11 Things You Didn’t Know About The TV Show ‘Different World’

This was a spin-off from the famous ‘Cosby Show’ in which Denise (Lisa Bonet) goes off to college.  The show follows her day-to-day life, including all of the people she interacts with. However, Bonet left the show after only the first season but that did not stop it from being a huge hit. It ended up lasting for six seasons and here are some things that you might not know about it:

1. It was completely different than the original premise.

‘A Different World’ was supposed to be about a white girl’s experiences while attending a mostly black college. Meg Ryan was originally cast as the lead role of Maggie Lauten. Meg later turned it down to focus on movies instead of TV.

2. The first plot was trashed at the last minute.

After four episodes, they decided to change directions and brought in a new producer, Anne Beattes. Her job was to create an entirely different plot in just six weeks. She had done other successful shows such as, ‘Square Pegs’.

3. Lisa Bonet’s Pregnancy was good timing.

They were already trying to decide on how to axe Lisa Bonet from the show when her new husband, Lenny Kravitz announced her pregnancy and the actress left the show.

4. David Bowie’s concert inspired Dwayne Wayne’s glasses.

Those trademark flip-top glasses made him really stand out and this came from seeing David Bowie in concert with guitarist, Carlos Alomar, who was wearing a pair of them.  Now, they are known as ‘Dwayne Wayne glasses’.

5. Jasmine Guy created her accent for Whitley from memories of her Third Grade Teacher.

Whitley’s accent was, in a sense, perfect for her but now we know that she borrowed it from a past teacher which made her sound more like a ‘Southern belle’.

6. The character, ‘Whitley Gilbert’ was based on the show’s head writer.

This spoiled girl was based on the real-life experiences of head writer, Susan Fales-Hill, the daughter of a Haitian actress and wealthy Italian businessman.

7. This show had connections with Spike Lee’s ‘School Daze’.

Three character’s from this show also worked on Spike Lee’s film, that is, Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison and Darryl M. Bell.

8. Rosanne Barr made a cameo on this show.

Her and her husband, Tom Arnold appeared on this show as a pair of looters that helped themselves to freebies at a high-end boutique during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

9. Freddy Brooks (Cree Summer) sounds familiar.

That’s because she did voiceover work after this show as the Green M&M for decades and also is a regular on other animated shows such as ‘Inspector Gadget, the Care Bears, As Told By Ginger’ and ‘Rugrats’.  She even had the opportunity to be in Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White’ video:

10. The interracial relationship between Kim Reese and a Caucasian student was not well received.

She said that she got a lot of hate mail after this and that,”The majority of the backlash came from men in prison,” she stated. “They wanted to know why NBC would pair ‘the only black girl on the show’ with a white boy.”

11. Tempestt Bledsoe fell in love on this show.

She made a guest appearance as Vanessa Huxtable in 1989. Five years later, she and Darryl M. Bell (Ron Johnson) started dating.