- 8 Seasons
Diff'rent Strokes is a sitcom that takes place in Manhattan; it is the story of Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Willis Jackson (Todd Bridges), two African-American children from Harlem that go to live with wealthy, widowed Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain) and his daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato) in their upscale Park Avenue penthouse following the death of their mother who was the Drummond's housekeeper. The first season of the show primarily dealt with the adjustments of two young African-American boys living with white, upper-class Mr. Drummond. The boys eventually were adopted by him, took his last name and began referring to him as dad and Kimberly as their sister. Maggie McKinney (Dixie Carter) and her son, Sam (Danny Cooksey) joined the Drummond household late in the show's run when she and Mr. Drummond married. Along with being funny Diff'rent Strokes also tackled serious social issues such as child sexual abuse, racism, and the use of illegal drugs. The race issue was talked about frequently on the show; the Drummonds, often had to deal with peoples confused looks when Arnold and Willis were introduced to friends of Kimberly and associates of Mr. Drummond. The topic of illegal drug abuse offered an episode that featured first lady, Nancy Reagan who discussed her Just Say No anti-drug program. No matter what the topic of the episode, at some point Arnold would say his tag line, "What you talkin' bout, Willis?" which was sure to bring laughter and lighten the mood. Full of wholesome, family entertainment, the sit-com offers laughter when dealing life lessons. Diff'rent Strokes had a successful television run 1978-1986, it was broadcast on ABC from 1978-1985 and moved to ABC their final season 1985-1986.