Here’s what Willis is talking about. Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear are bringing their Live in Front of a Studio Audience franchise back for a third edition this December, and this time they take on the iconic sitcom Diff’rent Strokes and its spin-off. “The facts of life.”
Already in the sequel “Diff’rent Strokes” you can see John Lithgow as Mr. Drummond, Kevin Hart as Arnold, Damon Wayans as Willis and Ann Dowd as Mrs. Garrett. The cast of “The Facts of Life” will be announced at a later date.
“Live in front of a studio audience: ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes'” will air Tuesday, December 7th at 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm ET, followed by the premiere of the new workplace comedy, “Abbott Elementar . ” Lear is back as an executive producer and presenter with Kimmel. Also Executive Producers: Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux and Jim Burrows. Burrows and Andy Fisher are expected to direct the live show.
“At the age of 100, apart from my family, I would be nowhere better than on a soundstage at Sony with these glorious actors, who could relive what our company had produced all those years ago and share it with the millions of viewers. who could use a little laugh, “said Lear, who will be 100 years old next July.
“Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life” are part of the Lear cannon through its Tandem Productions banner. “Diff’rent Strokes,” which aired from 1978 to 1985, played Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges as Arnold and Willis Jackson, two young blacks adopted by wealthy white businessman Phillip Drummond (played by Conrad Bain). When their mother dies, the boys move in with Drummond (a widower) and his daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato). Charlotte Rae played her housekeeper, Mrs. Garrett, who was later spun off into “The Facts of Life”.
In “The Facts of Life” Edna Garrett becomes housemother of a dormitory at a private girls’ school in Peekskill, New York, and oversees the care of the students Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel), Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey (Kim Fields), Natalie Green (Mindy Cohn) and others who were kicked out of the series after Season 1. Later came Jo Polniaczek (Nancy McKeon) as part of a rework in Season 2.
The Facts of Life was created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon, and Diff’rent Strokes was created by Bernie Kukoff and Jeff Harris.
“’Live in front of a studio audience’ has become one of our most anticipated highlights of the year – it brings together some of the biggest and funniest stars in the world on a stage where anything can really happen to introduce a whole new generation to ‘Diff rent Strokes and Facts of Life, “said Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment. “Jimmy and Norman outdid themselves with a spectacular, irreverent, and hilarious cast to create another television event not to be missed.”
The first “Live in front of a studio audience” showed new creations by “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” in spring 2019 with an average of 13 million viewers. A second edition followed with “All in the Family” and “Good Times” in winter 2019, which reached an average of almost 8 million total viewers after 35 days of delayed viewing on all platforms. Both episodes won Emmy Awards on the Outstanding Variety Special (Live).
Previous lineups were Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Ellie Kemper, Ike Barinholtz, Anthony Anderson, Sean Hayes, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Eisenberg and Justina Machado for “All in the Family”; Jamie Foxx, Wanda Sykes, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Marla Gibbs, Fran Bennett, Jovan Adepo, Amber Stevens West, Stephen Tobolowsky and Jackée Harry for “The Jeffersons”; and Andre Braugher, Viola Davis, Tiffany Haddish, Jay Pharoah, Corinne Foxx, Asante Blackk, John Amos and Jharrel Jerome on Good Times.
Further spending was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the production logs, producers were ready to bring them back.
“As Norman Lear approaches his 100th birthday, there is no better way to celebrate it than bringing back the classic shows ‘Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes’. It’s been a great honor to work on the live specials with Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller and our partners at ABC. We look forward to seeing another outstanding cast bringing families together and enjoying this exciting format, “said Jeff Frost, President of Sony Pictures Television Studios, and Jason Clodfelter, Co-President, in a joint statement.
“Live Before a Studio Audience” is produced by Kimmelot, Act III Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions, D’Arconville, Simpson Street and Sony Pictures Television.
“Thanks again to ABC and Sony Pictures Television for supporting our creative process and our incredible cast as we try to make the impossible possible – all over again. I couldn’t be more excited to end this year producing a project that supports, encourages, and encourages live viewing with those you oversee, ”said Executive Producer Brent Miller, who leads Act III with Lear.
Executive Producer Kerry Washington added, “It has been an honor and a highlight of my career to work with the legendary Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC and Sony. Part of the magic of Norman’s iconic TV series is that it is as resonating with audiences today as it was decades ago. To experience it all over again and to re-imagine yourself feels like pure joy. I keep wondering when that feels like work! “
Here is a poster for the new special:
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