ABC has announced that Kimmel is teaming up with the legendary producer to recreate original episodes from two of Lear's Emmy-winning sitcoms, All in the Family and The Jeffersons. Each episode will be performed by an all-star cast as part of a live, 90-minute primetime special, which is set to air May 22.
Actors involved in the one-night-only event include Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunker, Marisa Tomei as Edith Bunker, Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson, Wanda Sykes as Louise Jefferson, Ellie Kemper as Gloria Stivic, Will Ferrell as Tom Willis, and Justina Machado as Florence Johnston.
"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 in a statement.
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All In the Family and The Jeffersons will be directed by Emmy-winning sitcom director James Burrows. Kimmel and Lear will host the special, which is executive produced by Ferrell, Adam McKay, Brent Miller, and Justin Theroux.
In a statement, Lear advocated for the continued relevance of All in the Family, which ran from 1971 to 1979, and The Jeffersons, which ran from 1975 to 1985."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, and I couldn't be more grateful for Jimmy Kimmel, Sony and ABC for their collective willingness to conceive and pursue this never-been-done-before event."
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All In the Family and The Jeffersons will air Wednesday, May 22 at 8/7c on ABC.