This Was Television On January 12

1971: America meets the Bunkers

Norman Lear’s controversial, groundbreaking sitcom All in the Family debuted on CBS, where it ran for nine seasons and over 200 episodes. Carroll O’Connor portrayed bigoted, arch-conservative Archie Bunker, who regularly clashed with his liberal daughter (Sally Struthers) and son-in-law (Rob Reiner). The show tackled the day’s social and political issues with gusto, typically siding against its outspoken central character but always striving to understand both perspectives. All in the Family won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy four times, including its first three seasons, and each of the four main cast members (including Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker) were Emmy-winners. It also spawned five spinoffs, including Maude and The Jeffersons-A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Kirstie Alley, bar manager (62); Christiane Amanpour, journlist (55); Rachael Harris, character actress (45); Oliver Platt, White House counsel (53); Jason & Randy Sklar, sports comics (41).

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