Narrated by David Bushman, Television and Mass Media Curator for The Paley Center
Among the earliest shows to benefit from the success of The Jeffersons was Diff’rent Strokes, which aired on NBC from 1978 to 1986. It was about a White one-percenter who takes two African American youths into his Park Avenue home after their mother dies. The Brooklyn-set Cosby Show premiered in 1984 and ran for eight seasons, five of them as TV’s number one show. The following decade produced The Wayan Bros., set in Harlem and the hugely popular Living Single in Brooklyn, which is cited by some as an inspiration for Friends. Chris Rock’s Everybody Hates Chris, also in Brooklyn, premiered in 2005. New York has been home for numerous other ethnically diverse shows as well, including the Wizards of Waverly Place, Ugly Betty, and Awkwafina is Nora from Queens. In 1972, it was the setting of Bridgette Loves Bernie, about an interfaith marriage between a Catholic and a Jew, which was pulled after a single season under heavy pressure from certain religious groups despite exceptional ratings.