Facts of Life, The
The Facts of Life was a family comedy that ran from 1979 to 1988 on NBC. After Edna Garrett (charlotte Rae) left as housekeeper for the boys on Diff'rnt Strokes, she ended up as the housemother for a boarding school for girls. Remember the girls? There was Blair (Lisa Whelchel), Natalie (Mindy Cohn), Tootie (Kim Fields), and Jo (Nancy McKeon). Some of you will remember that George Clooney was also a character on the show in the mid 1980’s, as was Molly Ringwald (one of the early roomies). Some of you out there may even remember the 2 hour specials, The Facts of Life Goes to Paris (1982) and The Facts of Life Down Under (1987). There was also a reunion show in 2001.
As the housemother, Mrs. Garrett had to help the impressionable girls traverse such life pitfalls as drugs, sex, peer pressure, bulimia, rape, etc. After the first season wrapped up, producers decided there were too many girls to keep track of, so they let a number of them go and focused on the aforementioned four. After the girls graduated in season 4, in order to continue the show, the writers had Mrs. Garrett open a gourmet food shop, where the girls came to work (they lived above the shop). As the seasons went on, some characters would come and go, but the series continued to be wildly popular, even until its final episode in 1988.