3. 'The Jeffersons'
All in the Family viewers heard about Archie Bunker's black neighbor George Jefferson from the very first episode, but he didn't actually appear for a couple of seasons. It was said that George refused to step inside the house of a bigot like Archie, but the delay was actually caused by Sherman Helmsley's role in a Broadway play: Creator Norman Lear wanted the actor so bad that he was willing to wait it out. Jefferson owned a dry cleaning store, and business was so good that he moved to a Manhattan luxury building for his own show, The Jeffersons, in 1975. Amazingly, it ran for 11 seasons. As soon as it ended, Helmsley started work on Amen, which ran for five seasons. That man was born to be in sitcoms.