I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
All in the Family
Season Five: 1974-75
1974-75: THE FIFTH SEASON
Year-End Rating: 30.2 (1st place)
As the series closes in on the midway point of its nine-year
run, the creative staff explores new territory when Mike and Gloria
decide to move into their own apartment at the end of the season.
After four years as director, John Rich is succeeded
by H. Wesley Kenney, who will direct all fifth-year episodes. Michael
Ross and Bernie West take over as producers, Bill Davenport and Lou
Derman sign on as story editors, and Don Nicholl is appointed executive
The Bunkers' breadwinner tries to avoid breaking the news
that his union has called a strike.
Lear's writers and producers pioneered the multipart
episode as a solution to the constraints imposed by the half-hour time
slot. The extended format would rarely be used as effectively as in
this four-part reflection on the short-term impact and long-range effects
of an inflationary economy on the working-class Bunkers.
Tempers flare in the Bunker household when Archie finds
himself with nothing to do but sit around the house.
When strike negotiations bog down, Archie grudgingly trades
places with Edith and allows her to take a job at Jefferson's dry cleaners.
Archie's union settles the strike, but under terms that
effectively leave him worse off than he was before the walkout.
James Cromwell appears as Stretch Cunningham, the bard
of the loading dock, who was often referred to, but, until now, seldom
Lionel arrives to spend a few days with the Bunkers after
a big blow-up with his father.
The rising tide of feminism confronts Archie on all sides
when Edith joins a women's group and Irene lands a job alongside him
on the loading dock.
Edith's gradual awakening was inevitable. As Norman Lear
observed, once the women's movement caught the writers' awareness, it
wasn't long before Edith's consciousness was also raised. Her slow but
steady evolution invested the series with a certain suspense: With each
passing week, we wonder how long Archie can resist the waves of enlightenment
that seem to be washing up all around him.
Gloria is shocked when Mike announces that he doesn't
plan on having children.
Edith holds her first Tupperware party under a cloud of
worry when Archie disappears on his way to a union convention in Buffalo.
This script was part of the producers' clever dodge to
force the leading actor's hand after another contract dispute. When
Carroll O'Connor failed to report to work at the start of the season,
Lear taped this show without him. Then he vowed that Archie Bunker would
be killed off in the very next episode--unless the actor returned to
honor his contract.
Whether Norman Lear really planned to pull off this premeditated
homicide will never be known. By the third episode of this trilogy,
Carroll O'Connor had returned to the series--at a substantially higher
salary--and all was right on Hauser Street once more.
With no word from Archie after twenty-four hours, the
family faces the possibility that he might've run off with another woman.
Archie returns from his sorry adventure--he got sidetracked
to a podiatrists' convention in Rochester--to find his friends and family
celebrating his return with kissing contests, Hula Hoops, and ballroom
After an accident on the loading dock brings Archie within
inches of his life, he suddenly becomes a devout--if somewhat hypocritical--churchgoer.
George Jefferson seeks Archie's help when he runs for
local political office.
Irene and the Jeffersons bail the Bunkers out after Archie
buys $2000 worth of aluminum siding from a fast-talking salesman.
Gloria is made to feel like an intellectual outcast when
she spends the evening with Mike and one of his graduate-school friends.
Henry Fonda hosts an hour-long retrospective of high points
from the show's first four years.
A plumber's assistant causes Archie agony when he finds
out that the worker is a convict on a work-release program from Sing
The Bunkers bid a fond farewell to the Jeffersons when
their neighbors abandon Queens for the nouveau-riche life in a Manhattan
This episode served as the pilot for the excruciatingly
long-running spinoff series, The
Gloria gives Edith a lesson in marriage assertiveness.
Edith is surprised to discover that her cousin Amelia's
ideal marriage is rotten to the core.
The writers made sure that O'Connor and Stapleton--masters
of the comic take--had plenty of opportunity to practice their exquisite
comic reactions on All in the Family. When Amelia frankly confides
her husband's preoccupation with sex, Edith's discomfited reactions
are funnier than any lines she might utter. And the episode closes with
a memorable nonverbal scene where Archie and Edith reaffirm the bond
of their own marriage by clasping hands in a poignant silence that speaks
Archie steals a box of nails from work and finds himself
at the center of a household debate on morality.
Archie feels the weight of his own mortality after a magazine
quiz on life expectancy gives him another seven years--tops.
Edith is reunited with her childhood sweetheart when she
returns to her hometown for a wedding.
The Bunker house is locked in a battle of wills after
Mike vows that he can go without food longer than Archie can abstain
After a fruitless search for new lodgings, Mike and Gloria
agree to rent George Jefferson's old house--even though it means living
next door to Archie.