TV classics The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes make their return to the small screen as you’ve never seen them before. The primetime special Live in Front of a Studio Audience will feature a reimagining of both shows with some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
Conceptualized and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, Live in Front of a Studio Audience has become a popular series of specials that recreate 1970s sitcoms in front of a live audience. Norman Lear’s Act III Communications, Kimmel’s Kimmelot, and Will Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions are co-producers of the series. Tonight’s special will be the third of the series with the two previous specials featuring: All in the Family, The Jeffersons, and Good Times. The specials have been critically acclaimed and a rating success, with the first two iterations, combining for 22.1 million total Viewers after 35 days of delayed viewing. The specials combined for 36 million total viewers across all linear and digital platforms.
The Facts of Life
Created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon, The Facts of Life originally aired on NBC from August 24, 1979, to May 7, 1988, airing 201 episodes over 9 seasons. As a spin-off of Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life would go on to be one of the longest-running sitcoms of the 1980s, and one of the longest-running sitcoms in TV history. Set at the fictional all-girls boarding school in Peekskill, New York, the series follows Edna Garret (Charlotte Rae), who becomes the housemother and dietitian at Eastland School.
For tonight’s reimagining, Jennifer Aniston will portray the role of Blair, with Gabrielle Union taking on the role of Tootie, Allison Tolman will play Natalie, and Kathryn Hahn recreating the show’s breakout character, Jo. Ann Dowd will portray Edna Garret and Jon Stewart will be joining the cast in an undisclosed role.
Created by Jeff Harris and Bernie Kukoff, Diff’rent Strokes aired for 189 episodes across 8 seasons. The series became a pop-culture phenomenon and made stars out of its young actors: Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, and Dana Plato.
The story follows two African-American brothers Arnold and Willis (Coleman and Bridges, respectively) from Harlem, who are adopted by a rich white businessman and widower, Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain), and his daughter Kimberly (Plato). The series aired on NBC from November 3, 1978, to May 4, 1985, and on ABC from September 27, 1985, to March 7, 1986. After the first season, Mrs. Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae), the Drummonds’ first housekeeper, spun off into her own sitcom (The Facts of Life).
For tonight’s reimagining, big names will take over the mantle of the show’s stars. John Lithgow will portray Mr.Drummond, with Kevin Hart assuming the role of Arnold and Damon Wayans will portray the role of Willis. Ann Dowd will be doing double duty as Mrs. Garrett in“both shows.
When to Watch
‘The Facts of Life’ & ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ will air live on Tuesday, December 7, from 8 to 9:30 PM ET.
The show will be available to watch the next day on demand and on Hulu.
How to Watch
Cord cutters have plenty of options when it comes to watching tonight’s reimagining of The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes.
AntennaWeb is a great tool you can use to find out which affiliate in your area will broadcast tonight’s show on ABC.
Subscribers to live TV streaming services can check out our chart below to see if your service will be streaming tonight’s show on ABC.
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Hulu: Subscribers to Hulu can stream the show the next day on-demand, for only $$6.99/mo., or $69.99/year, or upgrade to Hulu (No Ads) for $12.99/mo.
The Disney Bundle: Enjoy the next day airing of Live in Front of A Studio Audience: Diff’rent Strokes & The Facts of Life, hit movies, shows, and classics on Hulu (w/Ads), plus shows and sports on Disney+ and ESPN+ for only $13.99/month, or upgrade to Hulu (No Ads) for $19.99/month via The Disney Bundle.