Posted by: Lava1964 on 2014-03-25 
As effective as this moment was (and is) for hitting viewers emotionally, I've read comments about this memorable scene from police officers who steadfastly state James' family would not have been informed of his death by telegram. A telegram is far too impersonal. The normal operating procedure would have had the investigating Mississippi police force contact the Chicago police force. An officer in Chicago would have been dispatched to the Evans home to personally break the bad news to his family.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2014-03-25 
This was one of television's most shocking kill-offs of a regular character. Few people knew that James (played by John Amos) wasn't going to be back in the Good Times cast after the 1975-76 season. Apparently it wasn't a voluntary departure. CBS executives were unhappy with statements Amos had made in a magazine interview that criticized the show for focusing too much on the comedic misadventures of J.J. rather than dealing with the social issues of a family trying to survive in the Chicago ghetto. Amos was quietly given the ax shortly before production of the show's fourth season was about to begin. How to get rid of his character? Kill him off in an automobile accident just as the Evans family's fortunes were about to leap forward. The shock value was total. (You can clearly hear an audience member shout, 'Oh my God!')