The announcement was made Monday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. The first new special will air this winter, while the second is slated for spring 2020. The classic sitcoms that will be the focus of each special will be announced at a later date.
Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear will return to executive produce the new specials along with Brent Miller, Will Ferrell, and Justin Theroux.
The move to turn the live specials into a franchise for the broadcaster comes as no surprise. ABC’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and “The Jeffersons’” premiered on May 22, pulling in a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 10.4 million viewers in the Nielsen Live+Same Day ratings alone. That special starred Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei as Archie and Edith Bunker and Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes as George and Louise Jefferson, with many other major stars playing classic sitcom characters.
The first “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” also recently received three Emmy nominations, including one for best live variety special.
“Live in Front of a Studio Audience” will be produced by Kimmelot, ACT III Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions, D’Arconville and Sony Pictures Television.
In other ABC-Kimmel related news, the network also announced that the late night host will be partnering with producer Mark Burnett on a new game show entitled “Generation Gap.”
The comedy quiz show groups family members of different generations who must work together to answer questions about each other’s generations. This show will feature a variety of pop-culture trivia and challenges. ABC will release additional details surrounding production and airdates, as well as a host, at a later date.
“Generation Gap” will be produced by MGM Television and Kimmelot. Burnett, Kimmel and Barry Poznick will executive produce.