- A Different World (TV series)
show_name = A Different World
runtime = 30 minutes
creator = William Cosby Jr., Ed.D.
executive_producer =Marcy Carsey
Tom Werner Debbie Allen
Lisa Bonet(1987-88) Jasmine Guy Kadeem Hardison Marisa Tomei(1987-88) Darryl M. Bell(1988-93) Cree Summer(1988-93) Charnele Brown(1988-93) Glynn Turman(1988-93) Dawnn Lewis(1987-92)
Lou Myers (1989-93)
Karen Malina White(1992-93) Jada Pinkett(1992-93) Ajai Sanders(1992-93) Loretta Devine(1987-88)
opentheme = performed by:
Boyz II Men
country = USA
September 24, 1987
July 9, 1993
num_seasons = 6
num_episodes = 144
list_episodes = List of A Different World episodes
imdb_id = 0092339
tv_com_id = 500|
"A Different World" is an American
television sitcomwhich aired for six seasons on NBC(from September 24, 1987 until July 9, 1993). It was a spin-offseries from " The Cosby Show", originally centered around Denise Huxtable(portrayed by actress Lisa Bonet) and the life of students at Hillman College, a fictional historically Black college in Virginia. Later seasons of the show focused on other characters including Dwayne Wayne(portrayed by actor Kadeem Hardison) and Whitley Gilbert(portrayed by actress Jasmine Guy).
While it was a spin-off from the "Cosby Show", "A Different World" typically addressed issues that were avoided by the "Cosby Show" writers (race and class relations, the
Equal Rights Amendment). One episode that aired in 1990 was one of the first American network television episodes to address the HIV/ AIDSpandemic. Reruns can be seen weekdays on BET as well as in syndication in select cities.
The success and popularity of "A Different World" are credited with an increase in enrollment at
historically Black colleges and universitiesduring the late 1980s and early 1990s. [http://www.santacruzlive.com/ex/content/view/5399/147/]
Mary Alice- Leticia "Lettie" Bostic (Episodes 13-20, 23-44)
Darryl M. Bell- Ronald "Ron" Johnson, Jr. (Seasons 2-6, recurring in Season 1)
Lisa Bonet- Denise Huxtable (Season 1, guest-starring in Episode 49)
Charnele Brown- Kimberly Reese (Seasons 2-6)
Loretta Devine- Stevie Rallen (Episodes 1-9, 21)
Jasmine Guy- Whitley Gilbert(except Episode 22)
Kadeem Hardison- Dwayne Wayne(except Episode 22)
Dawnn Lewis- Jaleesa Vinson (Seasons 1-5)
Patrick Malone- Terrell Walker (recurring in Season 6)
* Lou Myers - Vernon Gaines (Seasons 3-6, recurring in Season 2)
* Jada Pinkett - Lena James (Season 6, recurring in Season 5)
Marie-Alise Recasner- Millie (recurring in Season 1)
Bumper Robinson- Dorian Heywood (recurring in Season 6)
Ajai Sanders- Gina Deveaux (Season 6, recurring in Seasons 4 and 5)
* Sinbad - Walter Oakes (Seasons 2-4, recurring in Season 1)
Cree Summer- Winifred "Freddie" Brooks (Seasons 2-6)
Marisa Tomei- Maggie Lauten (Season 1)
Glynn Turman- Col. Bradford Taylor (Seasons 2-6)
Cory Tyler- Terrence Taylor (recurring in Seasons 4 and 5)
Karen Malina White- Charmaine Tyesha Brown (Season 6, guest-starring in Episode 113)
:colorbox|#FFFFFF The character had no roommate
*Before Gilbert Hall became Coed, the male students lived in an unknown dormitory.
Hillman College Reunion
In August 2006,
Nick At Niteaired a weeklong marathon of "A Different World" episodes. Lisa Bonet, Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Darryl M. Bell, Cree Summer, and Sinbad reunited for short vignettes that provide a glimpse of the current state of their characters. Nick at Nite's Hillman College Reunion [http://www.tvland.com/nickatnite/shows/differentworld/hillmancollege/] website added details beyond those shown on television.
eason 2 changes
During the summer of 1988, Lisa Bonet announced that she and husband
Lenny Kravitzwere having a baby. It was felt that viewers would not accept Denise Huxtable as an unwed mother, having grown to know her as a "good girl" after four seasons of "The Cosby Show" and "A Different World". Thus it was decided that Denise would drop out of Hillman, return home to her family, and eventually travel to Africa throughout the fifth season of "The Cosby Show", ensuring that viewers would not see a pregnant Denise. This led to Debbie Allenbecoming the chief creative force behind "A Different World", and to the revamp that placed Whitley and Dwayne at the center of a wider ensemble, dealing with more relevant issues of the day. Allen, an alumna of Howard University, made a conscious effort to make Hillman resemble an actual historically black college as much as possible. The first season of Hillman's student body consisted of both black and white students, but this was changed at the beginning of the second season and was maintained until the series ended.
Marisa Tomei and Marie-Alise Recasner were replaced by Charnele Brown and Cree Summer. Darryl M. Bell and Sinbad were promoted to the principal cast, which (coupled with the addition of Glynn Turman and Lou Myers) allowed the show to provide a more equitable balance of male and female perspectives.
Dwayne's status as the campus nerd was gradually phased out, and Ron was transformed from devoted boyfriend to notorious womanizer. The replacement of the passive Millie with the more confident Kim as Whitley's roommate and confidante helped to make Whitley a more sympathetic character.Fact|date=February 2007 The addition of Freddie preserved other elements of Season 1, as the character represented both the Bohemian aspects of Denise and the studious nature of Maggie.
Hollywood Reporter" is quoted as stating that when Debbie Allen became the producer-director of "A Different World" after the first season, she transformed it "from a bland "Cosby" spin-off into a lively, socially responsible, ensemble situation comedy." [http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/D/htmlD/differentwor/differentwor.htm "A Different World", Museum of Broadcast Communications] ]
The Museum of Broadcast Communications states that Debbie Allen::"a graduate of historically black
Howard University— drew from her college experiences in an effort to accurately reflect in the show the social and political life on black campuses. Moreover, Allen instituted a yearly spring trip to Atlanta where series writers visited two of the nation's leading black colleges, Morehouse and Spelman. During these visits, ideas for several of the episodes emerged from meetings with students and faculty."Second museum reference]
*In Season 2, the episodes "No Means No" deals with
date rape. Freddie has a crush on Hillman's new top-notch baseball star Garth Parks (played by Taimak). Dwayne hears Garth discuss a disturbing incident involving another woman. Dwayne goes to Walter ( Sinbad) for advice, and Walter tells him about date rape. Dwayne tries to warn Freddie, but she does not believe Garth would do such a thing. Later at a dance Garth goes off alone with Freddie and attempts to rape her, but Dwayne finds them and fights Garth. At the end of the episode Walter takes Garth to the police station for his assault on Freddie and rape of the other woman.
*In January 1991 (seven days before the beginning of Operation Desert Storm),
Blair Underwoodguest-starred in "War and Peace," an episode written by Jasmine Guy and Dominic Hoffman about the impending Persian Gulf War. It was one of the only television series to address this topic in the days leading up to the war.
*In the fourth-season episode "Ms. Understanding", Hillman student Shazza Zulu played by Gary Dourdan "Freddie's Man", peddles a book he has written and self-published that is highly critical of African-American men and their allegedly sexist behavior. The episode is based on the controversy surrounding the book "
The Blackman's Guide to Understanding the Blackwoman" ["sic"] . This book, written by controversial African American author Shahrazad Ali, blamed many of the problems within the black family and the black community on African American women. Though most black women found the book highly offensive and intellectually deficient Fact|date=February 2007, African-American men purchased hundreds of thousands of copies in 1989 and 1990, leading to a temporary rift between many African American men and women. Ali's book is mentioned specifically in the 1990 episode "Time Keeps On Slippin'," where Ron suggests putting it in the time capsuleto represent a female point of view, but is shouted down by the women in the group. It should be noted that Ms. Ali’s beliefs stem from her fervent belief in Faradian Islamand her membership in the Nation of Islam.
*The fifth-season episode "Mammy Dearest" addresses two subjects almost never discussed on
prime timetelevision: the "mammy" image and its negative effect upon African-Americans' sense of beauty and self-worth, and the little-known fact that some well-to-do African-Americans actually owned slaves themselves. Kim is disheartened with the display of several "mammy" dolls in a cultural exhibit, while Lena informs Whitley that her ancestors were slave owners.
*Various episodes in the last two seasons of the series referenced contemporary high-profile cases of
sexual harassment, such as the Mitsubishiscandal and the Clarence Thomas- Anita Hillhearings. In the episode "Bedroom at the Top," Whitley is sexually harassed at her new job by an executive. The Anita Hill hearings also are mentioned in the episode "The Little Mister," in which Dwayne dreams about the 1992 elections imagining himself as Hillary Clinton, while Whitley is Bill.
*In Season 6 episode "Homie, Don't You Know Me?" also known as "The Lost Episode", rapper
Tupac Shakurportrays Lena's (Jada Pinkett) old boyfriend from back home. The two bump heads over Lena's new college "attitude", not to mention her new boyfriend Dorian (Bumper Robinson). This is one of the few television sitcom appearances made by Tupac.
Like its parent series "The Cosby Show", "A Different World" altered its opening credit sequence at least slightly almost every season. Kadeem Hardison is the only person featured in every variation of the opening credits, however Dawnn Lewis appears in all but the last season's.
* Season 1 - Joint and individual scenes featuring Lisa Bonet (Denise), Marisa Tomei (Maggie), Dawnn Lewis (Jalessa), and Kadeem Hardison (Dwayne) frolicking on the campus of Hillman College. Jasmine Guy (Whitley) and Loretta Devine (Stevie) are named but not shown, nor is Mary Alice (Lettie) when she replaces Devine. Episode 22 removes the names of Hardison, Guy and Devine/Alice, replacing them with Ted Ross (Dr. Harris) and Vernee Watson-Johnson (Carla). The theme song is sung by Phoebe Snow.
* Season 2 - Series of individualized scenes featuring Jasmine Guy, Dawnn Lewis, Kadeem Hardison, Mary Alice, Darryl M. Bell (Ron), Sinbad (Walter), Charnele Brown (Kim), Cree Summer (Freddie), and Glynn Turman (Col. Taylor). Lisa Bonet and Marisa Tomei are not present. The theme song has been slightly altered and is now sung by Aretha Franklin.
* Season 3 - Same as Season 2, except Lou Myers (Mr. Gaines) replaces Mary Alice.
* Season 4 - Same as Season 3.
* Season 5 - Same as Season 4, except Sinbad is removed, and Darryl M. Bell's scene is re-shot to reflect this.
* Season 6 - Completely new series of individualized scenes. Dawnn Lewis is removed. Many of Jasmine Guy's and Kadeem Hardison's scenes are together, reflecting Whitley & Dwayne's new marital status. Charnele Brown and Lou Myers share scenes. Ajai Sanders (Gina), Jada Pinkett (Lena), and Karen Malina White (Charmaine) are added. Dominic Hoffman (Julian),
Gary Dourdan(Shazza), Patrick Malone (Terrell), Bumper Robinson (Dorian), and Jenifer Lewis (Dean Davenport) are not named but clearly shown. The ending sequence features the cast, directors,including Debbie Allen, and writers coming together in a circle. The theme song has again been slightly altered and is sung by Boyz II Men.
As a show developed by Bill Cosby for a character from "The Cosby Show", "A Different World" naturally had many connections to its parent program, even before the latter program was created. The third-season finale of "The Cosby Show", entitled "Hillman", was essentially a pilot episode for the new show.
The theme song was co-written by Stu Gardner, Bill Cosby, and Dawnn Lewis — who later became a cast member. In the online interviews related to the 2006 "Hillman College Reunion," Lewis revealed that her being approached to write the song and to audition were two separate events within a short time of each other, such that she thought it was a
practical jokeby her friends. The song was performed by Phoebe Snow in Season 1, by Aretha Franklinin Seasons 2 through 5, and Boyz II Menin Season 6.
The spin-off program featured many appearances by characters from the parent program, especially in the initial season, in which Denise's father, mother, younger sisters Vanessa and Rudy, brother Theo, and grandfather Russell all appear on the show, either at Hillman or at the other end of a phone call. Denise's departure from Hillman after Season 1 did not stop her mother from reappearing on the show. Three of
Phylicia Rashad's four appearances as Hillman alumna Clair Huxtabletook place after Season 1, and in one of these, she brought her younger daughter Vanessa to tour the college.
Producer/director Debbie Allen is the sister of Phylicia Rashad, Allen made one guest appearance on "The Cosby Show", playing an aggressive aerobics instructor who helps
Clair Huxtable( Phylicia Rashad) slim down for a special occasion. Allen appeared in later season's of ADW as Whitley's physchiatrist. Dwayne and Whitley also visited the Huxtable home in an episode featuring the revelation that Denise had married and would not return to Hillman.
A young Kadeem Hardison also appears in the Cosby Show as one of Theo Huxtable's friends in the Gordon Gartrell episode, although Hardison is not playing Dwayne.
Like Lisa Bonet, Karen Malina White brought her "Cosby Show" character to Hillman. Charmaine was the best friend of Clair Huxtable's cousin Pam Tucker. Her "Cosby" costar
Allen Payneturned down an offer to bring his role as Charmaine's boyfriend Lance Rodman to "A Different World" as a regular during Season 6, preferring instead to pursue a movie career; he and Jada Pinkett starred in the 1994 film " Jason's Lyric", which is considered to be a milestone in both of their careers. Payne did appear in one episode in which Charmaine visits Hillman as a prospective student, bringing Lance along to see if he can gain admission as well. When Charmaine arrives at Hillman, she and Lance are maintaining a long-distance relationship and he is mentioned in multiple episodes.
Urban Works released Season 1 of "A Different World" on DVD in Region 1 on November 8, 2005. Several release dates for Season 2 were announced (May 2006, July 2006 & September 2006) but it was never released. Urban Works was acquired by
First Look Studiosin early 2006 and it subsequently purchased the rights to the show but has yet to release any further seasons on DVD. It is unknown if the remaining seasons will be released at some point. [http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=6685] '
* The show's DVD release is rated PG for suggestive dialogue by
U.S. television ratings
Historically black colleges and universities
* [http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/D/htmlD/differentwor/differentwor.htm "A Different World"] at the
Museum of Broadcast Communications
* [http://www.billcosby.com/ Official Bill Cosby Site]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Different World — For the television series, see A Different World (TV series). For the Iron Maiden song, see Different World (song). Infobox Album | Name = Different World Type = Album Artist = Uriah Heep Released = February 1991 Recorded = 1991 Genre = AOR,… … Wikipedia
World Heroes (series) — World Heroes redirects here. For the 1992 arcade game, see World Heroes (arcade game). World Heroes Logo for World Heroes, the first game in the series, which is the most commonly used logo in the series. Developer(s) … Wikipedia
2005-06 World Sevens Series — Rugby World Cup datefrom = 2005 12 01 dateto = 2006 06 04 jointhost1 = Dubai jointhost2 = South Africa nations = 14 champion = Fiji runnerup = England matches = attendance = apm = top scorer = most tries = preceded by = 2004 05 IRB Sevens World… … Wikipedia
NASCAR Camping World East Series — Infobox sports league logo=NASCARcampworldseries.gif pixels=142px sport=Auto racing country=USA founded=1987 teams=18 Fully Active Manufacturers = Chevrolet Dodge Ford Toyota website = [http://localracing.nascar.com/series/7… … Wikipedia
2004-05 World Sevens Series — Rugby World Cup datefrom = 2004 12 02 dateto = 2005 06 11 jointhost1 = Dubai jointhost2 = South Africa nations = 13 champion = New Zealand runnerup = Fiji matches = attendance = apm = top scorer = most tries = preceded by = 2003 04 IRB Sevens… … Wikipedia
A Different World — may refer to: A Different World (TV series), a TV sitcom on NBC A Different World (song), a 2007 country song by Bucky Covington Different World (album), a 1991 album by Uriah Heep Different World (song), a 2006 song by Iron Maiden Different… … Wikipedia
Another World (TV series) — Another World Title card from 1996 to 1999 Genre Soap opera Created by Irna Phillips William J. Bell … Wikipedia
List of A Different World characters — A Different World was the popular spin off from the American television series The Cosby Show. It aired on NBC for six seasons, from 1987 to 1993. Contents 1 Main characters 2 Supporting characters 3 … Wikipedia
2008 Nascar Camping World East Series — The 2008 NASCAR Camping World East Series began on April 19, 2008, at Greenville Pickens Speedway with An American Revolution 150. The season will conclude on September 28, 2008, at Stafford Motor Speedway. NASCAR s 4th tier series will be known… … Wikipedia
World-number-one male tennis-player rankings — is a year by year listing of both the male tennis player who, at the end of a full year of play, has generally been considered to be the best overall player for the entire year, and of the runner up for that year. Contents 1 Unofficial rankings… … Wikipedia