The Facts of Life may be the next show riding the revival wave back to TV, as Sony is reportedly considering a reboot of the 80s sitcom. The original show, a spinoff of the popular NBC series Diff’rent Strokes, chronicled the ups and downs of a group of teenagers at an all-girl boarding school in New York State.
The main cast of Facts of Life included Charlotte Rae as headmother Edna Garrett, Lisa Welchel as spoiled rich girl Blair, Kim Fields as spunky Tootie, Mindy Cohn as naive Natalie, and Nancy McKeon as bad girl Jo. Many famous guest stars made their way through the doors of Eastland School over the years, including George Clooney, Helen Hunt, Seth Green, Juliette Lewis and Mayim Bialik. The series ran from 1979 until 1988, and featured one of the most memorable theme songs in TV history.
Like so many other classic shows of the past, The Facts of Life is now being looked at as a candidate to be rebooted. THR reports that Sony Pictures Television is in early talks to revive the series, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jessica Biel both involved as executive producers through their respective Appian Way and Oceans Films production companies. No network is yet attached and no writer has been hired.
News of a potential Facts of Life reboot comes amid a slew of similar reports regarding other long-gone TV shows that are being considered for revival. Most recently, reports said the ‘80s sitcom ALF could get a revival from Warner Bros. Television. Popular Joss Whedon series Buffy the Vampire Slayer is also getting a reboot with a black lead actress. There has also been talk of Kelsey Grammer’s long-running sitcom Frasier coming back for another go-around. One series that won’t be rebooted is All in the Family, as Norman Lear recently reassured fans after news that he had signed a new two-year deal with Sony Pictures Television to develop series.
Love it or hate it, the revival trend looks like it’s here to stay. During an era where original television is as fresh and interesting as it’s arguably ever been, it’s strange to think that networks would need to reach back into the past in search of shows. Then again, with so many TV and streaming networks in competition and so much content being needed to keep schedules filled, it’s also no surprise that no stone is being left unturned in the search for material. The Facts of Life makes sense as the latest reboot target, as it brings loads of nostalgia value (DiCaprio and Biel clearly still remember it fondly), and is built on a sturdy sitcom premise that can easily be re-worked for today’s audiences.