The Checking In TV show was a 30 minute comedy series on CBS and a spin-off of the series, "The Jeffersons". Florence Henderson left her job as housekeeper for the Jeffersons to become the executive housekeeper (the other housekeepers' boss) at a fancy, upscale hotel. Florence was pretty much the same wise-cracking, annoying, in-your-face employee at the hotel as she was as the Jeffersons' maid.
Marla Gibbs .... Florence Johnston
Larry Linville .... Lyle Block
Patrick Collins .... Earl Bellamy
Robert Costanzo .... Hank Sabatino
Liz Torres .... Elena Beltran
Ruth Brown .... Betty
Jordan Gibbs .... Dennis
Checking In has the distinction of being one of the few series that's a spin-off of a spin-off! Checking In was inspired by "The Jeffersons" and that series was inspired by "All in the Family"!
The place that Florence worked at on Checking In was called the, "St. Fredrick Hotel". It was a fictional hotel located in Manhattan.
Marla Gibbs was nominated for the "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series" Emmy in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985 for her role on "The Jeffersons"! She won an Image Award in 1982 for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy Series or Special", also for "The Jeffersons". She won a Method Fest Award in 2000 for "Best Supporting Actress" in the movie, "The Visit". Marla was nominated for numerous other awards for her roles already mentioned and on the daytime drama series, "Passions"; "Touched by an Angel"; and "Martin".
Marla Gibbs' career accomplishments are even more impressive when you learn that she was married at age 13 and had three children by age 20! She still graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois along with her classmate, one of the founders of Soul Music, "Sam Cook". Marla was working for United Airlines when she got her role on, "The Jeffersons. Being the smart lady she is, she waited until the Jeffersons was an obvious hit show before quitting United!
Larry Linville was identified in a big way with his "Major Frank Burns" character on "M*A*S*H*", so it came as no big surprise that his role on Checking In was as a "stuffed shirt", iritating hotel manager. Larry had actually quit M*A*S*H* six seasons before it went off the air because he felt that everything that could be done with his character had already been done. It was very unfortunate for him that most of the roles he would be offered for the rest of his career would be Frank Burns clones. There were a few exceptions. The most notable exception was when Larry played a super smart Genie on the series, "Fantasy Island" in the episode titled, "A Genie Named Joe/The Challenge" that aired on February 13, 1982 during the fifth season.
When CBS canceled Checking In after only 4 episodes, they also badly wanted Marla Gibbs to return to "The Jeffersons". They explained her return by having the St. Fredrick Hotel burn down. Marla's character, "Florence", showed up at the Jefferson's home, apparently having come straight from the fire as her clothing and hair showed signs of burning! She was a royal mess! The Jeffersons had hired another housekeeper but they allowed Florence and her to compete for the job and Florence won, of course! And Marla in her role as Florence had only missed 5 episodes and remained on "The Jeffersons" until that series ended.
The only other series that was ultimately spawned from "All in the Family" and failed was, "Gloria". The others, "The Jeffersons" (11 seasons), "Maude" (6 seasons), "Archie Bunker's Place" (4 seasons), and "Good Times" (6 seasons) were all successful!
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
Pilot Episodes (On the series, "The Jeffersons"):
Florence's New Job - Part 1 (3/29/1981)
Florence's New Job - Part 2 (3/29/1981)
The First And Only Season
- Boo Who? (4/9/1981)
- Block's Party (4/16/1981)
- Whose Side are You On? (4/23/1981)
- Florence and the Salesman (4/30/1981)
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