Sanford and Son Was Even More Interesting Behind The Scenes

The popular American sitcom Sanford and Son ran for six seasons, and was a groundbreaking show for African American comedy. However, what happened behind the scenes was even more interesting than what aired on TV. Find out more about the cast of the show, poor treatment by the network, and scandals on the set.

CBS Seriously Regretted Passing on This Show


While another Norman Lear show, All in the Family was on of CBS’s major hits, the network took a pass on Sanford and Son—and it’s safe to say they regretted that choice. Executive Producer Bud Yorkin claimed he was unable to get any interest from the network. However, CBS’s then-president Fred Silverman remembers things a little differently.

“We had All in the Family on the air and Bud and Norman [Lear] came in with the idea, and it was called Steptoe and Son,” he said. “They failed to mention that Redd Foxx was on it, or that it was going to be a black show. … I said, ‘Well I don’t understand, you are selling us a show we already have.” He later admitted, “It was one of the stupidest things I did at CBS.”