The Jeffersons : A Friend in Need (1975)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Sitcom [TV]  |   Run Time - 30 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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In this first broadcast episode of The Jeffersons (the pilot episode aired on All in the Family), nouveau riche dry-cleaning mogul George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley) moves himself; his wife, Louise (Isabel Sanford); his son, Lionel (Mike Evans); and his impossible-to-please mother (Zara Cully) into their new "dee-luxe" East Side penthouse apartment. In short order, the viewers make the acquaintance of obsequious doorman Ralph (Ned Wertimer); their new neighbors, the interracial couple Helen and Tom Willis (Roxie Roker and Franklin Cover); the Willis' attractive black daughter, Jenny (Berlinda Tolbert), for whom Lionel develops an instant attraction); and eccentric Englishman Harry Bentley (Paul Benedict). Though George revels in his posh new surroundings, Louise misses her old house, her old neighborhood, and her old friends -- a situation that doesn't improve when pompous George insists upon hiring a maid. Marla Gibbs makes her first guest appearance as sassy, no-nonsense domestic Florence Johnston, a character that would soon graduate to full series regular status. "A Friend in Need" originally aired January 18, 1975.