Room 222

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Room 222
Room 222 openingtitle.jpg
Opening title
Created by James L. Brooks
Starring Lloyd Haynes
Denise Nicholas
Michael Constantine
Karen Valentine
Theme music composer Jerry Goldsmith
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 112
Production
Executive producer(s) Gene Reynolds
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) 20th Century Fox Television
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run September 11, 1969 (1969-09-11)  – January 11, 1974 (1974-01-11)

Room 222 is an American comedy-drama television series produced by 20th Century Fox Television. The series aired on ABC for 112 episodes from September 17, 1969 until January 11, 1974. The show was broadcast on Wednesday evenings at 9:00 (EST) for its first two seasons before settling into its best-remembered time slot of Friday evenings at 9:00, following The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, and preceding The Odd Couple and Love, American Style.[1]

In 1970, Room 222 earned Emmy Awards in three categories: Outstanding New Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Michael Constantine), and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Karen Valentine).

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Howard Rice as Richie Lane
  • Heshimu as Jason Allen
  • Eve McVeagh as Madge Morano, Mrs Cates, PTA Member
  • Eric Laneuville as Larry
  • Ta-Tanisha as Pamela
  • Judy Strangis as Helen Loomis
  • David Jolliffe as Bernie
  • Pendrant Netherly as Al Crowley
  • Pamela Peters as Laura
  • Carol Green as Kim
  • Bruno Kirby as Herbie Constadine
  • Ty Henderson as Cleon
  • Hollis Irving as Miss Evans
  • Patsy Garrett as Miss Hogarth
  • Carol Worthington as Miss Portnoy
  • Ivor Francis as Mr. Kenneth Dragen
  • Helen Kleeb as Miss Tandy

Synopsis[edit]

Haynes and Constantine in 1969.

The series focused on an American history class at the fictional Walt Whitman High School in Los Angeles, California, although it also depicted other events at the school. Located in Room 222, the class was taught by Pete Dixon (Lloyd Haynes), an idealistic African-American schoolteacher. Other characters featured in the show were the school's compassionate guidance counselor, Liz McIntyre (Denise Nicholas), who was also Pete's girlfriend; the dryly humorous school principal, Seymour Kaufman (Michael Constantine); and the petite and enthusiastic Alice Johnson (Karen Valentine), a student teacher. Also shown was Patsy Garrett as Mr. Kaufman's secretary, Miss Hogarth. In addition, many recurring students were featured from episode to episode.

Pete Dixon delivered gentle lessons to his students in tolerance and understanding. Students admired his wisdom, insight, and easygoing manner. The themes of the episodes were sometimes topical, reflecting the current political climate (the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s such as the Vietnam War, women's rights, race relations, and Watergate). However, most plots were timeless and featured themes still common to modern-day teenagers. For example, the 1971 episode titled "What Is a Man?" deals with a student who is the victim of anti-gay harassment and the 1974 episode entitled "I Didn't Raise My Girl to Be a Soldier?" deals with parent-teenager issues.

The show featured many actors who went on to become major stars, such as Bruno Kirby, Bernie Kopell, Cindy Williams, Teri Garr, Jamie Farr, Rob Reiner, Anthony Geary, Richard Dreyfuss, Chuck Norris, Kurt Russell, and Mark Hamill. In addition, former child stars David Bailey, Ricky Kelman, Flip Mark, and Michael Shea each made appearances on the series late in their respective careers.

Valentine as Alice Johnson with Haynes as Pete Dixon, 1970.

The program was filmed at 20th Century Fox studios. Exterior shots of John Marshall High School were shown behind the opening credits and for some outdoor scenes in the early seasons.[2] Later exterior scenes were filmed at Los Angeles University High School.

Room 222's initial episodes garnered weak ratings, and ABC was poised to cancel the program after one season. However, the show earned several nominations at the 1970 Emmy Awards, and ABC relented. In the spring of 1970, Room 222 won Emmy Awards for Best New Series; Best Supporting Actor (Michael Constantine); and Best Supporting Actress (Karen Valentine). The following year, Constantine and Valentine were again nominated in the supporting acting awards category. After the shaky first season, Room 222 nevertheless managed to receive respectable ratings during its next three years. Ratings peaked during the 1971-1972 season, during which it held a #28 viewership ranking. By the start of the 1973-1974 season, ratings had fallen drastically, and ABC canceled the show at mid-season. After the series ended, the program entered syndication and was rerun on several television stations throughout the United States.

The theme song was written by film composer Jerry Goldsmith, written in a 7/4 time signature. His theme and two episode scores were later issued by Film Score Monthly on an album with his score for the film Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies.

DVD releases[edit]

Shout! Factory has released the first two seasons of Room 222 on DVD in Region 1. Season 2 was released as a Shout! Factory select title, available exclusively through their online store.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season One 26 March 24, 2009
Season Two♦ 26 January 19, 2010

References[edit]

  1. ^ Room 222 at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Closing credits of Room 222 (DVD)

External links[edit]