Sanford and Son is an American sitcom that originally ran on NBC, based on the BBC sitcom Steptoe and Son. The series premeired on January 14, 1972, and ended on March 28, 1977. Sanford and Son is about junk dealer Fred G. Sanford (Redd Foxx) and his "dummy" son Lamont (Demond Wilson), who live in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts. Throughout its six seasons, the sitcom had 135 episodes.
Junk dealers Fred G. Sanford and his son Lamont run a business, Sanford and Son, in Watts, a neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles. Fred's wife and Lamont's mother Elizabeth had died twenty-two years prior to the show. When the series first started, it was more like Steptoe and Son, with Fred and Lamont disagreeing over many issues, and depicted Fred and Lamont as being equally manipulative and greedy. Fred would use threats of "the big one" (a major heart attack) and complain of his "arthur-itis" (arthritis) to evade labor, and Lamont attempted to drive a wedge between Fred and his long-time girlfriend Donna Harris (Lynn Hamilton). However, as the series went on, it evolved to become more like its American sister All in the Family, focusing on Fred's antics, with the more open-minded and progressive Lamont attempting to enlighten Fred.
Fred's comic foils on the show included Ethel Winfield and Esther Anderson, his wife's sisters. Ethel only appeared through the first and part of the second seasons when she was replaced by Esther. Fred often insulted Esther's appearance, likening her to fictional monsters and wild animals, which she would respond to with insults of her own, and occasionally physical violence.
During the 1975-76 season, the short lived spin-off series Grady was launched by NBC, starring Whitman Mayo as Grady Wilson. After Sanford and Son ended, it had two more spin-offs, The Sanford Arms and Sanford. The Sanford Arms, which aired in 1977, focused on Phil Wheeler, presented as an old army buddy of Fred's, who combined the Sanford Arms and the Sanford Junkyard exclusively into a hotel. Sanford, which ran for parts of two seasons, starting midway in the 1979-80 season and running for all of 1980-81, was a renewal of the series, without Lamont. None of the spin-offs were popular or successful.