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.