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“Maude” spinoff “Good Times” opened its six season-run in 1974. Considering that Florida (Esther Rolle) was employed as a housekeeper for Maude (Bea Arthur) in Tuckahoe, New York and her husband’s name was Henry (John Amos), how did she and John Amos now as James get to inner-city Chicago?
The scoop from Wipkedia:
Florida and James Evans and their three children live at 921 North Gilbert Avenue, apartment 17C, in a public housing projectin a poor, black neighborhood in inner-city Chicago. The project is unnamed on the show but is implicitly the infamous Cabrini-Green Homes, shown in the opening and closing credits. Florida and James have three children: James Jr., also known as “J.J.”; Thelma; and Michael, whose passionate activism causes his father to call him “the militant midget.” When the series begins, J.J. is 17, Thelma is 16 and Michael is 11. Their exuberant neighbor and Florida’s best friend is Willona Woods, a recent divorcée who works at a boutique. Their building superintendent is Nathan Bookman (seasons 2–6), who James, Willona and later J.J. refer to as “Buffalo Butt” or, even more derisively,
The characters originated on the sitcom “Maude” as Florida and Henry Evans, with Florida employed as Maude Findlay’s (Bea Arthur) housekeeper in Tuckahoe, New York, and Henry employed as a New York City firefighter. When producers decided to feature the Florida character in her own show, they changed the characters’ history to fit a new series that was well into development rather than start from scratch to create a consistent starring vehicle. Henry’s name became James, he worked various odd jobs, there was no mention of Maude but it was mentioned that Florida was a maid once before in the episode “The Checkup” and the couple lived in Chicago.
Episodes of “Good Times” dealt with the characters’ attempts to overcome poverty, living in a high-rise project building in Chicago. James Evans often works at least two jobs, mostly manual labor such as dishwasher, construction laborer, etc. Though he is often unemployed, James is a proud man who will not accept charity. He sometimes hustles money playing pool, although Florida disapproves of this.
In September 2020, Netflix greenlit an animated sitcom revival of “Good Times”, with Norman Lear executive producing alongside Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and NBA great Steph Curry.