Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Yara Shahidi to Host ‘A Different World’ Table Read Directed By Debbie Allen

Debbie Allen1

*Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe-winner Debbie Allen is directing a table read of “A Different World” with Tessa Thompson, Yara Shahidi, Storm Reid, Kelly McCreary, Oswin Benjamin and Lil’ Yachty on Tuesday. 

The event is part of the Zoom Where It Happens series finale on October 27 at 6:00 PM PST/9:00 PM EST. 

Shahidi will serve as host of the episode, with Thompson playing  Kinu, McCreary will portray Whitley, Reid will play Freddie and Jaleesa, Allen will depict Adele, Benjamin will assume the role of Dwayne Wayne, and Lil Yachty will appear as Ron.

READ MORE: Lenny Kravitz Recalls Bill Cosby Kicking Pregnant Lisa Bonet Off ‘A Different World’

Allen previously recalled how the Los Angeles Riots caused tension behind the scenes on “A Different World,” the popular 90’s sitcom about life at a fictional HBCU. The series ran for six seasons between 1987 and 1993 on NBC. 

“The L.A. riot episode was amazing. It was unsettling what was going on in the L.A. riots and what we had to go through to get that show on the air. We got through it and we showed people rioting,”Allen said in a recent episode of the TV One docuseries “Uncensored.”

The big note we got from the network was about the white looters,” Allen recalled in shock. “I had people coming out of the liquor store and I gave them a line, I said say it: ‘Free at last, thank God almighty we’re free at last.’ I thought I was going to hear about that. They complained about the white looters. I’m like are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?.” she added.

“So what did we do? We got Roseanne [Barr] and Tom Arnold,” she explained.  “We reshot it with them because that was a ratings victory to get them on A Different World. That was very interesting. I mean the show was about so many other things. But that’s a little nugget on the inside of what we have to go through. I was always going into the principal’s office.”

Meanwhile, the production team behind the “Different World” Zoom table read includes Thompson, Ryan Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Cynthia Erivo, Kerry Washington, Rashida Jones, Stefanie and Quentin James, Latanya Richardson-Jackson, Channing Dungey, Karen Richardson, Issa Rae and Ava DuVernay, per Deadline.

The finale of “Zoom Where It Happens” on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. pt/ 9 p.m. ET and those wanting to attend must register here beforehand.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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