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All in the Family
Season Four: 1973-74



THE PILOT EPISODES: 1968-69
SEASON ONE: 1970-71
SEASON TWO: 1971-72
SEASON THREE: 1972-73
SEASON FOUR: 1973-74
SEASON FIVE: 1974-75
SEASON SIX: 1975-76
SEASON SEVEN: 1976-77
SEASON EIGHT: 1977-78
SEASON NINE: 1978-79
CREDITS
EMMY AWARDS

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1973-74: THE FOURTH SEASON

Year-End Rating: 31.2 (1st place)

Archie is matched with two worthy new opponents in his fourth season of contentious controversy--Betty Garrett's Irene Lorenzo, a staunch believer in women's rights; and Sherman Hemsley's George Jefferson, an opinionated bigot with even less patience than Archie.

Once again, story consultant Don Nicholl and story editors Michael Ross and Bernie West are responsible for more than half the season's scripts. John Rappaport and Austin and Irma Kalish also make outstanding contributions in the fourth year.


62 We've Having a Heat Wave    First Aired: September 15, 1973
Writer: Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Betty Garrett, Vincent Gardenia, Victor Argo

Henry Jefferson joins Archie in trying to prevent a Hispanic family from moving into the neighborhood.

Betty Garrett and Vincent Gardenia signed on as neighbors Irene and Frank Lorenzo during the show's most tempestuous period offscreen. All in the Family had become the most astonishing success story in CBS's history, and Carroll O'Connor thought that he deserved a bigger share of the stupendous profits the show was pulling in--which he got--as well as greater creative control, which Norman Lear and his producers staunchly refused to yield.

It was in the midst of this turbulence that the series gained--and lost--the services of Sada Thompson, the award-winning Broadway actress who later brought her gifts to the role of Kate Lawrence on ABC's Family. She'd been the producers' original choice to play the Bunkers' feisty neighbor, Irene, but O'Connor didn't share their enthusiasm. After less than a week on the tense set, she tired of O'Connor's cold shoulder and returned to New York. The part went to Betty Garrett, a musical-comedy star from MGM's heyday and a friend of O'Connor's who posed no threat to the testy star.

Vincent Gardenia, another New York transplant, also left the show after only a handful of appearances. He made his frustrations known at an infamous testimonial dinner for Norman Lear, where more than one actor voiced his opinion. As the producer stood at the podium, the actor heckled from his seat, shouting, "I love ya, Norman. I don't know what I'm doing in the show, but I love ya!" Not surprisingly, Gardenia left the series shortly thereafter.


63 We're Still Having a Heat Wave    First Aired: September 22, 1973
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro

As the Lorenzos settle in, Archie grows jealous of Edith's friendship with Irene.

Betty Garrett's Irene gave Archie his first new female contender since Bea Arthur left to carve out her own prime-time grubstake. Less strident than Maude, Irene's even-tempered logic was her strongest weapon in the war against Archie. But his greatest fear was realized when, under Irene's influence, Edith began to lash out against his petty household tyranny. To Archie's dismay, he discovered that he'd lost a dingbat and gained a partner in marriage.


64 Edith Finds an Old Man    First Aired: September 29, 1973
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Story: Susan Harris
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Burt Mustin, Ruth McDevitt

Edith befriends a lonely old man, though Archie is less than thrilled to have a constant reminder of his own advancing years hanging around the house.

Actor Burt Mustin had seemingly cornered the market on affable grandfather types from his very first appearance as Gus the fireman on Leave It to Beaver. He and Ruth McDevitt continued to make occasional visits throughout the fifth and sixth seasons.


65 Archie and the Kiss    First Aired: October 6, 1973
Writer: John Rappaport
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro

Gloria brings home a Rodin replica for the living room, but the erotic sculpture makes Archie cringe.

A half-hour meditation on art and romance that begins with Edith's hilarious paean to Henry Mancini's "Moon River"--proof positive that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.


66 Archie the Gambler    First Aired: October 13, 1973
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Story: Steve Zacharias, Michael Leeson
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro

Edith is deeply disturbed to find out that Archie's been playing the horses after he promised never to gamble again.


67 Henry's Farewell    First Aired: October 20, 1973
Writer: Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Mel Stewart, Sherman Hemsley

Archie finally meets George Jefferson at Henry's going-away party.

Sherman Hemsley inherited the part of Henry Jefferson's brother, George, after Mel Stewart opted out of the series to star in Roll Out!, a short-lived M*A*S*H-style military sitcom.


68 Archie and the Computer    First Aired: October 27, 1973
Writers: Lloyd Turner, Gordon Mitchell, Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Star: Jack Grimes

Edith receives a small fortune in quarters as a result of a computer error, while another computer informs Archie that he's been officially declared dead.


69 The Games Bunkers Play    First Aired: November 3, 1973
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Story: Susan Perkis Haven, Dan Klein, Michael Ross, Bernie West
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro

Mike childishly refuses to accept criticism during an informal group therapy game.

"We're always looking for important subjects," writer Michael Ross once told a reporter, "but we've also found that a simple topic--like the family sitting around playing a little game of group therapy--often makes as funny and exciting a show as the big topic, if we do it right."


70 Edith's Conversion    First Aired: November 10, 1973
Writers: Ray Taylor, Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Barnard Hughes, Phyllis Avery

Archie thinks that Irene Lorenzo is trying to convert Edith to Catholicism.


71 Archie in the Cellar    First Aired: November 17, 1973
Writer: Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Star: Juan DeCarlos

Locked in his cellar with a bottle of vodka, Archie spends a long night contemplating his life through the haze of a drunken stupor.


72 Black Is the Color of My True Love's Wig    First Aired: November 24, 1973
Writer: Michael Morris
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro

Gloria is insulted when Michael's ardor is renewed after she dons a cheap dime-store wig.


73 Second Honeymoon    First Aired: December 1, 1973
Writers: Warren S. Murray, Michael Ross, Bernie West
Story: Warren S. Murray
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Star: Mel Bryant

Archie and Edith rekindle their romance during a second honeymoon in Atlantic City.


74 The Taxi Caper    First Aired: December 8, 1973
Writer: Dennis Klein
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Michael Pataki, Al Stellone, Robert Mandan

An influential politician attempts to dissuade Archie from pressing charges against his son after the boy robs Archie in Munson's cab.


75 Archie Is Cursed    First Aired: December 15, 1973
Writers: John Rappaport, Michael Ross, Bernie West
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Bob Hastings, Sherman Hemsley

Irene challenges Archie to a pool match, but he begs off, complaining of a sore back.


76 Edith's Christmas Story    First Aired: December 22, 1973
Writers: Austin and Irma Kalish, Don Nicholl
Story: Austin and Irma Kalish
Director: John Rich

During the Christmas holidays, Edith tries to hide the fact that she may have breast cancer.

The Yuletide season was invariably a dramatic time around the Bunker household. Archie spent the series's first holiday show grousing that he was broke, and this year Edith nervously awaits the results of her cancer test. In a later Christmas episode, Edith's faith is shaken when she loses a dear friend to a gang of muggers; and in the series's final year, the Bunkers awake on Christmas morning only to discover that Mike and Gloria have separated. Makes you wonder why they didn't just leave town during the holidays.


77 Mike and Gloria Mix It Up    First Aired: January 5, 1974
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro

The Stivics' love life reaches another impasse when Michael is put off by Gloria's romantic aggressiveness.


78 Archie Feels Left Out    First Aired: January 12, 1974
Writers: Paul Lichtman, Howard Storm, Don Nicholl
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Burt Mustin, Ruth McDevitt

Archie refuses to attend his own birthday party.


79 Et Tu, Archie    First Aired: January 26, 1974
Writers: Mickey Rose, Lila Garrett
Directors: John Rich, Bob LaHendro
Guest Stars: Vic Tayback, David Doyle

Archie sabotages an old friend's efforts to land a job at the loading dock because he's afraid that the man might be in line for his position.


80 Gloria's Boyfriend    First Aired: February 2, 1974
Writers: Bud Wiser, Don Nicholl
Director: John Rich
Guest Stars: Richard Masur, Joseph Mascolo

Archie's misconceptions run amok when Gloria befriends the retarded box boy from the local market.


81 Lionel's Engagement    First Aired: February 9, 1974
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Director: John Rich
Guest Stars: Charles Aidman, Lynn Moody, Kim Hamilton, Samuel Olden, Jess Bolero, Eddie Carroll, Zara Cully

Archie squares off with George Jefferson's mother when he and Edith attend Lionel's engagement party.

George Jefferson is as dismayed as Archie that Lionel's fiancée hails from an interracial marriage. The basic situation would be retained when the Jeffersons began their own series the following year, but most of the roles would be recast--with the notable exception of Zara Cully as George's acid-tongued mother.


82 Archie Eats and Runs    First Aired: February 16, 1974
Writers: Paul Wayne, George Burditt
Director: John Rich
Guest Stars: Richard Stahl, Jane Dulo, Joseph George

The Bunkers are in a panic after Archie eats a stew made from mushrooms that might have been contaminated.


83 Gloria Sings the Blues    First Aired: March 2, 1974
Writers: Michael Ross, Bernie West
Director: John Rich

Gloria is bewildered after she falls temporarily out of love with Michael, until she discovers that her mother went through the same thing with Archie.

A gentle episode that defied the series's popular conception as a show where communication took place only above seventy-five decibels. "You only have twenty-two minutes and thirty seconds to touch your audience," Lear once explained. "You have to hit them hard." And yet, many of the show's finest moments take place in an atmosphere of quiet introspection, as in this moving episode that contains nothing more strident than a mother and daughter comparing notes at their kitchen table.


84 Pay the Twenty Dollars    First Aired: March 9, 1974
Writers: Robert L. Goodwin, Woody Kling
Director: John Rich

Archie unwittingly passes George Jefferson a counterfeit $20 bill and sets off a string of hilarious exchanges as the family attempts to rectify the error.


85 Mike's Graduation    First Aired: March 16, 1974
Writer: Don Nicholl
Director: John Rich

Archie's spirits soar on Mike's graduation day, until he discovers that his meathead son-in-law has accepted a fellowship and won't be moving out for another year.

 

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