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21 Jump Street was a television crime drama series that originally aired on the Fox Television Network from 1987 to 1991. The show was created by Stephen J. Cannell and Patrick Hasburgh. 21 Jump Street centered around police officers that looked younger than they were to work undercover in high schools as part of a youth crimes unit.
The hour-long 21 Jump Street was filmed near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It featured Johnny Depp, who said he signed on for six years because he thought the show would only last one year. At first, Depp refused the part and Jeff Yagher was cast as Officer Tom Hanson instead. But, 21 Jump Street co-creator, Patrick Hasburgh, really wanted Depp, and asked him again to take the role and that time Depp accepted. The scenes with Yagher had to be re-shot.
The pilot episode of 21 Jump Street aired on 12 April, 1987 in two parts, but on the same night. The show was a hit and continued for five seasons. The plots revolved around issues such as child abuse, drug abuse, drinking, racism and homophobia. The idea behind the special youth crimes unit was to catch would-be criminals while they were still in high school to try to stop them from becoming career criminals. Public service announcements, with members of the 21 Jump Street cast speaking about the main issue of a particular episode, often followed the show.
Holly Robinson, Peter De Luise, Frederic Forrest and Richard Grieco were some of the other notable names in 21 Jump Street besides Depp. Holly Robinson sang the lead in show's theme song with Peter De Luise and Johnny Depp on background vocals. Richard Grieco's character, Officer Dennis Booker, became a part of the show in the third season. Grieco was originally only supposed to be a guest star, but his character was so popular that a spin-off show was created. The show was called simply Booker and it was produced for only one year, 1989-1990, before Fox canceled it.
The title, 21 Jump Street, refers to the address of the old church which headquartered the youth crime unit on the show. Peter De Luise played Doug Penhall and Holly Robinson's role was Judy Hoffs. Johnny Depp wanted out of the role of Tom Hanson by the third year when he was receiving film offers. Depp's lawyers managed to help him escape his 21 Jump Street contract after the fourth year.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the premise of the original "21 Jump Street" TV series?
The original "21 Jump Street" TV series, which aired from 1987 to 1991, followed a group of young-looking police officers who worked undercover in high schools and colleges to tackle youth crime. The show blended drama and comedy, focusing on issues such as drug abuse, alcoholism, and social inequality. It was a launching pad for Johnny Depp's career, who played Officer Tom Hanson.
How did "21 Jump Street" impact television in its era?
"21 Jump Street" was one of the first network series to address real issues faced by teens and young adults of the 1980s and early 1990s. Its approach to sensitive topics, combined with action and humor, helped pave the way for future youth-oriented shows that didn't shy away from difficult subjects. The series also helped Fox, then a new network, establish itself as a competitor in the television landscape.
Were there any spin-offs or reboots of "21 Jump Street"?
Yes, "21 Jump Street" inspired a spin-off series called "Booker," which featured Richard Grieco's character, Dennis Booker. Additionally, the franchise was rebooted as a film series starting in 2012, with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum playing the lead roles. The movies took a more comedic approach and were successful at the box office, leading to a sequel, "22 Jump Street," in 2014.
What themes did "21 Jump Street" explore through its episodes?
"21 Jump Street" delved into various themes, including peer pressure, the consequences of drug use, the struggles of maintaining cover identities, and the personal lives of the officers. It often highlighted the moral dilemmas and emotional challenges the young officers faced while trying to enforce the law among their peers.
How can I watch the original "21 Jump Street" series today?
The original "21 Jump Street" series is available for streaming on various platforms. You can check subscription services like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, or purchase episodes through digital storefronts such as iTunes or Google Play. Availability may vary based on your location, so it's best to search the specific services accessible to you for the most current options.