Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers in January 1975.
It followed a nouveau-riche African-American couple, irascible George Jefferson (Sherman Hensley) and pragmatic Louise (Isabel Sanford), to a "deluxe apartment in the sky", where they were surrounded by wacky friends and neighbors: sarcastic maid Florence (Marla Gibbs), snobbish interracial couple Tom and Helen (Franklin Cover, Roxy Roker), looney Brit Mr. Bentley (Paul Benedict).
When I was in high school, it aired during a block of must-see Sunday night programs (Alice, One Day at a Time, Trapper John MD), so I watched quite often, though it had very little gay content (I preferred the strong gay content on What's Happening!!)
black beefcake, he always appeared fully clothed. After a year, he was replaced by Damon Evans, who was rather too thin and fey for my tastes.
Ike Eisenmann as a teenage racist in extraordinary tight jeans, who has a change of heart after George saves his father's life.
2. Lack of bonding. Friendships on the show were always cordial and businesslike, never passionate.
3. No gay characters. Apparently the network execs felt that seeing racial minorities was traumatic enough for Middle America, and gays would give them conniption fits. So no gay people were mentioned, although there was a male-buddy-is-now-a-woman plotline.
Sherman Hensley, who died last July, was probably gay, too; he was never seen with a woman and lived with his "roommate," Kenny Johnston, for over thirty years. But he refused to Say the Word.
He came from a generation of men who considered gayness "deeply personal," who didn't realize that Saying the Word could reduce homophobia, give gay kids a role model, and help them "move on up."