Behind the scenes of Jimmy Kimmel's 1970s remakes

Sean Hayes, Anthony Anderson and more reflect on being a part of a unique night on TV that saw "The Jeffersons" and "All in the Family" remade with all-star casts.
4:39 | 05/23/19

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Transcript for Behind the scenes of Jimmy Kimmel's 1970s remakes
but saving a life is. Well we're movin' on up to the east side A look behind the scenes and talking about a lot of other last night's big live event "All in the family" and "The those live remakes brought to us by Jimmy Kimmel, Norman Lear, star-studded casts. Sing it with me. Fish don't fry in the kitchen all right. They warned me not to did that with you, George. Look, last night had they have been done before and did it with an all-star even Oscar caliber cast that delivered. It was a social experiment to see how the comedy but also the themes and difficult issues of 40, 50 years ago would hold up today. Boy the way Glen Miller played songs that made the hit parade Reporter: It started the same way as years ago. Girls were girls and men were men Now voices were hitting those notes. Those were the days Reporter: The live reenactment of "All in the family" and "The Jeffersons" brought classic thought-provoking television to a new audience with woody Harrelson starring as the patriarch -- Mac people have arrived. They're here. I ain't letting them in. Reporter: And Jamie Foxx slipping into the shoes of George jeffersonson with trademark swagger. So all -- all -- it's live. Reporter: If you needed proof that the show was live -- Everyone sitting at home think their TV just made up. Reporter: After a mistake he made had the cast cracking up. Behind the scenes the cast was jubilant, happy to be part of something so unique. No, I am not frodo from "Lord of the rings." I'm frank Lorenzo. You can't beat that. You can't beat that. Well we're movin' on up to the east side moving on up to that deluxe apartment in the sky Reporter: The reenactment offered a few surprises including Jennifer Hudson belling out a special rendition of that other famous theme song. We finally got a piece of the pie Reporter: The broadcast quickly became one of the top trends on Twitter getting the whole country talking and some noting how relevant the themes of the programs still are today while others at home longed for the original cast. We are the Jeffersons. Miss Jefferson. The agency sent me. Reporter: And this unexpected showstopper. Original series star Marla Gibbs returning as Florence after nearly four decades. You live in this apartment, right? Uh-huh. And you got one in this building too. Yes, that's right. Well, how come we overcame and nobody told me? Reporter: Her appearance even wowed castmate Ike barinholtz who played meathead. May I have a career long where I'm able to enter a scene and have the walls shake. She's a legend. Reporter: Kerry Washington and will Ferrell as TV's famous interracial couple Helen and Tom Willis. Don't say it. Reporter: The episodes stayed true to the original except for two lines. He been calling you a -- Don't say it. . They cent seed the "N" word. Even if our worth fights you never called me a . It hasn't crossed my mind. Tom. Reporter: Something that wasn't done back in the '70s but Kerry Washington proud by the decision to include the word at all. We struggled a lot with how we were going to deal with that. We're saying it but we're bleeping it and I feel that's a beautiful kind of middle ground to honor the truth and not shy away from it but also do it responsibly. Reporter: Both iconic shows of the '70s addressing difficult issues that remain today all while still making us laugh. Racism, ssexism. All still regular haven't today, 40, 50 years ago still relevant today and should be a wake-up call. We should be paying attention. With the exception of two words -- That's still relevant today. Entertaining as well is it made you think and made you laugh. Good night. Right then, here's the "Play

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

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