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TV Series
    (September 16, 1983-March 24, 1989)
    Aired on ABC (1983-87) and in syndication (1987-89)
    Emmanuel Lewis as Webster Long
    Alex Karras as George Papadapolis
    Susan Clark as Katherine Calder-Young Papadapolis
    Premise: a black orphan is adopted by a white family
    It was a blatant Diff'rent Strokes rip-off.
    Just like Diff'rent Strokes dragged in Danny Cooksey as Sam, Webster dragged in Corky Nemec as Nicky to provide an extra infusion of cuteness.
    When they moved the show to the suburbs, they had Webster accidentally burn down their apartment. (Because having the parents just decide to move someplace with more space would not traumatize the viewers enough.)
    Karras and Clark repeatedly clashed with the producers over their characters being shoved into the background.
    Lewis' mother became annoyed at crew members picking him up to carry him to filming.
    The show's success led to Lewis being Michael Jackson's sidekick for much of the 80s.
    Apparently, America's need in the 80s for diminutive, wisecracking black orphans was too big for one TV series to fulfill.
    Clark and Karras were married in real life as well on the show.
    It played well enough to kids that it lasted two extra years in syndication after getting the ax from ABC.

Credit: C. Fishel

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