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TV CRITIC'S CORNER

‘Live in Front of a Studio Audience’ return is sure to bring ‘Good Times’

Norman Lear (left) and Jimmy Kimmel won the Emmy for outstanding variety special (live) for "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' " in September. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Norman Lear (left) and Jimmy Kimmel won the Emmy for outstanding variety special (live) for "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' " in September. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)Richard Shotwell/Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

“Live in Front of a Studio Audience” is a franchise now, since the first effort in May — re-creations of episodes of “The Jeffersons” and “All in the Family” — did so well. Produced by Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel, the ABC series will return for a second round on Dec. 18. That’s how it goes; if they like it, give them more. This time, the actors will perform a holiday episode of “All in the Family” and a still-to-be-chosen episode of "Good Times.” It’s not clear whether the same “All in the Family” cast from May — with Woody Harrelson as Archie and Marisa Tomei as Edith – will return, and no cast names have been released for the “Good Times” episode. “Good Times,” which ran from 1974-79, spun off from “Maude,” was the first family sitcom to feature two black parents. The May special drew 10.4 million same-day viewers, and many more in playback and encore airings, and it made history for Lear, who became the oldest Emmy winner at 97 when it won best variety special in September. “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” will also return in the spring. It’s not clear which shows will be performed then, but if one of them is “Maude,” I pity the actress filling in for Bea Arthur.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.