A group of students at a historically Black university struggle to make it through college.


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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 16 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Whitley Gilbert (138 episodes, 1987-1993)
 Dwayne Cleophus Wayne (136 episodes, 1987-1993)
 Ronald 'Ron' Johnson / ... (115 episodes, 1987-1993)
 Jaleesa Vinson Taylor / ... (104 episodes, 1987-1992)
 Kimberly 'Kim' Reese (102 episodes, 1988-1993)
 Winifred 'Freddie' Brooks (98 episodes, 1988-1993)
 Vernon Gaines (78 episodes, 1988-1993)
 Col. Bradford 'Brad' Taylor / ... (66 episodes, 1988-1993)
 Coach Walter Oakes (57 episodes, 1987-1991)


A group of students at a historically Black university struggle to make it through college.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Big laughs on campus.







Release Date:

24 September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

College Fieber  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(142 episodes) | (1 episode)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bill Cosby made three appearances, all in the first season, as Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show. Cliff is only seen in the Huxtable living room or kitchen on the other end of phone calls from Denise. Cliff's only appearance on the Hillman campus was seen in the Cosby Show episode which served as an introduction to A Different World. See more »


Throughout the course of the series, Whitley's talents go back and forth between being an accomplished singer/dancer and having little to no singing/dancing skills at all. See more »


Gina Devereaux: It's not what you think, Whitley. Dion is the sweetest, most romantic guy I've ever gone out with.
Whitley Marion Gilbert Wayne: So I've heard. He's just nervous about the concert.
Gina Devereaux: Well, you know how I am - I'm so self-centered and I'm always running off at the mouth, and you know how I flirt.
Whitley Marion Gilbert Wayne: There's no excuse for what he did to you, Gina. You're much smarter than this.
Gina Devereaux: But he loves me... and I don't want to break up with him.
Gina Devereaux: I just want him to stop.
Whitley Marion Gilbert Wayne: Throwing jabs? You're making a big mistake, Gina, if you think ...
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Night Trap (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Became most interesting after people stopped paying attention
8 October 2002 | by (Austin, Texas) – See all my reviews

Most people remember this show as the spinoff of The Cosby Show built around Lisa Bonet's Denise character. After she (and Marisa Tomei) left the show, it was generally dismissed as a failure that was left on the air because of Cosby's influence. Oddly enough, it was at that point that this series got interesting. The "traditionally black college" setting provided a unique forum for exploring the topics that have arisen at the cultural crossroads that is Modern America. Metaracial politics informed both explicitly sociological stories and more traditional sitcom plots. It finally became the show they had probably intended to produce in the first place. That's not to say that "A Different World" became the greatest show in the history of Television. It never managed to settle on who the main characters were. The romance of Whitley and Dwayne was probably most prominent, but Ron, Freddie, Jaleesa, Kimberly, and, eventually, another generation of students took center stage from time to time too. I think medical student Kimberly best embodied the "entry point" or audience viewpoint. She was the character most likely to balance the materialism of Whitley, activist politics of Freddie, and more personal concerns of the other characters and achieve some kind of moral synthesis which the producers seemed to be aiming for.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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