The Facts of Life is an American sitcom that aired on NBC television network and ran from August 24,1979to May 7, 1988. It was created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon and it stars Charlotte Rae, Jenny O’ Hara, John Lawlor, Lisa Whelchel, Julie Piekarski, Mindy Cohn, Felice Schachter, Molly Ringwald, and Julie Anne Haddock.
It ran for ninedelightful seasons, telling the story of Edna Garret, who was played by Charlotte Rae, as she becomes a housemother and a dietician at Eastland School, an all-female boarding school in New York.
If you used to be a fan of this television show and you miss it, or you want to know more about it, here are some fun facts about The Facts of Life. Enjoy reminiscing!
- There were originally seven girls in the first season. Things got a little bit crowded during the show’s first season because aside from the producers dealing with seven girls as the main characters, they have to squeeze in a couple of school administrators in the cast as regular characters as well. It did not work out and the show somehow received lousy ratings for it. That’s why the producers decided to cut out some of the cast including Molly Ringwald.
- The Facts of Life was a spinoff of the other sitcom entitled Diff’rent Strokes.
- Mindy Cohn, Lisa Whelchel, and Kim Fields were not given the memo that the other girls were fired until they showed up for work on season two.
- When The Facts of Life ended in 1988, it became NBC’s longest running sitcom. Back then, having a total of nine seasons with 201 episodes was enough to consider it the longest running sitcom. But of course, the show was surpassed in NBC’s record book by Frasier, Cheers, and Friends.
- Mindy Cohn was picked from a real girl’s school. Before the show started its production, some of the show’s producer including Charlotte Rae visited a real all-female school to observe the behavior of real teens. Cohn happened to be one of the several students who agreed to meet with the production team to answer their questions. Charlotte Rae instantly loved Cohn’s personality and they all agreed that she would be a great addition to the cast and the rest is history.
- Kim Fields, the actress who played Tootie, was only ten years old when the show started. That’s why during the show’s first season, her character always worn roller skates to make her look taller than she actually is.
- The show was supposed to be called The Garrett’s Girls but the producers felt that it gave too much away. That’s why they went for The Facts of Life which seemed more appropriate because the show presents the different struggles and problems that the girls have to go through to learn the true facts of life.
- The Facts of Life had tons guest stars who later on became a big-time celebrity. Actors George Clooney, Seth Green, Richard Dean Anderson, Crispin Glover, David Spade, and Juliette Lewis are some of the guest stars that appeared on the show.
- Throughout the show’s run, they tried releasing a few backdoor pilot episodes hoping it would result in another spinoff but unfortunately, they failed to launch any of it.
- The show’s producers became very concerned about Lisa Whelchel and her weight gain. According to Whelchel, it came to a point where the producers hired therapists, exercise trainers, and nutritionist. They even sent her to fat farms and health spas just to make sure she maintains the look of her character.
- On the other hand, Mindy Cohn was losing weight and the producers asked her to quit whatever she’s doing to lose weight because her character was tied to being fat. That’s why Cohn had to wear baggy clothes to make her look bigger than she really was.
- Even if the show was one of NBC’s longest-running sitcoms, The Facts of Life has never been a huge hit. The show often won its time slot at times and had a few episodes to enter the weekly top 20, The Facts of Life season average was never higher than the 24th spot.
Those are the fun facts we gathered for you about The Facts of Life. Which one is your favorite?