In the immortal words of Captain Holt: Hot damn!
ABC has revealed a mighty impressive cast for its live staging of Good Times, which will air as part of the second, holiday-themed edition of Live in Front of a Studio Audience on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 8/7c. Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Andre Braugher and How to Get Away With Murder‘s Viola Davis will lead the ensemble as marrieds James and Florida Evans, while Saturday Night Live vet Jay Pharoah will assume the “dyn-o-mite!” role of eldest son J.J.
Rounding out the cast are Asante Blackk (This Is Us, When They See Us) as Michael, Corinne “Daughter of Jamie” Foxx (Beat Shazam) as Thelma, Tiffany Haddish (Kids Say the Darndest Things) as next-door neighbor Willona Woods and Jharrel Jerome (When They See Us) in an as-yet-specified role. Meanwhile, Anthony Anderson (black-ish) and legendary vocalist Patti LaBelle (who was recently revealed to be The Masked Singer‘s Flower) will perform the sitcom’s beloved theme song.
As previously reported, Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Ellie Kemper and Ike Barinholtz will reprise their respective roles as Archie, Edith, Gloria and “Meathead” in the All in the Family portion of the broadcast. They will be joined by new cast members Kevin Bacon (The Following), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and Justina Machado (One Day at a Time), whose roles are being kept under wraps until air.
ABC has not yet confirmed which episodes of All in the Family and Good Times will be recreated as part of the special. The former sitcom did multiple Christmas installments — including, but not limited to: Season 2’s “Christmas Day at the Bunkers'” (which featured Louise, Lionel and Henry Jefferson), Season 4’s “Edith’s Christmas Story” (in which Edith had a breast cancer scare) and Season 7’s “The Draft Dodger” (in which Mike’s draft-dodging friend David attended Christmas dinner). Good Times, meanwhile, celebrated Christmas on three occasions — though only one of those outings occurred before the exit of original series star John Amos (Season 2’s “Sometimes There’s No Bottom in the Bottle”).
Airing on May 22, the first edition of Live in Front of a Studio Audience averaged 10.4 million total viewers and a 1.8 demo rating, dominating the night in both measures while giving ABC its most watched season-ending Wednesday in 12 years. It was nominated for three Emmy awards and took home the statue for Outstanding Variety Special.
Are you excited to see the new cast of Good Times in action? Hit the comments with your initial reactions.