6.7/10
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30 user 10 critic

Diff'rent Strokes 

The misadventures of a wealthy Manhattan family who adopted the children of their late African American housekeeper from Harlem.
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1,024 ( 187)

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Episodes

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Years



8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1986   1985   1984   1983   1982   1981   … See all »
2 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Conrad Bain ...  Philip Drummond 181 episodes, 1978-1986
Gary Coleman ...  Arnold Jackson 179 episodes, 1978-1986
Todd Bridges ...  Willis Jackson 169 episodes, 1978-1986
Dana Plato ...  Kimberly Drummond / ... 140 episodes, 1978-1986
Edit

Storyline

Phillip Drummond, a widowed Manhattan millionaire and president of the mega-firm Trans Allied Inc., adopts two African American orphans 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 away; 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 rather skeptical of their newfound wealth, but eventually, both he and Arnold felt right at home in their newfound surroundings. Also part of the family were Drummond's beautiful daughter, 13-year-old Kimberly; and his no-nonsense housekeeper, Edna Garrett. As the years passed, Mrs. Garrett left to become housemother 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' ... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Can the funniest, most opinionated nine year old south of Harlem find happiness as the adopted son of a suave, lily-white Park Avenue millionaire? (season 1)

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

45 Minutes from Harlem See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (189 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dana Plato's son, Tyler Lambert, committed suicide in 2010, allegedly in part because he missed his Mom and wanted to be with her. See more »

Quotes

Kimberly Drummond: Well, well, if it isn't Sleeping Beauty.
Willis Jackson: You mean Sleeping Ugly.
Arnold Jackson: I owe you an insult!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Two hour-long episodes on the first season DVD are presented in their edited, two-part syndicated versions. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Michael Palin/James Taylor (1979) 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 »

User Reviews

 
Like a lot of shows that prominently featured children started out good and faded as they grew older.
22 December 2011 | by Aaron1375See all my reviews

I watched this show as a child and I enjoyed it for what it was. However, as the show got older even I could see that Gary Coleman was getting a bit to old for the role and that is of course when they did what every show featuring children who age do. Do they simply end the show gracefully...No! They try to keep the show alive, by interjecting a younger kid to try and bring the cute factor the show once had and lost when the children grew up. They did this on numerous shows, this is one of the few that I actually saw that did it. I watched Brady Bunch a bit when I was a kid, but I have never seen an Oliver episode. This show is about a wealthy guy who takes in the children of a former maid or something. That is about all there is to it. He has a daughter of his own and he raises the children the best he can as they go out in the world and face all of life's little challenges, including a guy who kidnaps young Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Kimberly (Dana Plato) in an episode that was a bit much considering this show was aimed at the family market. I mean you want your child to be safe and all, but you also do not want them becoming fearful and paranoid. They also had one where cute little Sam (the youth interjection) got kidnapped as well. Then they have an episode where they basically try to capitalize on the success of the film "Ghostbusters". So in recap this is a show that should have stayed on four or five years tops, but tried to keep the show going as long as possible and weakening what little did work.


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