All In The Family, which ran from 1971 to 1979, centered around a lower middle class family and becoming one of America’s favorite shows. It tackled many difficult subjects that other television shows had not, and was sometimes attacked by many critics.
The family patriarch was Mr.Bunker, a fantastic performance by Carroll O’Connor, and his obedient loopy wife Edith was superbly played by Jean Stapleton. Their only child was Gloria, played by Sally Struthers, who was initially single and then married very liberal college student Mike Stivic, played by Rob Reiner. The recurring clashes between conservative Mr. Bunker and his son-in-law Mike Stivic, whom he called Meathead, was the central issue that kept the show going as it explored contemporary issues during the 1970s.
Another innovative casting was the introduction of Mr and Mrs Jefferson as the black family next door, well acted by Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford, plus Damon Evans playing their son Lionel who would sometimes come to visit the Bunkers. It was an early close look at race relations. The Jeffersons were so good that they were spun off into their own show.
A non-recurring role in the latter years of the show was played by Edith’s tough liberal cousin Maude, superbly played by actress Beatrice Arthur, who would often get in sharp arguments with Archie Bunker. Maude was so good in fact, she was spun off to her own show.
For the 1979 to 1980 season, after most of the cast departed, the show was renamed Archie Bunker’s Place, which was centered around the bar where Bunker hung out. All In The Family was filmed at a MetroMedia square studio in Los Angeles and CBS studio 41 in Television City, California