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A revival of Sanford and Son starring Redd Foxx as junk dealer Fred G. Sanford. The series attempted to recapture the magic (and the Ratings) from his previous hit. However, Demond Wilson (Lamont) didn't return, so the producers dispatched his character to the Alaskan pipeline and cast perennial character actor Dennis Burkley as Fred's new partner and housemate, hefty Southerner Cal Pettie. In addition, Fred found love with a new girlfriend: wealthy socialite Evelyn Lewis (played by Marguerite Ray).
Over time, familiar faces from the original series popped in to visit; some, such as LaWanda Page's Aunt Esther and Nathaniel Taylor's Rollo Lawson, stayed for a while. In addition, some loose plot threads from the previous show were finally tied up (including the issue of Fred's frequent "heart attacks", albeit in a somewhat dramatic manner).
But the show's new approach to the Fred Sanford character proved unwise. Not only was Fred no longer the lovable curmudgeon the audience had come to know and love, but he also underwent a significant transformation regarding his previous bigoted views (presumably due to his friendship with Cal, but it's implied that the change took place before the start of the new series). He even gives a somewhat Anvilicious lecture to Cal's mother when she objects to her son's friendship with a black man in one of the later episodes! Perhaps this was necessary Character Development to get past the changing times and the network censors, but low ratings proved that sometimes change isn't a good thing.
The series ran on NBC for two brief seasons (26 episodes total) from March 15, 1980 to July 10, 1981.
Contains examples of:
- After Show
- Arch Enemy
- Canon Dis Continuity: Completely ignored the events of the short lived The Sanford Arms series that took Sanford And Sons place and featured a widower and his kids buying the Sanford home and running a hotel out of it. Yeah, we don't get it either.
- Character Development
- Crying Wolf: Fred finally has a heart attack for real, but nobody will believe him when he complains of the initial symptoms.
- Epiphany Therapy
- Everything Is Big in Texas
- Executive Meddling
- From the Ashes
- Lighter and Softer
- Loveable Rogue
- Odd Couple
- Pet the Dog
- The Power of Friendship
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Cal, the fat white redneck, who takes Lamont's place as Fred's business partner is actually a pretty strong aversion. However, Lamont's friend Rollo, previously a recurring character on Sanford and Son, works as one for a bit.