Sanford and Son debuted as a mid-season replacement in January 1972 and was an instant success. The show was produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, the team responsible for All in the Family. The two shows had a few things in common. They were both based on popular British sitcoms, and both were pioneers of edgy, racial humor that reflected the changing politics of the time. Sanford and Son helped to redefine the genre of black situation comedy.
Redd Foxx played the show's central character Fred Sanford, a Los Angeles junk dealer. Sanford's son Lamont (Demond Wilson), is his reluctant partner in the business, always looking for a way out -- but he ultimately cares for his pop too much to leave him to his own devices. A cast of quirky characters added to the hilarity of the series, and the funky theme song, written by Quincy Jones gave the show a distinct flair.
Sanford and Son was ranked in the Top 10 for its full five-and-a-half-year run. When the two lead actors opted out of the series after the 1976-77 season, the rest of the cast carried on with the forgettable follow-up series The Sanford Arms. An attempt was made at a revival in 1980 with Foxx returning to the series Sanford, but it only lasted one season.