George and Louise Jefferson sit on royal thrones while wearing crowns and regal attire.

Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as George and Louise Jefferson in a scene from The Jeffersons

Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

The longest-running Lear series, The Jeffersons moved on up the charts as the seasons went on.

By Marc Berman

I could not believe what I was hearing out of Carroll O’Connor’s mouth the first time I saw All in the Family,” Isabel Sanford once said. Sanford made her first appearance as neighbor Louise Jefferson in the first season episode titled “Lionel Moves into the Neighborhood” (March 2, 1971). “But, at second glance,” she said, “I just fell down laughing. And then I received a call for an audition, initially to play Louise Jefferson’s sister.”

Flash-forward to January 18, 1975, and Archie and Edith’s neighbors—George (Sherman Hemsley), wife Louise (aka “Weezy”), and son Lionel (Mike Evans)— were “movin’ on up to that dee-luxe apartment in the sky” in spinoff The Jeffersons.

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