TV universe with several other successful shows that all spawned from All in the Family. During All in the Family’s run, Maude debuted. It ran from 1972 to 1978, eventually garnering its own spinoff, Good Times, which ran from 1974 to 1979.
The Jeffersons began its run in 1975, as a counter to Good Times and it ran until 1985. It had a short run spinoff Checking In which began and ended in 1981. Archie Bunker’s Place was a direct spinoff to All in the Family running from 1979 to 1983. Its spinoff, Gloria, ran from 1982 to 1983.
The final and short-lived spinoff of All in the Family was 704 Hauser which began and ended in 1994.