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Have you ever heard the behind-the-scenes trivia of the actors versus producers battle of the CBS 1970’s hit “Good Times”? No, then listen up. But first, do you remember what series “Good Times” was a spin off from? Esther Role was the no-nonsense maid from Bea Arthur’s hit show “Maude”. Audiences liked her so much that they gave her a spin off. Created by Eric Monte and Michael Evans (the original Lionel on “All In The Family and The Jeffersons) the show hit the airwaves in 1974 on CBS. It was one of the first TV shows that featured the struggles of a lower income african american family in which the mother and father were strong and upheld good values for their kids. The show wasn’t afraid of taking chances with controversial topics like race and unemployment.
Apparently, as the show progressed John Amos and Esther Role were fighting to keep the show’s reputation of pushing-the-limits in tact. But as Jimmie Walker’s character of JJ began to take-off the plots began turning more toward his goofy character and away from those social issue based episodes.
As a result John Amos left after 2 seasons and Esther Role left after 3. The show’s last episode aired on August 1st 1979 but it still rings as a groundbreaking show from the 1970’s that still has legs today. You can still see it on TV Land to this day ( www.tvland.com )
….and don’t forget to look for Janet Jackson’s adorable Penny.
Check out my interview with john Amos.