The Facts of Life & Diff'rent Strokes "Live" Casts on Sitcoms Impact

If you're a fan of classic sitcoms, then we're pretty sure we don't need to remind you about Jimmy Kimmel & Norman Lear's Live in Front of a Studio Audience. Set to kick off tonight, an impressive line-up of stars are showing their love for two classic sitcoms. "The Facts of Life" reenactment stars Jennifer Aniston as Blair, Gabrielle Union as Tootie, Allison Tolman as Natalie, Kathryn Hahn as Jo, Jon Stewart in a mystery role, and Ann Dowd as Mrs. Garrett. Dowd pulls double-duty tonight, also appearing as Mrs. Garrett in a reenactment of an episode of "Diff'rent Strokes," joining John Lithgow's Mr. Drummond, Kevin Hart's Arnold, and Damon Wayans's Willis for the performance. Now, the stars open up about why they signed on for tonight's special performance.

facts of life
Image: Screencap

In the following look behind the scenes of the special, Hart, Hahn, Union, Aniston, Dowd, Lithgow, Wayans Sr., and Tolman, as well as Lear, discuss the impact Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life had on their own careers, and what viewers can expect:

Now here's a look back at the official cast announcement trailer that was released earlier this week, with ABC's Live in Front of a Studio Audience set to hit our screens tonight from 8:00-9:30 pm ET:

This edition of ABC's Live in Front of a Studio Audience will be produced by Kimmelot, ACT III Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions, D'Arconville, Simpson Street, and Sony Pictures Television. Lear, Kimmel, Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux, and Jim Burrows will executive produce. Burrows and Andy Fisher are set to direct the live show. "Other than with my family, there's no place I'd rather be in my 100th year than on a soundstage at Sony with these glorious actors reliving what our company had produced all those years ago and sharing it with the millions of viewers who could use a little laughter," said Lear. Executive producer Washington added, "It has been an honor and highlight of my career to collaborate with the legendary Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC, and Sony. Part of the magic of Norman's iconic TV series is that they resonate with audiences today just as much as they did decades ago. Reliving and reimagining them feels like pure joy. I keep wondering when this will start to feel like work!"

facts of life
Image: ABC

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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