Forty years ago today, comedian Redd Foxx took an obscure British sitcom character, worked his special magic on it, and turned it into the sharp-tongued, big-hearted junkyard owner we've come to know and love as Fred Sanford.
Sanford and Son stars Redd Foxx as Fred G. Sanford, a 65-year-old widower and junk dealer living at 9114 S. Central Ave. in the Watts neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles, California alongside Demond Wilson as his 30-year-old son, Lamont Sanford. In his youth, Fred moved to South Central Los Angeles from his hometown of St. Louis.
On the show's premiere in 1972, newspaper ads touted Foxx as NBC's answer to Archie Bunker, the bigoted white protagonist of All in the Family. (Both shows were adapted by Norman Lear from BBC shows; Sanford And Son was adapted from Steptoe And Son and All in the Family was the American version of Till Death Us Do Part.)
Created by Norman Lear
Starring Redd Foxx
Theme music composer Quincy Jones
Opening theme "The Streetbeater"
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 136 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Norman Lear
Producer(s) Bernie Orenstein
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Tandem Productions
(billed as "A Bud Yorkin/Norman Lear Tandem Production",
copyrighted as "NorBud Productions")
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original channel NBC
Picture format 1.33:1 (fullscreen)
Audio format Monaural
Original run January 14, 1972 (1972-01-14) – March 25, 1977 (1977-03-25)
Followed by The Sanford Arms
Related shows Steptoe and Son