The Facts of Life: 2001 TV Reunion Movie News

Charlotte Rae, Kim Fields, Lisa Whelchel, and Mindy Cohn

Last Updated: August 28th, 2002

The Facts of Life Reunion

  • 08/28/02: The Facts of Life Reunion Movie will re-air on the ABC Family Channel (cable) on Saturday, September 14th at 7PM and 11PM EST/PST. It will also air on Tuesday, September 17th at 8PM EST/PST and Wednesday, September 18th at 1PM EST/PST

  • The Facts of Life Reunion Movie aired Sunday, November 18th at 7PM EST/PST on ABC.

  • From the January 26th-February 1st, 2002 TV Guide/Ultimate Cable issue:

    "McKeon saw no value in ABC's recent widely panned Facts of Life Reunion and was the sole cast holdout. At the time, a schedule conflict was her official excuse. Now she's willing to say more. 'I'm just not a fan of that kind of thing,' she admits. 'I would not watch it, so why would I be IN it? It's just never the same.'

    McKeon did meet with the reunion's producers early on and offered to direct the movie. 'I suggested that Jo be dead and that everybody come to her funeral and we do something like The Big Chill,' she recalls. 'THAT would have interested me.' She had no takers. Still, McKeon insists she has nothing but fond memories of Facts and owes her career to the experience. But she wouldn't mind poking fun at it: 'If they wanted to do a parody of Facts on Saturday Night Live, I'd say Gimme that school uniform. I'd slap it on right now."

  • Nancy McKeon was set to do a cameo in the movie, but the events of September 11th made those plans impossible.

  • Final ratings for the movie were 11.5 million viewers, 7.1 rating, 11 share. It ranked #51 out of about 123 shows. The Growing Pains movie did 15.1 million viewers last year so it was down about 20% but I think ABC is still very happy with it. I think it was hurt most by the Bears/Bucs game that went down to the last play. The Boston/St. Louis area probably wasn't included as it ran early there.

  • The 'Peace on Earth' line was added (at the request of Charlotte Rae) after the 11th.

  • All the outdoor scenes in Peekskill and the train station were shot as the WTC went down.

  • During the final half hour, they were number one in the ratings. This means more and more people came on board to watch and the ratings were affected by that football game that went down to the final play.

  • Kim Fields noticed the payphone was missing and improvised the missing payphone line for everybody.

  • Re-Learning the 'Facts of Life' (article with interviews, updates, and video clips - 11/15/01)

  • TV Guide (Jennifer Anniston and David Schwimmer on the cover) featured a 3 page story, click here for scans of the article

  • ABC FOL Reunion Movie Press Kit - with credits and biographies

  • Zap2it previews the Reunion Movie in an article

  • The Wonderful World of Disney - has a photo promoting the movie

  • ABC Specials - The Facts of Life Reunion Movie - some general info on the movie with photo

  • The Facts of Life Reunion Movie Site

  • For photos and behind the scenes information, check out the past journal entries at Lisa Whelchel's Coffee Talk

  • Entertainment Tonight - "Facts" Reunion! video clip preview of the segment that aired on September 27th, 2001 with text of an interview with Lisa Whelchel

  • What do we know about The Facts of Life TV Reunion Movie?

    After years of rumors, it is finally happening. The cast reportedly agreed to a pact at the taping of the final Facts of Life episode in March 1988 to never do a reunion movie unless one of them was on welfare. Fortunately, for FOL fans around the world - they have had a change of heart.

    The original writers from The Facts of Life were said to not care, weren't around, or didn't want to be a part of it so the script was written by Max Enscoe and Annie deYoung with an assist by Kevin Hench and Heather Juergensen.

    Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, who's helming the upcoming indie feature ``Kissing Jessica Stein,'' will direct.

    The two-hour picture which has yet to be titled focuses on Natalie, who asks the girls to reunite in Peekskill, N.Y., after she receives two different marriage proposals.

    The ``Facts of Life'' project went through a number of changes -- including a possible ``Big Chill''-esque tone at one point, with one of the girls (Jo) dying -- before taking its current form.

    Below is some info which may contain spoilers, it contains information on what the characters are up to now - if you want to be surprised when you watch the movie then do not read below (highlight the text with your mouse to read it):

    Natalie now serves as a behind-the-scenes producer at CNN. Mrs. Garrett, who got married and moved away when Rae left the show in 1986, returns to the States via cruise ship, where she meets a new love interest (she apparently joined the Peace Corps and became a widow in the time since ``Facts'' left the air). She has a penchant for cooking and new technology.

    Tootie (excuse me..."Dorothy" - she no longer wants to be called "Tootie") is a Hollywood-based talk show host and the single mother of a 10-year-old girl. Blair owns Warner Enterprises, which includes a stable of hotels, and is married to Tad Warner (making her Blair Warner Warner) without children. And while Jo doesn't show up for the reunion, her husband Rick and daughter Jamie do.

    Jo (Nancy McKeon) will most likely not be appearing in it. The rumor was that they would have her off in The Netherlands trekking in the mountains, but this rumor has proven to be false. According to the writers of the script, "all we can say is that the Netherlands is not and was never a destination for Jo. All we can say is that Jo lives!" It was learned from an Entertainment Tonight segment, that Jo will be a cop and couldn't be there because she and another cop from her division had to take a witness to trial.

    The movie will also have a number of inside jokes and indirect references to George Clooney and Molly Ringwald, who played schoolmate Molly Parker during the show's first season.

  • Where and when will it be filmed?

    Toronto, Ontario Canada

    It will be filmed in Toronto, Ontario Canada starting on September 10th.

    It will be produced by Disney-owned Touchtone Television which bought the rights to remake "Facts" from Sony's Columbia TriStar TV for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). Not coincidentally, the Growing Pains Reunion movie was also filmed in Toronto in August 2000 and aired on November 5th, 2000 on ABC. The Growing Pains Reunion posted strong numbers, so the project grew out of a barnstorming session at ABC.

  • Where and when will it air?


    It will air on November 18th, 2001 on ABC in the "Wonderful World of Disney" time slot (Sundays at 7pm EST/PST). November is a period that the networks call "The Sweeps" - it is when they set the amount to charge for advertising and commercials and when they want their programs to get the best ratings.

  • Who has agreed to appear in the movie?

    Lisa Whelchel, Mindy Cohn, Kim Fields, and Charlotte Rae have all agreed to appear in the reunion. Kim's deal to appear in the movie was closed on August 14th.

    Joel Brooks returns as Mrs. Garrett's son Raymond.

    Concerning the rumor that Kim Fields was holding out for more money, that rumor is false. Here's the real story:

    Kim, Mindy and Lisa are all signed to the project on an equal basis. Their financial deals are exactly the same, so we know she wasn't holding out for more money. The truth is she read the script by Max Enscoe & Annie deYoung and realized the movie was going to be great! The storyline for Tootie has her becoming everything we all hoped Tootie would become a real woman. Still funny, still committed to her friends, but also sexy and driven to succeed in her own life and career. In this movie, Tootie, and all the "girls" have grown up...just like we all did. You're going to like who they've become. Stay tuned!

    Mindy Cohn on The Weakest Link

    In an interview that aired on Entertainment Tonight on August 1st, Mindy Cohn was quoted as saying, "I feel like it's going to be a two-hour Nick at Nite episode, considering we're on every night right now, it just seems like a really good time." Mindy Cohn will be appearing on a special celebrity edition of The Weakest Link that will feature former sitcom stars in September.

    Internet Movie Database entry for "Facts of Life Reunion"


    Mindy Cohn as Natalie Green
    Kim Fields
    as Dorothy Ramsey
    Charlotte Rae
    as Mrs. Edna Garrett
    Lisa Whelchel
    as Blair Warner Warner
    Mark Lutz
    as Harper
    Mallory Margel
    as Jamie Bonner
    Joel Brooks
    as Raymond Garrett
    Carl Marotte
    as Rick Bonner
    Alexandra Johnson
    as Tisha Ramsey
    Joe Dinicol
    as Sam the bellboy
    Barclay Hope
    as Robert
    Kevin Jubinville
    as Tad Warner
    Francois Klanfer
    as chef
    Sam Moses
    as the cab driver
    Adam Reid
    as Donald
    Ken Smith
    as the patron
    John Bayliss
    as Davis
    Jennifer Foster
    as Maggie Rhodes
    Barry Stillwell
    as Officer Kendall
    Karen Glave
    as the reviewer
    Evan Caravela
    as Benjy

  • Who else could possibly be in the movie?

    Cloris Leachman, Geri Jewell, Marj Dusay (Blair's mother), Nicolas Coster (Blair's father)

    Mackenzie Astin

    In a TV Guide article in March, Mackenzie Astin was asked about the reunion and he was quoted as saying "I keep hearing about that too," he laughs. "I hope it's not happening, because nobody's called me! If it does, I hope they do call."

    Any of the 1st season cast members are possibilites with the exception of Molly Ringwald who is busy with tv and film work. Sherrie Austin (Krenn) who played Pippa in the last season seems like a remote possibility.

  • Who probably or most definitely will not appear in the movie?

    Nancy McKeon

    Nancy McKeon - Although she enjoyed her time on The Facts of Life very much, she wants to move on and continue to grow as an actress and doesn't want to be known as Jo only. Plus, she would likely be filming the 2nd season of her Lifetime cop series The Division and flying to Toronto to make a cameo would be very difficult.

    George Clooney

    George Clooney - When asked about appearing in the reunion, he has been quoted as saying "They fired me, so screw 'em." He has not been approached.

    Since Nancy McKeon (Jo) will not be appearing, it seems unlikely that Alex Rocco (Jo's dad) or Claire Malis (Jo's mom) would appear in it, but since Jo's husband Rick and daughter Jamie will be appearing you never know...

  • Sources/Related Links:

  • Lisa Whelchel Official Site - check her daily journal for the latest news and photos on her family's year-long cross-country dream trip

  • The Facts of Life Reunion Movie Site

  • ABC To Air 'Facts of Life' Reunion - August 14th, 2001

  • Lisa's Family Dream - Entertainment Tonight - July 24th, 2001

  • Entertainment Weekly article (scan) - June 30th, 2000

  • 'Will Tootie Still Wear Braces?' - E! Online - July 15th, 2000

  • Facts of Life Reunion - - September 2000

  • Whelchel Reveals 'Facts' Facts - TV Guide - September 19th, 2000

  • Lisa Whelchel Articles

  • Nancy McKeon Chat Transcript - February 20th, 2001

  • Nancy McKeon Chat Transcript - July 8th, 2001

  • Mackenzie Astin TV Guide Article - March 19th, 2001

  • The Clooneyworld - George Clooney quote

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