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What's Happening Now!!: Wikis


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What's Happening Now!!
Opening titles from 1985
What's Happening Now!! Logo
Genre Sitcom
Created by Eric Monte
Written by Eric Monte
Directed by Michael Schultz
Starring Ernest Lee Thomas
Haywood Nelson
Fred Berry (1985-1986)
Shirley Hemphill
Anne-Marie Johnson
Reina King (1985-1986)
Danielle Spencer
Martin Lawrence (1987-1988)
Ken Sagoes (1987-1988)
Composer(s) Henry Mancini
Bruce Miller
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 66
Executive producer(s) Michael S. Baser
Mike Mulligan
Kim Weiskopf
Producer(s) Larry Balmagia
Bob Peete
Michael S. Baser
Kim Weiskopf
Running time 21:50
Production company(s) Columbia Pictures Television
Distributor LBS Communications, Inc.
Columbia Pictures Television (1988-1996)
Columbia TriStar Television (1996-2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002-present)
The Program Exchange (2006-present)
Original channel Syndication
Original run September 7, 1985 – March 26, 1988
Preceded by What's Happening!!

What's Happening Now!! is an American sitcom that ran in syndication from 1985 to 1988. It was the sequel to the sitcom What's Happening!!, which ran from 1976 to 1979. Like the original series, What's Happening Now!! is loosely based on the motion picture Cooley High (written by Eric Monte and directed by Michael Schultz).


Series basis

In the series, Roger "Raj" Thomas (played by Ernest Thomas) had become a fledgling writer. He had bought half of the restaurant Rob's Diner (renamed Rob's) and he was running the business with Shirley (Shirley Hemphill), making money for himself and his new wife Nadine (Anne-Marie Johnson), who was a social worker. Dwayne (Haywood Nelson) had become a computer programmer, and Rerun (Fred Berry) had become a used-car salesman. Raj lived in the same house he grew up in, while Dwayne and Rerun shared an apartment. The antics and sarcastic one-liners were reminiscent of the first series. Raj's little sister Dee (Danielle Spencer) showed up on a sporadic basis in guest spots, with the explanation that she had gone away to college. Raj and Nadine also became foster parents to a young girl named Carolyn, played by Reina King (sister of actress Regina King), who had displayed the sass that was seen in Dee when she was younger.

Second season

By the second season, both Fred Berry and Reina King left the series. King's character learned that she had an aunt and moved in with her while Rerun's disappearance wasn't explained. TV Party and other sources reveal that Fred Berry wanted more money since he felt that he was the one bringing in the viewers. The producers declined hence his termination. Berry's widow, Essie Berry told Urbanite magazine at Georgia State University that their unwillingness to pay Fred Berry his due in both shows led to their early cancellations.

Third Season

During the third season, the series introduced a pair of characters that harkened back to the original incarnation of What's Happening!! back on ABC. Maurice Warfield (Martin Lawrence) was a teenager who spent his afternoons as a busboy at Rob's Diner under the supervision of Shirley and Raj while his best friend Darryl (Ken Sagoes) hung out with him. Together, they had many misadventures not unlike the original trio of Raj, Dwayne, and Rerun.


The show was distributed during its original run by Colex Enterprises, a joint venture of Columbia Pictures Television and LBS Communications. CPT's successor, Sony Pictures Television, now has sole distribution rights.

DVD Release

On June 12, 2007, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the first season of What's Happening Now!! on DVD in Region 1. Due to poor sales, it is unknown if the other 2 seasons will ever be released.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Complete First Season 22 June 12, 2007

External links

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