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What's Happening!! (TV Series 1976–1979) Poster

(1976–1979)

Trivia

Fred Berry and Ernest Thomas walked off the show during the second season, demanding more money and better dressing rooms. Their demands were met. After the third season, Berry and Thomas convinced Haywood Nelson to join them in another walkout demanding more money. Even though the show ranked 29th in the 1978-1979 season, ABC canceled it rather than deal with their demands.
During production, Danielle Spencer was involved in a car accident which left her in a coma for a few days. When Spencer came back to work, she had to do most of her scenes sitting down to avoid physical exertion, and changed her hair style and bangs to cover up injuries on her forehead.
Mabel King wanted the Thomas family to have a mother and a father (on the air Roger and Dee's parents were divorced, and their father remarried in 1977 and was not seen again). The producers' refusal contributed to her decision to quit her role in 1978. King was also unhappy with her reduced role in the series.
Although they were playing high school juniors in the first season, Ernest Thomas was actually 27 years old and Fred Berry was 25. Only Haywood Nelson, who was 16, was of high school age.
In the initial draft, the role that became the character "Rerun" was going to be a skinny white kid.
According to Haywood Nelson, he was in a relationship with Debbi Morgan, who played the recurring role of Diane. But Nelson said that he was not mature enough at the time to commit to their relationship.
According to Haywood Nelson, he had a romantic crush on Danielle Spencer during their time on the series. He also enjoyed a flirtatious friendship with Shirley Hemphill.
Eric Monte sued the producers, claiming he did not receive proper credit as the creator of the series. A title card at the very end of the end credits read "Suggested by the American International picture Cooley High written by Eric Monte". He also claimed that he was promised a credit as a producer. He received an out-of-court settlement.
For the first two seasons, Haywood Nelson commuted from his Garden City, New York home to Los Angeles to work on the series.
Fred Berry had his middle name legally changed to "Rerun."
Haywood Nelson is 10 years younger than Ernest Thomas, and 9 years younger than Fred Berry.
According to writer Eric Monte, ABC had originally planned to do a TV version of Cooley High (1975). After a poorly received pilot, ABC retooled it completely; "What's Happening!!" was the result.
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The character 'Dee Thomas' was ranked #5 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 10 Biggest Brats" (27 March 2005 issue).
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If you count "Dee" as a nickname for "Danielle", every actor either shared a first or last name with their character.
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Haywood Nelson was the only actor to appear in every single episode.
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Unlike his Raj character, Ernest Thomas didn't need glasses. He wore non-prescription glasses.
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The second Bud Yorkin-produced show after he ended his partnership with Norman Lear.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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