What’s Happening!! Pilot Episode (1976)
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Let’s go back to 1976
What’s Happening!! follows the lives of three working-class African-American teens living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts.
The show stars Ernest Thomas as Roger “Raj” Thomas, Haywood Nelson as Dwayne Nelson, and Fred Berry as Freddy “Rerun” Stubbs. Co-starring are Danielle Spencer as Roger’s younger sister Dee; Mabel King as Roger and Dee’s mother Mabel; and Shirley Hemphill as Shirley Wilson, a waitress at Rob’s Place, the neighborhood restaurant where the boys are regular patrons. Recurring characters include Rob (Earl Billings), owner of Rob’s Place; and Miss Collins (Fritzi Burr), a sarcastic history teacher and the sponsor of the school newspaper.
The show aired on ABC from August 5, 1976, to April 28, 1979, premiering as a summer series. With good ratings and reviews after all the other failures on the network, What’s Happening!! returned as a weekly series from November 1976 until its April 1979 conclusion
The show was loosely based Eric Monte’a movie Cooley High.
A sequel ran from 1985 to 1988 titled What’s Happening Now!!with most of the major cast members reprising their roles
Source: Sal Amato