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A Different World: Season 1
A Different World Season 1 DVD

"A Different World" Season 1 DVD cover.
Country: USA
Number of Episodes: 22 episodes
Network: NBC-TV
Season Run: September 24, 1987 – July 7, 1988
Seasons: 123456
Season 1 was the first season of A Different World, which ran on NBC from September 24, 1987 – July 7, 1988 and lasted for a total of 22 episodes.

Summary Edit

Episodes Edit

Season 1 (1987-88)Edit

Season 1 episodes
# in Series # in Season Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production code
1 1 "Reconcilable Differences" Ellen Falcon Lissa Levin and Thad Mumford September 24, 1987 11105
Denise begins her sophomore year at Hillman clashing with her assigned roommate, Jaleesa Vinson. Denise quickly takes her cue and switches roommates, ending up with self-styled Southern belle Whitley Gilbert. Again, Denise clashes, but somehow Whitley makes Jaleesa look good. Denise also meets freshman and fellow Brooklynite Dwayne Wayne, who immediately becomes smitten with her.


  • Notes: This episode was taped after the pilot to add additional characters and provide background for those in the pilot episode. Marisa Tomei does not appear.
2 2 "Pilot" Jay Sandrich John Markus, Carmen Finestra and Matt Williams October 1, 1987 00000
Denise and Jaleesa get a new roommate, transfer student Maggie. But Denise learns her checks for dorm fees bounced and they could be forced out of the dorm. Reluctant to ask her parents for help, she is determined to find a solution to the dilemma on her own.


  • Note: The Pit, the on-campus restaurant, makes its first appearance in this episode with a slightly different design. The Pit also showcases a more racially diverse student body at Hillman than would be seen in later seasons.
3 3 "Porky de Bergerac" Ellen Falcon Susan Fales October 15, 1987 11306
Denise and Maggie convince Jaleesa to face-off against Whitley in a campaign for dorm monitor, and Jaleesa wins. When new dorm rules to reduce littering in shared areas go into effect, Denise is embarrassed when she is forced to wear a fake pig nose on a first date.


  • Note: First recurring appearances of Kim Wayans (Alison) and Bee-Be Smith (Gloria).
4 4 "Those Who Can't...Tutor" Kim Friedman Susan Fales October 22, 1987 12008
Dwayne offers to tutor Denise in calculus after she scores poorly on an exam, but their session runs late and he misses curfew. Whitley's reputation is put on the line after Dwayne is caught climbing out of her window by Stevie.


5 5 "War of the Words" Ellen Falcon Joe Gammon October 29, 1987 12211
Maggie and Whitley debate over whether women can successfully balance a career and family life. But when Maggie's boyfriend visits and asks her to move to Washington, D.C. with him, the issues become personal.


6 6 "Rudy and the Snow Queen" Ellen Falcon Cheryl Gard November 5, 1987 12412
Rudy Huxtable spends the weekend at Hillman–and winds up spending more time with Whitley, entranced by her glamour and charm, and neglects Denise in the process.


  • Guest stars: Bill Cosby and Keshia Knight Pulliam
7 7 "Sometimes You Get the Bear...Sometimes the Bear Gets You" Ellen Falcon Thad Mumford November 12, 1987 11700
Denise concocts a plot with her roommates to be the first women to participate in the Homecoming tradition of stealing the head of the opposing team's mascot, not knowing that her visiting grandfather Russell intends to carry out a similar plan with Dwayne's help.


8 8 "If Chosen I May Not Run" Ellen Falcon Thad Mumford December 3, 1987 10101
Coach Walter (Sinbad) offers Denise a tryout for the Hillman track team, and she seems capable of the challenge—until she realizes the commitment required and the pressure from home to follow in the Huxtable tradition.


  • Special Guest star: Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable
9 9 "Romancing Mr. Stone" Ellen Falcon Scott Spencer Gordon & David Felton December 10, 1987 11207
A number of female students, including Denise, have more than science on their study lists when a new geology professor arrives at Hillman. David Alan Grier guest stars.
10 10 "Gift of the Magi" Ellen Falcon Susan Fales December 17, 1987 12513
A Secret Santa program has Jaleesa and Maggie unwittingly each assigned to give to the other as Whitley wrestles with the news that her divorced father has a new, much younger girlfriend and wants her to spend Christmas with them in Switzerland.


11 11 "Does He Or Doesn't He?" Ellen Falcon Thad Mumford January 7, 1988 12614
The women of Gilbert Hall place wagers when a graduate student predicts that Dwayne couldn't know how to handle a woman who actually responded to his cheeky pick-up lines.
12 12 "Advise and Descent" Ellen Falcon Cheryl Gard January 14, 1988 12715
Denise works as a peer counselor during finals week, and while she is good at helping other students with their problems, she neglects her own work.


13 13 "The Prime of Miss Lettie Bostic" Ellen Falcon Susan Fales & Thad Mumford January 14, 1988 13117
Leticia "Lettie" Bostic (Mary Alice), a Hillman dropout with a colorful past, becomes the new resident director at Gilbert Hall, and the ladies are surprised when her straight-talking methods contradict her legend.
  • Guest star: Ron O'Neal as a Hillman faculty member; he would return for three guest spots as Whitley's father.
  • Notes: this episode marks the first appearance of Mary Alice as Lettie. It is also explained that Stevie, the previous resident director of Gilbert Hall, left the position to get married.
14 14 "Wild Child" Ellen Falcon David Felton February 4, 1988 13016
Denise befriends a student known as "Cougar" from her philosophy class, not realizing that her brilliantly intelligent classmate is hiding some secrets of her own.


15 15 "Dr. Cupid" Reggie Life Deanne Stilman February 11, 1988 13218
Dwayne attempts to play Cupid for himself and others via his campus radio show, with unexpected results; Ron meets and falls in love with Whitley's devoted friend Millie, while Lettie receives a visit from a former suitor.
16 16 "The Show Must Go On" Kim Friedman Gary Dontzig & Steven Peterman February 18, 1988 12219
Denise and Whitley earn roles in Maggie's adaptation of the story of Adam and Eve and become real-life rivals for the actor playing Adam.
17 17 "Mr. Hillman" Matthew Diamond Margo Kaufman February 25, 1988 13520
Whitley enters the Miss Hillman pageant, but Denise — infuriated as the sexism of the pageant — convinces Dwayne to enter as well; Dwayne then has second thoughts when becomes looked at as an object on campus.
18 18 "Speech Therapy" Ellen Falcon Cheryl Gard March 10, 1988 10504
Jaleesa panics at the prospect of making a speech in front of her poetry class, Maggie obsesses over the money Denise borrowed from her more than a month ago, and Whitley gets Dwayne and Ron to fix her illegal humidifier.


19 19 "Clair's Last Stand" Tony Singletary Thad Mumford March 24, 1988 12722
Denise's mother Clair visits and lectures Denise about her grades, putting the kibosh on her big summer vacation plans. Meanwhile, Whitley feels depressed and left out when everyone is too busy to remember her birthday. Phylicia Rashad guest stars as Clair Huxtable.
20 20 "If Only for One Night" Tony Singletary Susan Fales April 28, 1988 13421
Denise at long last accepts a date with Dwayne, but their evening out is interrupted by Whitley's desperate search for an alternative to going home for the summer.


  • Note: This episode was intended to be the season finale and was the last one filmed before Lisa Bonet left the show.
21 21 "Come Back, Little Eggby" Ellen Falcon Scott Spencer Gordon May 5, 1988 12110
Assigned to take care of an egg in place of an actual baby, Maggie seeks out advice about the real thing from single mom Stevie. But when she leaves "Artie" with babysitter Jaleesa, "he" mysteriously disappears.
22 22 "My Dinner with Theo" Ellen Falcon Scott Spencer Gordon July 7, 1988 10303
Denise's brother Theo visits Hillman and gets the wrong impression about how much fun college life could be. Malcom Jamal Warner guest stars.