The Facts of Life Reunion
|The Facts of Life Reunion|
Annie de Young
|Directed by||Charles Herman-Wurmfeld|
|Theme music composer||Steve Dorff|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Ilene Amy Berg|
|Running time||95 minutes|
Berger Queen Productions|
Laurence Mark Productions
Columbia TriStar Television
Walt Disney Television
Buena Vista Television
|Original release||November 18, 2001|
|Preceded by||The Facts of Life Down Under|
|Related shows||The Facts of Life|
The Facts of Life Reunion is a 2001 American made-for-television comedy film based on the 1979–1988 NBC sitcom The Facts of Life which reunited original cast members Charlotte Rae, Lisa Whelchel, Mindy Cohn and Kim Fields, with the exception of Nancy McKeon, who was unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts with her then-starring role in the television series The Division.
The film originally aired on ABC as part of The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday, November 18, 2001. This is the third television film based on the series following The Facts of Life Goes to Paris (1982) and The Facts of Life Down Under (1987).
Thirteen years later, a widowed Mrs. Garrett is heading back to America on a cruise ship, ready for a whole new life and new romance and is also looking forward to seeing "her girls" again, all of whom have grown into successful, independent women:
- Blair Warner is a lawyer and also owns a hotel empire (Warner Enterprises) with her husband Tad Warner, managed by Mrs. Garrett's son Raymond; Blair and Tad have no children.
- Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey, now preferring to be called Dorothy, is a morning talk show host in Los Angeles and the single mother of a 10-year-old girl Tisha (fathered by her longtime boyfriend and later deceased husband Jeff Williams).
- Natalie Green is a behind-the-scenes producer at CNN with an active love life and a frenetic work schedule that takes her all over the world.
- Jo Polniaczek is a police officer still married to Rick Bonner and the mother of a 12-year-old daughter Jamie.
Natalie has talked Mrs. Garrett and all the girls into spending the Thanksgiving holiday together back in Peekskill, New York. When Jo is unable to attend the reunion because of work, her daughter Jamie comes instead in her absence. Natalie has received two different marriage proposals but when her two boyfriends, Robert and Harper, unexpectedly show up at the reunion, trouble soon starts and it's up to the girls to help solve Natalie's predicament. Over the course of the holiday, the girls reveal to one another the personal troubles they face in their adult years and discover that, despite the time that has passed, they need each other's friendship more than ever.
- Charlotte Rae as Edna Garrett
- Lisa Whelchel as Blair Warner
- Mindy Cohn as Natalie Green
- Kim Fields as Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey
- Joel Brooks as Raymond Garrett
- Carl Marotte as Rick Bonner
- Mallory Margel as Jamie Bonner
- Kevin Jubinville as Tad Warner
- Alexandra Johnson as Tisha Ramsey
- Jeffrey Ray as Jonathan Monroe
- Barclay Hope as Robert James
- Mark Lutz as Harper Jason
- Joe Dinicol as Sam
The Facts of Life Reunion was filmed from September 10, 2001 to October 8, 2001 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. All the outdoor scenes in Peekskill and the train station were shot as the World Trade Center went down during the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City.
Nancy McKeon originally met with the reunion's producers early on and offered to direct the movie. "I suggested that Jo be dead and that everybody come to her funeral and we do something like The Big Chill," she recalled. "THAT would have interested me." She had no takers. Still, McKeon insisted she had nothing but fond memories of The Facts of Life and owed her career to the experience. But she wanted to move on and continue to grow as an actress and didn't want to be known only as Jo. Also, she was busy filming the second season of her Lifetime crime-drama series The Division and, although she was set to do a cameo in the movie, the events of September 11 made it impossible for her to travel to Canada.
The original writers from The Facts of Life were said to not care, weren't around, or didn't want to be a part of it so the script was written by Max Enscoe and Annie de Young with an assist by Kevin Hench and Heather Juergensen.
In a TV Guide magazine article in March 2001, Mackenzie Astin, who played Andy Moffett on The Facts of Life from 1985–88, was asked about the reunion and he was quoted as saying: "I keep hearing about that too. I hope it's not happening, because nobody's called me! If it does, I hope they do call." Ultimately, Astin did not appear in the movie, neither did series regulars Cloris Leachman, George Clooney or Sherrie Krenn.
Nielsen ratings for The Facts of Life Reunion were 11.5 million viewers, 7.1 rating, 11 share and ranked #51 out of about 123 shows. In 2002, it re-aired on the ABC Family Channel on Saturday, September 14, Tuesday, September 17 and Wednesday, September 18.
- The Facts of Life Reunion: ABC Press Kit, retrieved February 23, 2015
- The Facts of Life Reunion movie news: Sitcoms Online, retrieved February 23, 2015
- The Facts of Life Reunion: Sitcoms Online, retrieved February 23, 2015
- The Facts of Life Reunion: Nielsen ratings, retrieved February 23, 2015