PaleyFest’s Fall TV Previews wrapped Monday night with Fall Flashback: The Facts of Life 35th Anniversary Reunion, a celebration of the coming-of-age sitcom’s lasting legacy (as well as its upcoming nine-season box set, to be released in January).
The event, held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, began with a screening of the season 2 episode “Cousin Geri,” which originally aired December 24, 1980. The episode explores Blair’s relationship with her cousin (played by Geri Jewell), a comedian who has cerebral palsy. It was framed by loud applause during the sitcom’s opening and closing credits, which nearly drowned out the show’s catchy theme song.
When the applause died down, the evening’s moderator—Entertainment Weekly senior west coast editor Danielle Nussbaum—took to the stage to introduce the night’s panelists: cast members Charlotte Rae, Mindy Cohn, Lisa Whelchel, and Nancy McKeon, who played Mrs. Edna Garrett, Natalie Green, Blair Warner, and Jo Polniazcek, respectively. READ FULL STORY