The Facts of Life Headed for a Reboot


It looks like The Facts of Life is the next classic 80’s sitcom getting the reboot treatment, and this one has some unexpected names potentially involved.

Deadline reports that the project, which is still seeking a writer, is in the early stages of development at Sony Pictures TV. The studio is working on getting Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson’s Appian Way and Jessica Biel’s Iron Ocean Films on board to produce.

The Facts of Life was a spin-off of Diff’rent Strokes. It was broadcast on NBC from 1979-88 and centered on the character of Edna Garrett played by Charlotte Rae.

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The series went through several settings. It started with Rae as the house-mother at an all-female boarding school. When Mrs. Garrett became the school’s dietician, she and four girls took up residence above the school cafeteria.

That move solidified the show’s ensemble of Rae, Lisa Welchel as Blair, Nancy McKean as Jo, Kim Fields as Tootie, and Mindy Cohn as Natalie. Eventually, Mrs. Garrett left the school to open a business and the girls went with her.

Throughout its run, the series focused on issues related to teenage girls and young women like drug use, sexual assault, and eating disorders.

Sony was responsible for the successful reboot of One Day at a Time on Netflix and may be looking to score another with The Facts of Life.

While it seems Hollywood will reboot or revive just about anything these days, The Facts of Life is surprising. Fans weren’t as nostalgic for the sitcom as they were for titles like Roseanne or Fuller House, which were both recently revived successfully (Although after Roseanne Barr’s firing for an inappropriate tweet, ABC will replace Roseanne with the spin-off The Conners this coming season).

On the other hand, a lack of nostalgia could work in the show’s favor, reducing expectations and enabling viewers to meet the new series on its own terms.

In addition, the show’s focus on serious issues and predominantly female cast could work at a time when diversity, inclusion, and sober discussions about real issues are increasingly being championed.

Also, while the potential inclusion of Biel and DiCaprio’s Appian Way as producers is unexpected, their presence could help give the sitcom a modern edge, as well as the attention of an audience that might not normally be interested in a sitcom reboot.

Biel is currently executive producing the anthology series, The Sinner, which just started its second season on USA Network, and Appian Way has produced several movies including The Wolf of Wall Street and Live by Night.

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At a minimum, rebooting The Facts of Life seems like a much better idea than the recently announced reboot of the ’80s sitcom ALF.

Check back with ShowSnob for more news as The Facts of Life reboot continues to be developed.