What's Happening!! (1976–1979)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy
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Reviews: 17 user | 5 critic

What's Happening is loosely based on the 1975 movie Cooley High written by Eric Monte. Monte created What's Happening and was also a co-creator and writer for the TV series Good Times.

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3   2   1  
1979   1978   1977   1976  
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Stars: Ernest Thomas, Haywood Nelson, Anne-Marie Johnson
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Complete series cast summary:
Haywood Nelson ...
 Dwayne Nelson (65 episodes, 1976-1979)
Ernest Thomas ...
 Roger 'Raj' Thomas (64 episodes, 1976-1979)
 Dee Thomas (64 episodes, 1976-1979)
Fred Berry ...
 Freddie 'Rerun' Stubbs (62 episodes, 1976-1979)
Shirley Hemphill ...
 Shirley Wilson / ... (59 episodes, 1976-1979)
 Mabel 'Mama' Thomas (38 episodes, 1976-1978)


A trio of black youths learn about life, love, friendship, credit cards, gambling, and a variety of other things while growing up in an inner city. Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

5 August 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(79 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

See  »

Did You Know?


In the initial draft, the role that became the character "Rerun" was going to be a skinny white kid. See more »


Fred 'Rerun' Stubbs: Ralph represents all that which is good, and pure - Ralph is a head... of lettuce.
Roger Thomas: You worship a HEAD OF LETTUCE?
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Renée Zellweger/Eve (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best sitcoms of the 1970's
8 June 2000 | by (Chapel Hill,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

One day,bored out of my mind with shopping,I was sitting in an outlet store watching TV,and behold!!!! This was one of my fondest memories of childhood back in the day,coming home after school and watching the antics of Roger,Dewayne,and Rerun getting into all sorts of trouble only to get Roger's smart-mouth sister Dee and Roger's mother get them out of unsuspected situations. Interesting note on "What's Happening!!",though.....it got the idea from a 1975 film "Cooley High"(on which the show was based)about three Chicago kids who were having fun and getting into all sorts of trouble......The show(getting back to "What's Happening"!!) was based in the residental section of Los Angeles where the mom was the single parent with two children in the household. The show itself was side-splitting hilarious indeed catching the gang down at the soda stop coming up with some crazy scheme or another,and catching Rerun and Shirley(the waitress) battling it out,or getting some girl to go out with them. The show was a major top ten hit for the ABC network(which started off as a trial run,but returned in the fall as a weekly series). The theme score to the show was done by the great Henry Mancini,and its a classic. Some of the cast members reunited for a spinoff called "What's Happening Now!!",with Roger getting married off,and Rerun and Dewayne having a business of their own,and the waitress Shirley who brought Rob's Place and is the owner. Rumor has it that two of the cast members of that show Dewayne,(played by Haywood Nelson),and Dee(played by Danielle Spencer) are living in North Carolina now,and Roger(played by Ernest Thomas)is doing feature films(notably seen in Denzel Washington's movie "The Hurricane") nowadays. Great show,but its a crying shame that is not on any of the cable channels. Worth watching though. Classic.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Anyone know that extra in many episodes..... heberald26
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