Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Family
6.7
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The misadventures of a rich Manhattan family who adopted the children of their late African American maid.

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Title: Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986)

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Episodes

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Years



8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1986   1985   1984   1983   … See all »
2 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Philip Drummond / ... (181 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Arnold Jackson (179 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Willis Jackson (166 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Kimberly Drummond (140 episodes, 1978-1986)
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Storyline

Phillip Drummond, a widowed Manhattan millionaire and president of the mega-firm Trans Allied Inc., adopts two orphaned black brothers from Harlem 8-year-old Arnold and 12-year-old Willis. Drummond had made a promise to their dying mother, his housekeeper that he would care for the boys after she passes on; their father had died years earlier. The boys, whom Drummond always introduced as his two sons, went from rags to riches literally overnight. At first, Willis was a bit skeptical of their new-found wealth, but eventually, both he and Arnold felt right at home in their new-found surroundings. Also part of the family were Drummond's beautiful daughter, 13-year-old Kimberly; and his current housekeeper, Edna Garrett. As the years passed, Mrs. Garrett left to become house-mother at the Eastland School for Girls; she was replaced by the cantankerous Adelaide Brubaker and still later, charming Pearl Gallagher. Arnold's friends, Dudley and Robbie (and later, Charlie); Willis' girlfriend, ... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

45 Minutes from Harlem  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (189 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Thicke the father from growing pains sings the theme song. See more »

Quotes

Willis Jackson: [Arnold refuses to fight the school bully] Alright, Arnold. Then I'll just tell Mr. Drummond what a coward you are. He'll talk some sense into you. Think he wants a coward for a son?
Arnold Jackson: Awww Willis, please don't say anything to him.
Willis Jackson: Well, somebody's gotta make a man outta you.
Arnold Jackson: What's the rush? I'm barely outta toilet-training.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tosh.0: Redneck Stuntman (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Diff'rent Strokes
(Theme Song)
Written by Alan Thicke, Al Burton and Gloria Loring
Performed by Alan Thicke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Gary Coleman made this show......when lasted eight seasons and 189 episodes
8 June 2000 | by (Chapel Hill,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

During my days as a kid,and partly through my high school years as well,this show was just that: The brainchild of Gary Coleman. Coleman made millions off this series,and when the show left the airwaves in 1986(and its repeats in syndication),it was totally discarded forever,never to be heard from again,despite of what the people may say about this show and the fate of its cast including Todd Bridges(who played brother Willis),and the sudden death of Dana Plato(who played big sister Kimberly),and also from Conrad Bain(who played the widower Mr. Drummond) who was a regular on TV's Maude before coming to this series.

If someone would come up to you on the street,they would asked "What you talking about?" in the form of that question.

Interesting point about this show: It started off as a show called "Milk" on the NBC network before it became a series. "Diff'rent Strokes" when it premiered on November 3,1978 became one of the network's biggest hits scoring in the top ten of the Nielsens during its astounding seven year run on the Peacock Network and made Gary Coleman a huge megastar. NBC canceled this series on May 4,1985 after 170 episodes.

Also Mr. Drummond would get married in the show too during the 1984-1985 season to Maggie McKinney(played by Dixie Carter before going on to "Designing Women",which was on a rival network),and also bringing in her son Danny as Arnold's other brother(played by Danny Cooksey-who would go on to star opposite Scwarzenegger in Terminator 2,and also do voice-overs for children's shows) Also,Janet Jackson would appear as Willis' girlfriend Charlene during the 1981-1983 season(which during this time Miss Jackson did have a hit album out along with this series at that time). Shavar Ross was Arnold's best friend Dudley. When the show was canceled by NBC on May 4,1985 there were several cast changes. Mary Ann Mobley replaced Dixie Carter on the show and also gone were Pearl(Mary Jo Catlett). On September 27,1985,the show moved to ABC-TV where 19 new episodes were produced before the network finally canceled it on March 7,1986 after 189 episodes.

This was a grand series that spawned two spin-offs,the short-lived situation comedy series "Hello,Larry",and another successful series "The Facts of Life",which would go on to become NBC's longest-running and successful series from 1979-1987.

If it comes back on the air,its worth seeing.


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