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The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
All in the Family
Season Six: 1975-76



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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1975-76: THE SIXTH SEASON

Year-End Rating: 30.1 (1st place)

A fresh stable of writers in the sixth year sets the stage for the family's most notable addition, Mike and Gloria's baby, little Joey Stivic. The nine-pound source of fresh storylines unites the Bunker clan as never before, as they embark on all-new debates over topics ranging from the baby's name to his religious upbringing.

An influx of experienced comedy veterans joins the show's creative staff in the sixth year, including story editors Milt Josefsberg, Larry Rhine, Phil Doran, and Douglas Arango; special program consultants Mel Tolkin and Ben Starr; and producers Lou Derman and Bill Davenport. Their first-rate scripts in the later seasons lack the passionate fire of the early shows, but the fine-tuned performances--and assured direction by Paul Bogart--guarantee well-crafted, if occasionally predictable, entertainment.

Woody Kling and Lou Derman serve as script supervisors, and Hal Kanter, Woody Kling, and Norman Lear share the executive producer's credit over the course of the year.


110 The Very Moving Day    First Aired: September 8, 1975
Writer: Hal Kanter
Director: Paul Bogart

Gloria is nervous about announcing her unexpected pregnancy because of Mike's stubborn attitude toward overpopulation.


111 Alone at Last?    First Aired: September 15, 1975
Writer: Hal Kanter
Director: Paul Bogart

Teary farewells turn into fireworks when Mike hits Archie with five years of repressed rage, only to discover that he and Gloria can't move out for another week.

In the sixth season, Carroll O'Connor was able to bring in Paul Bogart as the series's new director. The star had known Bogart since the days of live television, and his arrival marked the beginning of the series's final, most tranquil period.


112 Archie the Donor    First Aired: September 22, 1975
Writers: Bill Davenport, Larry Rhine
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: J.A. Preston, Don Randolph, Sorrell Booke

Archie tries to impress his boss by making the maximum contribution to his favorite charity and unwittingly ends up donating his body to medical science.

The producers aired four episodes at the start of the season in which Gloria didn't appear, after Sally Struthers sued to break her contract, which she felt was keeping her from a promising movie career. The problems were smoothed over, and judging by the first project she had to turn down--the ill-fated Day of the Locust--the producers probably did her a favor by keeping her tied to the show.


113 Archie the Hero    First Aired: September 29, 1975
Writers: Lou Derman, Bill Davenport
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Lori Shannon, Sandy Kenyon, Billy Halop

Archie gets a rude shock when the tall, classy dame whose life he saved in a taxicab turns out to be a man.

Once again, the celebrated fireworks of Archie's reaction are no more than a theatrical contrivance compared to the script's real charm--the finely observed exchanges between Archie and Edith that authentically capture the tone of a couple who've been married to each other for twenty-six years.


114 Mike's Pains    First Aired: October 6, 1975
Writers: Lou Derman, Milt Josefsberg
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Star: Francine Beers

Mike has second thoughts about natural childbirth when he gets queasy at the prospect of standing in the delivery room during Gloria's labor.


115 Chain Letter    First Aired: October 20, 1975
Writers: Lou Derman, Milt Josefsberg
Story: Lou Derman
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Robert Guillaume, Beatrice Colen, Billy Halop

Archie's refusal to participate in a chain letter triggers a string of unlikely events.


116 Mike Faces Life    First Aired: October 27, 1975
Writers: Mel Tolkin, Larry Rhine
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: George Furth, Diane Shalet

Mike becomes the sole support of a growing family when Gloria loses her job because of her pregnancy.


117 Edith Breaks Out    First Aired: November 3, 1975
Writers: Lou Derman, Bill Davenport
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Star: James Hong

Archie feels abandoned after Edith begins to volunteer part-time at the Sunshine Home for the Elderly.


118 Grandpa Blues    First Aired: November 10, 1975
Writers: Mel Tolkin, Larry Rhine
Story: John Rappaport
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Sorrell Booke, John Zoller, Greg Mabrey, Tracy Bogart

Archie has difficulty keeping his blood pressure down for a company physical after the family launches into a heavy debate over the baby's name.


119 Gloria Suspects Mike    First Aired: November 17, 1975
Writers: Lou Derman, Milt Josefsberg
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Star: Bernadette Peters

Gloria suspects hanky-panky when she meets the beautiful blonde Mike's been tutoring after school hours.


120 The Little Atheist    First Aired: November 24, 1975
Writer: Lou Derman
Director: Paul Bogart

Thanksgiving dinner becomes a family battleground when Archie discovers that Mike and Gloria don't want to impose the family's religious beliefs on their baby.


121 Archie's Civil Rights    First Aired: December 1, 1975
Writers: Larry Rhine, Mel Tolkin
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Paulene Myers, Frank Campanella, John Alvin, Charles Siebert

Archie gets a lesson in civil liberties when he's arrested for using outlawed tear gas to protect himself against a mugger.

The producers regularly trotted out episodes that were designed to offer piercing insights into social issues, such as this heavy-handed exploration of civil rights and unconstitutional police procedure. Unfortunately, most of these well-intentioned topical episodes were about as subtle as an episode of Dragnet '67.


122 Gloria Is Nervous    First Aired: December 8, 1975
Writers: Milt Josefsberg, Ben Starr
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Robin Wilson, Garn Stephens, Suzanne Astor, Madeleine Fisher

The baby is already nine days overdue, and the stress is turning Mike and Gloria into nervous wrecks.

Gloria's miraculous three-month gestation period is not uncommon to sitcom mothers. The medical breakthrough had been observed a full two decades earlier when Lucy Ricardo gave birth a scant six weeks after she first announced her pregnancy.


123 Birth of the Baby (Part 1)    First Aired: December 15, 1975
Writers: Lou Derman, Bill Davenport, Larry Rhine, Mel Tolkin
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Herb Voland, Victor Rendina, Allan Melvin

Stuck in a phone booth in an Italian restaurant, Gloria goes into labor while Archie is busy rehearsing for his lodge's minstrel show.

Archie's blackface shenanigans were an unfortunate by-product of the writers' efforts to pad the episode out to two parts; the script also sets a new record for the show's long-standing--and inexplicable--fascination with bathroom humor: No less than three laughs are punched by the sound of a toilet's flush.


124 Birth of the Baby (Part 2)    First Aired: December 22, 1975
Writers: Milt Josefsberg, Ben Starr
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Gene Blakely, Barbara Cason, Priscilla Morrill, Sudie Bond, Sharon Ullrick

Archie arrives at the hospital direct from his minstrel show--in blackface--just in time for Gloria's blessed event.


125 New Year's Wedding    First Aired: January 5, 1976
Writers: Lou Derman, Bill Davenport, Milt Josefsberg, Ben Starr
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Billy Crystal, Eliot Reid, Joan Copeland, Elaine Princi, Michael Mann, Joe Bratcher, Nancy Stephens, Bibi Osterwald

The Stivics have a spat when Michael volunteers their living room for a wedding ceremony without even consulting Gloria.


126 Archie the Baby-Sitter    First Aired: January 12, 1976
Writers: Lou Derman, Bill Davenport
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Jack Somack, Joe Mantell, Ken Menard, Leslie Ackerman, Thad Geer

Archie's buddies form a lullaby quartet when Grandpa Bunker baby-sits Joey on his poker night.

Incredibly, this innocuous episode caused a furor when the network objected to a scene that called for total frontal nudity--the baby's! Despite the censor's objections, the producers trampled another TV taboo and ran Archie's diaper-changing sequence uncut.


127 Archie Finds a Friend    First Aired: January 26, 1976
Writers: Mel Tolkin, Larry Rhine
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Star: Jack Gilford

Archie sees a chance to get rich quick when he befriends an old watchmaker who's got a sure-fire invention.


128 Mike's Move    First Aired: February 2, 1976
Writers: Milt Josefsberg, Ben Starr
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Lee Bergere, David Downing

Mike's integrity is put to the test when he loses a teaching position to an equally qualified black candidate.

Archie extracts sweet revenge when he turns the tables on his bleeding-heart son-in-law with a hilarious reworking of the Emma Lazarus inscription on the Statue of Liberty. Archie's version begins, "Send me your poor, your deadbeats, your filthy. . . all of them free to live together in their own separate little sections where they feel safe and break your head if you go in there."


129 Archie's Weighty Problem    First Aired: February 9, 1976
Writers: Mel Tolkin, Larry Rhine
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Burt Mustin, Billy Halop

Energetic Justin Quigley inspires Archie to stick with the strict diet his doctor has recommended.


130 Love by Appointment    First Aired: February 16, 1976
Writers: Lou Derman, Bill Davenport
Director: Paul Bogart

Mike and Gloria's sex life suffers after they have to begin planning their encounters around the baby's feeding schedule.

In another funny and believable talk between mother and daughter, Struthers shows us how the flighty post-adolescent of the earliest shows has matured--first as a wife, then as a mother, until she finally emerges in later seasons as a woman who doesn't feel completely fulfilled in either of those roles.


131 Joey's Baptism    First Aired: February 23, 1976    First Aired:
Writers: Milt Josefsberg, Mel Tolkin, Larry Rhine
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Star: Clyde Kusatsu

After Mike and Gloria refuse to have their son baptized, Archie stubbornly steals away to a church to anoint the infant himself.


132 Mike and Gloria's Houseguests    First Aired: March 1, 1976
Writers: Larry Rhine, Mel Tolkin, Milt Josefsberg
Director: Paul Bogart

A broken furnace forces Archie and Edith to spend a few nights under the Stivics' roof during a power blackout.


133 Edith's Night Out    First Aired: March 8, 1976
Writers: Lou Derman, Douglas Arango, Phil Doran
Director: Paul Bogart
Guest Stars: Doris Roberts, Scott Brady, Jason Wingreen

Edith abandons her stick-in-the-mud husband to liven things up on her own during an evening out at Kelcy's Bar.

Jason Wingreen would play Harry the bartender for the rest of show's run, and he would also be one of the few holdovers to survive the series's transition to Archie Bunker's Place at the end of the ninth season.

 

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