The Facts of Life began in August of 1979 and aired on NBC. It was a spin-off to the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes on which Charlotte Rae played Mrs. Garrett, housekeeper to Philip Drummond's household. In The Facts of Life, Mrs. Garrett has become headmistress to an exclusive girls school, Eastland. Although the series had a rocky start, including low ratings and a cast overhaul. The series went on to becomes one of the longest running sitcoms of the 80's.