Friday, June 5, 2015

Facts About "Facts of Life"

The 1980's sitcom The Facts of Life was an interesting and rare case where a sitcom was able to rebalance itself after a disastrous first season and become a modest hit for its network.

Did You Know?

The First Season was a disaster- The show had high hopes, as it was a spinoff of the hit Diff'rent Strokes but it didn't quite measure up. Featuring a majorly different cast, it seemed too busy with too many castmembers. Famed producer Norman Lear wanted NBC to cancel the show, but the network decided a re-work might fix things. Mr. Lear removed his name from the show, but continued to produce it as he was contracturally obligated to do so. The eventual success of the show made him millions of dollars.

Charlotte Rae was heavily involved in the show- She hired Mindy Cohn herself and named Mindy's character 'Natalie' after her childhood friend. Beverly Ann, who replaced her character when she left the show, was named after her sister. The young adoptee Andy was named after her son.

Future Stars Got Their Start There- Both Molly Ringwald and George Clooney starred on the show during different seasons. Molly was one of the fired actresses from the first season.

Robin Thicke's Parents Wrote the Theme Song- 1980's Also-Dad Alan Thicke and his then-wife Gloria Loring, herself an accomplished actress and singer wrote the television show's theme song. Ms. Loring sang it during seasons 2-9.