Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear’s Emmy® Award-Winning ‘Live in Front of a Studio Audience’ Makes a Highly Anticipated Return With ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes,’ Wednesday, Dec. 22, on ABC
The Sony Pictures Television Special Will Star John Lithgow, Kevin Hart, Damon Wayans and Ann Dowd
Emmy® Award-winning “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” makes its highly anticipated return with a third iteration, featuring live reenactments of the hit series “The Facts of Life,” created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon, and “Diff’rent Strokes,” created by Bernie Kukoff and Jeff Harris. “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes’” airs WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22 (8:00-9:31 p.m. EST), on ABC. (Rebroadcast. OAD: 12/7/21)
The event will reunite executive producers Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux and Jim Burrows and will feature an all-star cast with John Lithgow who will play Mr.Drummond, Kevin Hart assuming the role of Arnold and Damon Wayans and Ann Dowd who will play Willis and Mrs. Garrett in“Diff’rent Strokes.”
“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 Norman Lear.
“Thanks, again, to ABC and Sony Pictures Television for supporting our creative conceit and our incredible cast as we try to make what might seem like the impossible possible — once again. I couldn’t be more excited to end this year producing a project that supports, promotes and encourages appointment TV with those you care for,” said executive producer Brent Miller.
Executive producer Kerry Washington said, “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!”
“‘Live in Front of a Studio Audience’ has become one of our most anticipated highlights of the year — it brings some of the biggest and funniest stars on the planet together on the same stage, where truly anything can happen, to introduce a whole new generation to ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ and ‘Facts of Life,’” said Craig Erwich, president, Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment. “Jimmy and Norman have outdone themselves with a spectacular, irreverent and hilarious cast to once again create a can’t-miss television event.”
“As Norman Lear approaches his 100th birthday, what better way to celebrate him than bringing back these classic shows, ‘Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes.’ It has been such an honor to work with Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller and our partners at ABC on the live specials. We look forward to seeing another stellar cast bring families together and enjoy this exciting format,” said Sony Pictures Television Studios President Jeff Frost and Co-President Jason Clodfelter.
The first two installments of the live broadcast television events captivated audiences with its all-star casts recreating episodes of “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” in spring 2019, and an additional classic episode of “All in the Family” and the groundbreaking sitcom “Good Times” in winter 2019. The Sony Pictures Television special “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘All in the Family’ and ‘Good Times’” reached nearly 13 million Total Viewers on linear and digital platforms. In addition, the holiday-inspired live event averaged nearly 8 million Total Viewers after 35 days of delayed viewing across all platforms.
“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.
About ABC Entertainment
ABC Entertainment airs compelling programming across all day parts, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” the longest-running medical drama in primetime television; riveting dramas “The Good Doctor,” “A Million Little Things,” “Station 19,” “Big Sky” and new hip-hop series “Queens”; trailblazing comedy favorites “black-ish,” “The Conners,” “The Goldbergs,” “Home Economics” and the new, reimagined “The Wonder Years”; the popular Summer Fun & Games programming block, including “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Holey Moley,” “Match Game,” “Press Your Luck” and “To Tell the Truth”; star-making sensation “American Idol”; reality phenomenon “Shark Tank”; “The Bachelor” franchise; long- running hits “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”; “General Hospital,” which has aired for more than 55 years on the network; and late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”; as well as two critically acclaimed, Emmy® Award-winning “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” specials. The network also boasts some of television’s most prestigious awards shows, including “The Oscars®,” “The CMA Awards” and the “American Music Awards.”
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About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is one of the television industry’s leading content providers, producing, distributing and carrying programming worldwide in every genre and for every platform. In addition to managing one of the industry’s largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, SPT is home to a thriving global content business, operating a robust portfolio of wholly-owned and joint-venture production companies across the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, as well as linear and digital channels around the world. SPT is a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation.
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