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Robin Givens Has Boarded The HBO Max Head Of The Class Reboot

HBO Max's reboot of the classic 1980s sitcom "Head of the Class" just got some serious cred, with original cast member Robin Givens slated to reprise her role of high-achieving student Darlene in the new version. She's the first actor from the vintage sitcom known to return to the reboot, which, like the original, centers on a group of gifted students at a New York City high school.

"Head of the Class" ran for five seasons on ABC, airing from 1986-1991, and followed the story of teacher Charlie Moore, played by sitcom legend Howard Hesseman ("WKRP in Cincinnati"), and the highly intelligent students he attempted to teach about life beyond the classroom. For the new show, the concept has stayed the same, but the teacher will now be played by Isabella Gomez, herself a veteran of another much-loved sitcom reboot, "One Day at a Time." The new iteration comes from sitcom super-producer Bill Lawrence ("Scrubs" and "Ted Lasso"), along with writer/executive producers Amy Pocha and Seth Cohen ("American Vandal").

Adding to what we already know about the reboot, Givens offered some insight on what's changed for her character in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Robin Givens' character Darlene is all grown up now

According to Entertainment Weekly, Robin Givens has signed on to once again play Darlene — only this time, instead of being one of the students, Darlene is a single parent whose son is part of the same Individualized Honors Program she was. "She's still Darlene Merriman," Givens told the magazine, "but her last name has changed. She's become a lawyer, she's a single mom and very close to her son and very much a mama bear. She's Darlene Merriman, all grown up. She's a perfectionist and sticking to her son like glue and trying to be the best mom she could possibly be but doesn't understand she probably should get out of the way a little bit to let him do some growing up."

Givens became the breakout star from the original "Head of the Class," her fame spiking even more thanks to her short-lived marriage to controversial boxer Mike Tyson (via Newsweek). Perhaps that's why returning to the set after 35 years brought back all the feels for the actress. "I can't begin to put it into words," she told EW. "It was so much more emotional for me than I could possibly say. It was like a flood of emotions that stuck with me. I grew up on Stage 5. ... Just even talking about it, thinking about it now, it's just really emotional for me."

EW also posted a short video of Givens back as Darlene. "I think it'll be hip and current and in many respects still very classic," Givens said of the reboot. "There are different ways to learn, and I think those lessons stand the test of time."

"Head of the Class" is set to premiere on November 4, 2021, on HBO Max.