As part of the upcoming TV Land Awards, TV Land will be reuniting members of the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter. The ABC sitcom was a huge success and in its early years helped launch the career of John Travolta.
At this point, the reunion will include Travolta (“Vinnie Barbarino”), Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (“Freddie ‘Boom Boom’ Washington”), Ron Palillo (“Arnold Horshack”), and Marcia Strassman (“Julie Kotter”). Other participants are still being added so hopefully that means that Gabe Kaplan (“Mr. Kotter”) and Robert Hegyes (“Juan Epstein”) will also take part.
I believe the last time there was a Welcome Back, Kotter reunion was as part of ABC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. For the 2003 event, Kaplan, Travolta, Hilton-Jacobs, Palillo, Hegyes, and Strassman all reunited on-stage. Travolta even briefly reprised his popular character for some shtick with Kaplan.
Here’ the press release about the upcoming TV Land Awards…
Welcome Back!!! John Travolta and the Cast of “Welcome Back, Kotter” to Receive 35th Anniversary Award at the “TV Land Awards 2011”
The ‘Sweathogs’ of Brooklyn to be Honored at Taping on Sunday, April 10
Show to Air on Sunday, April 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
NEW YORK, March 3, 2011 — TV Land announced today that Golden Globe(R) winner and two-time Academy Award(R) nominee John Travolta will reunite with the cast of “Welcome Back, Kotter” at the “TV Land Awards 2011.” The network will salute the beloved sitcom – set in Brooklyn, NY – with the 35th Anniversary Award at this year’s show taping in New York City at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Sunday, April 10 and airing on TV Land on Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Travolta will reunite with co-stars Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Ron Palillo and Marcia Strassman – with more cast members to be announced – to accept the 35th Anniversary Award for the popular edgy sitcom which ran from 1975-1979.
“Welcome Back, Kotter” ran for five seasons and revolved around an inner-city high school teacher, Mr. Kotter (Gabe Kaplan) who returns to his alma mater to teach a new generation of under-achieving misfits nicknamed the “Sweathogs.” As a former “Sweathog” himself, Kotter uses his own life experiences to try and get through to this misunderstood group led by wisecracking Vinnie Barbarino (Travolta). The talented cast is rounded out by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington, Ron Palillo as Arnold Horshack, Robert Hegyes as Juan Epstein and Marcia Strassman as Mr. Kotter’s wife, Julie.
Now in its ninth year, the “TV Land Awards 2011” pays tribute to classic and contemporary luminaries of television, music and movies. The ninety-minute telecast will feature exhilarating musical performances and will reunite some of the most iconic celebrity TV casts. Previously announced honorees include Regis Philbin (Legend Award), “Family Ties” (Fan Favorite Award) and “The Cosby Show” (Impact Award).
Michael Levitt (“Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List,” “Ask Oprah’s All Stars,” “Scream Awards”) is executive producer; Glen Weiss is director (The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards,” “BET Awards,” “The 64th Annual Tony Awards”); Greg Sills is supervising producer (“VH1 Rock Honors,” “The Teen Choice Awards,” “Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards”) and TV Land’s Larry W. Jones and Casey Patterson are executive producers.
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About TV Land
TV Land is the programming destination featuring the best in entertainment on all platforms for consumers in their 40s and 50s. Consisting of original programming, classic and contemporary television series acquisitions, hit movies and a full-service Web site, TV Land is now seen in over 98 million U.S. homes.
About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 400 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, AddictingGames, Shockwave, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, SPIKE, TV Land, Atom, and GameTrailers.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to the Welcome Back, Kotter reunion? Who’s your favorite character?