Jennifer Aniston and Gabrielle Union Are Starring in ABC Live’s ‘Facts of Life’

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Jennifer Aniston is making her return to sitcoms… for one night only. ABC announced that the 52-year-old Friends actress will be starring in Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Facts of Life alongside Gabrielle Union.


The sitcom, which aired for nine seasons between 1979 and 1988, followed housemother of a dormitory at a private all-girls school in Peekskill, New York.

During the one-night-only event, Aniston will take on the role of Blair, which was originally portrayed by Lisa Whelchel, while Union will play Tootie, a role originated by Kim Fields.

Additionally, Allison Tolman will star as Natalie, who was first played by Mindy Cohn, Kathryn Hahn will be recreating Nancy McKeon’s role of Jo, and Ann Dowd is set to appear as Mrs. Garrett, a role that the late Charlotte Rae originated.

‘Facts of Life’ original cast: George Clooney as George Burnett, Nancy McKeon as Joanna ‘Jo’ Marie Polniaczek Bonner, Mackenzie Astin as Andy Moffet Stickle, Lisa Whelchel as Blair Warner, Kim Fields as Dorothy ‘Tootie’ Ramsey, Mindy Cohn as Natalie Letisha Sage Green (center) Cloris Leachman as Beverly Ann StickleNBCU Photo Bank

“I cannot imagine a better group than Jennifer Aniston, Allison Tolman, Gabrielle Union, Kathryn Hahn and Ann Dowd, and I can’t wait to do their hair,” said executive producer Jimmy Kimmel.

The Facts of Life was a spin-off of Diff’rent Strokes, which aired for eight seasons between 1978 to 1985, and followed two Black children who were welcomed into the family of a wealthy New York businessman.

In addition to The Facts of Life, the upcoming Live in Front of a Studio Audience special will include Diff’rent Strokes. Like in The Facts of Life portion of the special, Dowd will play Mrs. Garrett.

Additional cast members include John Lithgow as Mr. Drummond, a role originated by Conrad Bain, Kevin Hart as Arnold, who was first played by Gary Coleman, and Damon Wayans as Tom Bridges’ Willis.

‘Diff’rent Strokes’ Cast: Dana Plato as Kimberly Drummond, Todd Bridges as Willis Jackson, Charlotte Rae as Edna Garrett, Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes will air live on ABC Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET.


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