NBC GOES BACK TO THE FUTURE WITH "BEHIND THE CAMERA" MOVIE THAT DEPICTS BACKSTAGE STORY OF POPULAR SERIES "DIFF'RENT STROKES" WITH CAUTIONARY TALE OF CHILD STARDOM
Series Stars Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges to Serve as Consultants. Bobb'e J Thompson stars as a young Gary Coleman
BURBANK, Calif. -- February 28, 2005 -- NBC will re-visit one of television's most popular comedy series, "Diff'rent Strokes" with a new movie that serves as a powerful cautionary tale about the tragedies and challenges facing the child stars of the sitcom in "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Diff'rent Strokes.'" Production will begin this month in Vancouver, Canada. Original cast members, Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges will serve as consultants on the movie and will also appear in on-camera interviews.
"Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Diff'rent Strokes'" not only takes us behind the scenes of the popular sitcom, but also follows the lives of Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, and Dana Plato in the years after the series went off the air, as their lives spiraled downward. In addition, it also takes a look at the pitfalls of child stardom.
"Diff'rent Strokes" premiered on NBC on November 3, 1978 and concluded in 1986. Coleman and Bridges starred as Arnold and Willis Jackson, respectively, two orphaned children from Harlem who were adopted by wealthy businessman Phillip Drummond. The brothers' sudden lifestyle change from poverty to the penthouse made the comedy an instant hit for NBC.
The movie -- which follows previous Behind the Camera movies by NBC that successfully re-created the story and era surrounding "Three's Company" and "Charlie's Angels" -- will be produced by Once Upon a Time Films. Bobb'e J Thompson (NBC's "The Tracy Morgan Show") has been cast to play a young Gary Coleman, and Verda Bridges, Todd Bridges' real life sister, has been cast to play Todd Bridges' mother.
In addition, NBC will also broadcast "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Mork & Mindy'" a movie version of the backstage story of the comedy "Mork and Mindy," which launched Oscar winner Robin Williams' career.
"Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Diff'rent Strokes'" is executive-produced by Stanley M. Brooks (NBC's "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Three's Company'") and Scott W. Anderson (NBC's "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Three's Company'"), with Damian Ganczewski (NBC's "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Three's Company'") producing. Robert Iscove ("She's All That") will direct from a script written by Greg Pincus and Susan Rinehart.