Jon Stewart has joined ABC’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Facts of Life” in what is being billed as a “surprise role.” He’ll join previously announced cast members Jennifer Aniston (as Blair), Gabrielle Union (Tootie), Allison Tolman (Natalie), Kathyrn Hahn (Jo) and Ann Dowd (Mrs. Garrett).
“Live in Front of a Studio Audience,” which will also include a “Diff’rent Strokes” episode, returns Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on ABC.
On the “Diff-rent Strokes” re-creation, John Lithgow will play Mr. Drummond, Kevin Hart is Arnold and Damon Wayans is Willis. Dowd returns as Mrs. Garrett in that one.
Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux and Jim Burrows will executive produce the Sony Pictures Television special. Burrows and Andy Fisher will direct the live show.
“Live in Front of a Studio Audience” is produced by Kimmelot, ACT III Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions, D’Arconville, Simpson Street and Sony Pictures Television.
“The Facts of Life” was created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon. “Diff’rent Strokes” was created by Bernie Kukoff and Jeff Harris.
“Live in Front of a Studio Audience” was a pretty huge ratings hit the first time around, topping 10 million total viewers with re-created episodes of “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.” The May 2019 event was such a hit that ABC decided to run it back in time for the holidays. That one, which featured episodes of “Good Times” and “All in the Family,” came in shy of 6 million viewers, however.
Those first two iterations drew a combined 22.1 million total viewers after 35 days of delayed viewing, and reached 36 million total viewers across all linear and digital platforms, according to ABC.
This “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” will be available to stream on Hulu the following day, when it will also be on-demand.