'Facts of Life' and 'Diff'rent Strokes' Live: Cast, Time, Channel and How to Watch

The third Live in Front of a Studio Audience special will air on ABC Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET. This year's special includes recreations of episodes from The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes, two shows originally produced by the legendary Norman Lear. The all-star cast includes John Lithgow, Damon Wayans, Kevin Hart, Allison Tolman, Jennifer Aniston, Gabrielle Union and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart.

The Diff'rent Strokes episode will feature Lithgow as Mr. Drumond, Hart as Arnold, and Wayans as Willis. In The Facts of Life, Aniston will star as Blair, while Union stars as Tootie. Tolman, Kathryn Hahn, and Ann Dowd will play Natalie, Jo, and Mrs. Garrett, respectively. Dowd will appear in both episodes.

Stewart will appear in The Facts of Life episode. His role has been kept a secret, but The Facts of Life does not have many male roles for him to play. The show featured John Lawlor as Steven Bradley in Season 1 and a pre-fame George Clooney as George Burnett in Seasons 7 and 8. Mackenzie Astin also played Andy Moffett, a foster child adopted by Beverly (Cloris Leachman) in Season 8.

The Live in Front of a Studio Audience specials were the brainchild of Jimmy Kimmel, who returns as executive producer alongside Lear, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux, Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, and Jim Burrows. Andy Fisher and Burrows will direct the special. Sony Pictures Television, Kimmelot, ACT III Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions, D'Arconville, and Simpson Street are the studios behind this year's special.

Even though Lear has been making television since the 1950s, he told The Hollywood Reporter the excitement of doing live shows has never disappeared. "It couldn't be more exciting to be revisiting, after all these years, these precious characters with these wonderful actors in the roles," he said. "I feel like I'm 14 years old at rehearsal because it always feels like a first for me to see these actors for the first time in these roles."


Fans who miss the initial broadcast can stream the show the next day on Hulu. ABC will also re-broadcast the special on Wednesday, Dec. 22. "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," Lear said in a statement.

The first special aired in spring 2019, with actors recreating episodes of All in the Family and The Jeffersons. The second special debuted in winter 2019 and included an episode of Good Times and another episode of All in the Family. The second special drew almost 12 million total viewers on linear and digital platforms, according to ABC.