ABC's upcoming Live in Front of a Studio Audience reenactment of The Facts of Life has added Jennifer Anniston, Gabrielle Union, Allison Tolman, and Kathryn Hahn to its cast. On Monday, Variety reported that the actors will join the previously announced Ann Dowd, who will be playing Edna Garrett for the event. The special is set to premiere on Tuesday, December 7th beginning at 8 p.m. ET as paired with a reenactment of another beloved sitcom, Diff'rent Strokes.
For the reenactment, Aniston will play Blair (originally played by Lisa Welchel), Union will play Tootie (originally played by Kim Fields), Tolman will play Natalie (originally played by Mindy Cohn), and Hahn will play Jo (originally played by Nancy McKeon).
The upcoming special is the third installment of Live in Front of a Studio Audience and will reunite executive producers Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrel, Justin Theroux, and Jim Burrows. The cast for Diff'rent Strokes has already been announced with John Lithgow playing Mr. Drummond, Kevin hart playing Arnold, Damon Wayans playing Willis, and Dowd playing Mrs. Garret (the character originated on Diff'rent Strokes before moving to The Facts of Life).
"I cannot imagine a better group than Jennifer Anniston, Allison Tolman, Gabrielle Union, Kathryn Hahn, and Ann Dowd, and I can't wait to do their hair," Kimmel said. The casting was announced during Monday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live.
"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," Norman Lear said in a statement when the special event was announced.
Created by Jeff Harris and Bernie Kukoff, Diff'rent Strokes ran first on NBC from November 1978 to May 1985 and then from September 1985 to March 1986 and originally starred Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain, Dana Plato, and Charlotte Rae. The Facts of Life, which starred Rae and was created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon, aired on NBC from August 1979 to May 1988. The series was a spinoff of Diff'rent Strokes and followed Rae's Edna Garret, formerly the housekeeper on Diff'rent Strokes, becoming the housemother of a dormitory for a private all-girls school.
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. Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux, and Jim Burrows will executive produce. Jim Burrows and Andy Fisher are set to direct the live show.
Live in Front of a Studio Audience premiere's Tuesday, December 7th at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The event will stream the next day on Hulu.