'Live in Front of a Studio Audience' returns tonight for 3rd special: See the cast

The next 'Live in Front of a Studio Audience' special will re-stage episodes of 'The Facts of Life' and 'Diff'rent Strokes'

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Wednesday, December 8, 2021
'Live in Front of a Studio Audience' back tonight
The Emmy winning special "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" returns for its third installment tonight!

LOS ANGELES -- "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" is back tonight! The third iteration of "Live" will re-stage classic episodes of "The Facts of Life" and "Diff'rent Strokes."

Jennifer Aniston, Gabrielle Union, Allison Tolman and Kathryn Hahn have joined the cast of the next "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" special on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel announced last week on his show. They are all slated to appear in the "Facts of Life" episode, with Aniston playing Blair, Union playing Tootie, Tolman as Natalie and Hahn playing Jo. Ann Dowd was previously announced in the role of Mrs. Garrett.

"I cannot imagine a better group than Jennifer Aniston, Allison Tolman, Gabrielle Union, Kathryn Hahn and Ann Dowd, and I can't wait to do their hair," Kimmel, one of the show's executive producers, said in a news release.

Kimmel teased on his talk show Monday night that there would be additional "surprise appearances" during the special. It was announced later in the week that Jon Stewart would be joining the cast in a surprise role.

The "Diff'rent Strokes" cast announced last month includes John Lithgow as Mr. Drummond, Kevin Hart as Arnold and Damon Wayans as Willis. Dowd will appear as Mrs. Garrett in both episodes.

In addition to Kimmel, executive producers for the upcoming live special include Norman Lear, Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux and Jim Burrows. Burrows and Andy Fisher will direct the live show.

Two previous "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" specials in 2019 presented live episodes of Lear's sitcoms "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons" and "Good Times." According to figures provided by ABC and Sony, the most recent Dec. 2019 episode reached nearly 13 million viewers across broadest and digital platforms.

"Other than with my family, there's no place I'd rather be in my 100th year than on a soundstage at Sony with these glorious actors reliving what our company had produced all those years ago and sharing it with the millions of viewers who could use a little laughter," Lear said in a news release earlier this month.

Sandy Kenyon breaks down the third iteration of "Live," airing Tuesday, Dec. 7, on ABC, which will re-stage episodes of "The Facts of Life" and "Diff'rent Strokes."

Don't miss "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: 'The Facts of Life' and 'Diff'rent Strokes'" on ABC Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. ET/PT | 7 p.m. CT and next day on Hulu.