ABC has announced the exciting cast for the remake of Norman Lear’s groundbreaking 1970s sitcom Good Times, which will be featured alongside Lear’s other classic All in the Family for ABC’s Award-winning Live in Front of a Studio Audience, which returns December 18 for an all new holiday television special.
On Thursday it was announced, Academy, Emmy and Tony Award winner Viola Davis is set to star as Florida Evans, while Emmy and Obie Award winner Andre Braugher will play the character of James Evans, her husband.
Also joining the cast is former Saturday Night Live comic Jay Pharoah as the iconic role of J.J. Evans, originally played by famed comedian Jimmie ‘Dy-no-mite’ Walker. Recent Emmy nominee Asante Blackk is set to play the Evans family’s youngest child, Michael Evans, while Corinne Foxx, Jamie Foxx’s daughter, will play Thelma Evans. Last but not least, Emmy Award winner Tiffany Haddish will recreate the role of the family’s fashionable feisty neighbor Willona Woods.
Grammy Award-winning music legend Patti LaBelle will be joining “Blackish” actor Anthony Anderson for a live musical performance of the sitcom’s classic theme song.
Good Times is a spinoff of Maude, which was then a spin off from All in the Family and was created by Mike Evans and Eric Monte. Good Times aired for six seasons from 1974-1979 on CBS. It is recognized as television’s first black family series featuring a two-parent household.
The network’s first installment of Live in Front of a Studio Audience, which aired last spring revived episodes of The Jeffersons and All in the Family. Though The Jeffersons aren’t coming back for this special, All in the Family is and will feature same cast Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Ellie Kemper and Ike Barinholtz returning as Archie and Edith Bunker, and Gloria and the Meathead. They’ll also be joined by cast newcomers Kevin Bacon, Jesse Eisenberg and Justina Machado.
Also returning for the Holiday-inspired live event are executive producers Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux and Kerry Washington. The special airs on Wednesday at 8pm.