Jimmy Kimmel on why he's bringing back 1970s TV

The late-night host is partnering with Norman Lear for a historic special revisiting "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons," with stars from Woody Harrelson to Wanda Sykes.
4:25 | 05/22/19

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Transcript for Jimmy Kimmel on why he's bringing back 1970s TV
We're back with a look ahead to a big night in TV. Jimmy Kimmel is bringing back big shows from the 1970s, "All in the family" and "The Jeffersons," you see them right there but tonight it's going to be live with a brand-new cast and very cool idea. What did Jimmy have to say. He's so excited as are the rest of us using the original scripts from an episode of "All in the family" and "The Jeffersons" and as we know, of course, times have changed so I asked Kimmel all about how he thinks those remakes will play today. Well we're moving on up moving on up Reporter: Tonight two groundbreaking sitcoms back. That classic "All in the family." We gained a meathead. Reporter: And the other, appointment television show of the 1970s. Moving on up Reporter: "The Jeffersons" returning to prime time with a new all-star cast. Jamie Foxx. Woody Harrelson. Marisa Tomei. All agreeing to revisit the show led by Jimmy Kimmel. These are shows I watched with my family and by myself over and over again as a kid. We thought why not do it in a way that they've been doing these live musicals. Take the original scripts, get a new cast of actors to play the parts and put it on the network live. Reporter: Original series creator Norman Lear getting right on board. He said, you know, I'd love to play Archie bunker which is really the hard to cast is woody Harrelson. Texted him. He texted immediately and said, yes. And from there I thought, you know who would be the best George Jefferson is Jamie Foxx. Reporter: The wives of the two most famously opinionated and loose lip characters in his. Marisa Tomei as Edith bunker and Wanda Sykes as weezy Jefferson. While the shows may be best remembered for the laughs, their social impact also burned into collective memory tackling tough issues, bigotry and cultural divisions that cut to the core. When the first six episodes of "All in the family" ran, they ran with a warning. Is there a warning necessary in front of either one of these live shows. I think we're giving people fa notice that what they're about to see is not what they see nowadays and that it might create some conversation. These shows aren't just about laughing in the moment. I just want to learn a little about society so I can help People? Your mother-in-law and me is people. Help us, will you. Go to work. It wasn't like these shows went on the air unchallenged. They were controversial. We got bigger trouble. There's klansman in the building. You mean the kkk. No, the Beverly hillbillies. Reporter: Those controversial story lines and the offensive stinging language used by the leads pushed the envelope. I wonder if the outrage would have been amplified by social media. I wonder if we even would have these shows if there was a Twitter, if there was a Facebook in 1975. You know, maybe not. Reporter: But that edgy content is not all that endures. Guys like us we had it made You're talking about two of the greatest TV theme songs of all time. You do it. Songs that made the hit parade those were the days Hits that note so beautiful. Now alok with the original scripts they also replicated the original sets from the shows bringing in the set designer who worked on them back in the '70s to re-create every detail in the bunkers' house and Jefferson' apartment. This is going to be appointment television for so many of us who just really remember those nostalgic days where you laughed and you learned. Exactly. Watching that. The fact that it's going to be live adds to it. With the seven-second delay, by the way. There is going to be a seven-second delay. I heard there would be. You know the difference live in front of a live audience. "All in the family" and "The Jeffersons" starts at 8:00. Thanks for staying up at 8:00. You want to sing. Those were the days

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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