Plot & Details
The made-for-TV Facts of Life Down Under was at once a spin-off of the TV sitcom The Facts of Life and a sequel to the 1982 TV movie The Facts of Life Goes to Paris. In Facts of Life Down Under, Cloris Leachman, who'd earlier replaced Facts of Life's Charlotte Rae as "den mother" to a quartet of girl's-school residents, escorts her charges on a vacation to Australia. As ever, the girls are Blair (Lisa Whelchel), Jo (Nancy McKeon), Tootie (Kim Fields) and Natalie (Mindy Cohn), all of whom were getting a bit long in tooth by this time. For non-fans of the series, a subplot involving a jewel thief is tossed into the billabong. In addition, the girls befriend an aborigine (who seems more erudite than they do), while Leachman renews a romance with an old flame. Lensed on location, Facts of Life Down Under debuted February 15, 1987, at a time when the original Facts of Life series was plodding through its eighth season.