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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

'The Jeffersons' Writer Jay Moriarty Talks About His TV Career

Courtesy Jay Moriarty
Jay Moriarty moved to Hollywood after graduating from Xavier University in 1968.

How did a kid from Finneytown named Jay Moriarty become the executive producer of The Jeffersons, the hit 1970s sitcom about an African American family?

And what was it like working for legendary TV creator-producer Norman Lear?

Credit Courtesy Barnes & Noble
Moriarty's 'Honky In The House' recounts his experience writing and producing 'The Jeffersons' TV show.

Where did Moriarty and his writing partner Mike Milligan come up with the idea for the All In The Family "Draft Dodger" Christmas show about Archie Bunker having Christmas dinner with an old pal whose son was killed in the Vietnam War and a draft dodger who fled to Canada?

Moriarty, a St. Xavier High School (1964) and Xavier University (1968) graduate, answers those questions when he talks about his career with me on WVXU-FM's Around Cincinnati 7 p.m. Sunday.

After the show airs, I'll post a link here.

Morarity has published a memoir about his years working for Lear, the groundbreaking producer of All In the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Sanford & Son, One Day At A Time and other shows. He called the book Honky In The House: Writing & Producing The Jeffersons.

While Moriarty was working on The Jeffersons starring George Hemsley in 1975, he pitched the "Draft Dodger" idea to Lear as a 1976 Christmas story for All In The Family, TV's No. 1 show.  He and Milligan actually had written a summary for the "Draft Dodger" in 1971, as they were trying to break into TV writing.

"It was the first thing I wrote for TV," Moriarty told me in December, before ABC re-created that episode with Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunker on ABC's Live In Front Of A Studio Audience.

Around Cincinnati airs 7-8 p.m. Sundays on WVXU-FM (91.7) and WMUB-FM (88.5) and streamed at

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.