The Royal Family (TV series)

The Royal Family (TV series)

"otheruses|Royal Family (disambiguation)

"The Royal Family" is a situation comedy starring Redd Foxx and Della Reese. It was produced by Eddie Murphy (as part of a development deal with CBS), who had previously worked with Redd Foxx and Della Reese on the 1989 film "Harlem Nights". It ran for one season on CBS from 1991-1992.


"The Royal Family" was about Atlanta mailman Alfonso "Al" Royal (Redd Foxx) and wife Victoria (Della Reese), who were anticipating peaceful retirement years, until marital problems brought an extended visit from their daughter (Mariann Aalda) and her three children (Larenz Tate, Sylver Gregory, and Naya Rivera).

Redd Foxx's death and aftermath

The series was supposed to be a comeback vehicle for Foxx (best known for "Sanford and Son"), but on October 11, 1991,he died during filming---- of a heart attack---- after completing only seven episodes. Immediately following Redd Foxx's sudden death, the producers opted to end the series. However, they ultimately decided to continue. Special, touching promotions were run by CBS (run in memory of Foxx) stating "Like any family, "The Royal Family" will go on." The producers immediately added Jackée Harry to the show as Victoria's younger sister Ruth, who moved in to help the family cope with the sudden loss of Al. "The Royal Family" then went on hiatus after November sweeps, and returned the following April. By then, Harry's character had been altered; while she was still named Ruth, she had now become Al and Victoria's sexy eldest daughter, and went by the name nickname "CoCo". An additional seven episodes were completed (bringing the total to 15) in order to finish up the episode run originally ordered by CBS. The working title for "The Royal Family" (ironic---considering the ultimate circumstances with Redd Foxx's fatal heart attack) was "Chest Pains". Shortly after the show returned, it was cancelled by CBS. It had never achieved true ratings success, due to being broadcast opposite NBC's Top 20 hit "Unsolved Mysteries".

"The Royal Family" was not the first nor last sitcom to try to continue production despite the sudden death of its star. "Chico and the Man" (starring Freddie Prinze), "8 Simple Rules" (starring John Ritter) and "NewsRadio" (starring Phil Hartman) are other notable examples of television shows that tried to soldier on after the death of its star.


*Redd Foxx .... Alfonso Royal (Sep 1991--Nov 1991)
*Della Reese .... Victoria Royal
*Mariann Aalda .... Elizabeth Royal Winston
*Sylver Gregory .... Kim Winston
*Jackée Harry .... Ruth "CoCo" Royal (Nov 1991-May 1992)
*Barry Shabaka Henley .... Willis Tillis
*Naya Rivera .... Hillary Winston
*Larenz Tate .... Curtis Winston

External links

*imdb title|id=0101187|name=The Royal Family
* [ Jump The Shark - The Royal Family]
* [ The Ironic Death of Redd Foxx Part Three]
* show|id=1423|title=The Royal Family

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