T. J. Hooker
|T. J. Hooker|
Opening title card (seasons 1–2)
|Created by||Rick Husky|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||91 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes (ABC)
90 minutes (CBS)
|Original channel||ABC (1982–1985)
|Original run||March 13, 1982– May 28, 1986|
T. J. Hooker is an American police drama television program starring William Shatner in the title role as a 15-year veteran police sergeant. The series premiered as a mid-season replacement on March 13, 1982, on ABC and ran on the network until May 4, 1985. The show was then picked up for a further single season by CBS.
The supporting cast includes Adrian Zmed as rookie Officer Vince Romano, Heather Locklear as rookie Officer Stacy Sheridan (season 2 onwards), and Richard Herd as Captain Dennis Sheridan as personnel in the fictional "LCPD" Police Department Academy Precinct. Towards the end of the show's second season, James Darren became a regular cast member as Officer Jim Corrigan.
The series was created by Rick Husky who had also worked on The Rookies for Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg. The series was originally to be a reworking of that former cop show, this time called The Protectors. After the pilot, it was decided to focus the series on William Shatner's character and retitle it T. J. Hooker. The series initially set out to give a more "hands on", procedure-based view of police work than some of the more stylized cop shows of the 1970s and 1980s, evident in the very early episodes.
The background of Sergeant Thomas Jefferson "T.J." Hooker is that he, up until recently, was a plainclothes LCPD Detective Sergeant whose partner was killed in the line of duty one night while he and Hooker were on patrol. An angry Hooker is motivated to rid the streets of criminals like those who murdered his partner, and he gives up his detective position to return to duty as a uniformed beat cop.
In "The Protectors," the series' pilot TV movie, Hooker trained a group of new police academy recruits, including those played by Richard Lawson (All My Children), Brian Patrick Clarke ("Merle" from Eight is Enough) (The Bold and the Beautiful), Kelly Harmon (Bay City Blues), and Adrian Zmed (Dance Fever). Hal Williams played a senior officer, and Richard Herd made a brief appearance as Captain Dennis Sheridan, Hooker's tough but understanding superior. Back in uniform, Hooker was assigned to train the academy recruits. During most of the series, Hooker was partnered with brash, sometimes hot-headed young rookie Vince Romano (Adrian Zmed). With Romano much his junior, Hooker acted as his mentor both professionally and socially. The age difference generally being the key hook of the partnership, the pair quickly became fast friends and a good team.
Outside of his work, Hooker was divorced as a result of his work putting a strain on his marriage, but was still friendly with his ex-wife, nurse Fran. Hooker was a ladies' man, but was still trying to adjust to being single once again. Lee Bryant was the original actress to portray Fran; the part was later reprised by a different actress.
Hooker's tough, no-nonsense demeanor saw him often clashing with station Captain Sheridan (Richard Herd), but he always got the job done and was highly respected as a result. Working behind the desk at the police precinct, Vicki Taylor (April Clough) was a female officer who usually spent time dodging pick-up comments from Vince Romano. Introduced at the start of the second season was attractive Officer Stacy Sheridan (Heather Locklear), the daughter of Captain Sheridan and Hooker's younger partner-in-command, who attended the police academy and replaced Vicki. Initially brought in to fill Officer Vicky Taylor's shoes, by the end of the season she had progressed to patrolling with Jim Corrigan (James Darren), another veteran cop much in the mold of Hooker.
From the third season onward, Hooker and Romano (Unit 4-Adam-30), and Stacy and Corrigan (4-Adam-16), usually worked closely together to tackle cases. The addition of Corrigan and Sheridan's partnership added an extra dimension to the show, sometimes with whole plots revolving around one or both of them.
For the final season, the series moved from ABC to a late-night slot on CBS. Along with the move, Adrian Zmed chose to leave the series to pursue other projects, leaving Hooker to patrol alone or to generally work as more of a trio with Stacy and Jim, often on undercover work.
With its blend of humor mixed with "on the streets" grittiness, the show proved popular. The first season ranked 28th in the Nielsen ratings, but subsequent seasons failed to repeat the same level of success.
The third season saw a slight revamp (including the theme music being rearranged into a more pop-driven version), with Corrigan set into place as Stacy's partner, Captain Sheridan being dropped into the background (appearing as 'Special Guest Star' in just a few third and fourth season episodes), and stories drifting toward a more straight forward cops-and-robbers fare.
Cancellation and revival
Hooker was canceled by ABC in the summer of 1985, but the series survived when CBS picked up the show and produced new, longer episodes: 17 ninety-minute episodes and one two-hour TV movie titled "Blood Sport". The season begins with Hooker temporarily assigned to the Chicago Police Department and partnered with a young street-wise detective to work mostly drug and gang-related crimes. William Shatner (in his autobiography Up to Now) remarked that this format shift seemed like an attempt to emulate 48 Hrs., with him stepping into the Nick Nolte character. The experiment lasted just five episodes and Hooker ended back up in LC. The 90-minute episodes were shown later at night as part of the CBS "Crime Time After Prime-Time" showcase during the late 1980s/early 1990s. In reruns and international broadcasts, the 90-minute episodes are usually cut to one-hour, and "Blood Sport" is shown in two parts. The TV movie and the penultimate episode were both aired by CBS on May 21, 1986, with the finale one week later on May 28, 1986. The season was done on a much smaller budget, but was filmed in Chicago, for those episodes based there.
Starting in 2005, the A&E Network re-broadcast the entire series, running one episode per weekday at 4 a.m. It is also available in a shortened format on The Minisode Network and full length episodes are available on Crackle. The Universal HD Channel started airing episodes in September 2010. On October 9, 2010, the Sleuth network began a 24-hour T. J. Hooker marathon.
In the United Kingdom, the show was originally broadcast by ITV in the 1980s. Most regions broadcast episodes at 7:45pm on Saturday evenings, later in a similar Friday evening slot; Some regions gave it a slot on a different day (southern region TVS, for example, typically ran it on Tuesday evenings), and not all regions broadcast the entire series, with some areas not progressing beyond the third or fourth seasons. Some regions also broadcast the later episodes - particularly those concerning a more adult or violent nature - as part of the night-time line-up during the advent of 24-hour broadcasting in that later 1980s. In 2002, Five ran the whole series through, in a weekday 11 a.m. slot. This run included every episode, although some were edited for content for the daytime slot. In 2009, digital channel Quest aired the series on a daily basis, although they only hold the rights to show the first three seasons.
In Italy the series started to air in 1983 on Canale 5. After his first run, it was often repeated through the years: first on Italia Uno (late afternoon or in the morning ) and then on Rete4 (in the morning) and Fox Retro (in the evening). Recently, METOO a Sister station of WCIU-TV in Chicago began airing the show in a 2:00pm timeslot.
In Australia, the series has been run on channel 7mate in 2012.
In New Zealand, the series is being screened for the first time, as from May 13, 2013 on Sky Television's Jones! channel
- William Shatner as Sergeant Thomas Jefferson "T. J." Hooker
- Adrian Zmed as Officer Vince Romano (seasons 1–4)
- April Clough as Officer Vicki Taylor (season 1)
- Heather Locklear as Officer Stacy Sheridan (seasons 2–5)
- Richard Herd as Captain Dennis Sheridan (main cast seasons 1–2, occasional special guest star seasons 3–4)
- James Darren as Officer Jim Corrigan (seasons 2–5)
Hooker and Romano's radio call sign for their "black and white" was "4-Adam-30", and radio calls were very similar to those of Los Angeles Police Department, using three bursts of a 900 Hz tone, using LAPD-type radio codes, and the officers acknowledging with roger. Though the series itself was produced in the Los Angeles area, the setting for the series was a fictional city referred to only by the initials LC.
Recurring cast members and notable guest stars
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2009)|
Shatner's Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy guested in the second season episode "Vengeance is Mine", as well as directing "The Decoy", also in the second season. In addition, both Sharon Stone and Tori Spelling guest-starred in episodes before they were well-known actresses (in Stone's case, it was the fourth season episode "Hollywood Starr", a backdoor pilot for a series that would have starred her, but which never sold). T. J. Hooker featured many notable character actors in recurring roles throughout the series, including:
- Hugh Farrington as Det. Pete O'Brien (18 episodes, 1984–1986)
- Paul Kent as Corter (6 episodes, 1982–1985)
- Nicole Eggert as Christine "Chrissie" Hooker (T. J.'s daughter) (5 episodes, 1982–1983)
- Lee Bryant as Fran Hooker (4 episodes, 1982–1983)
- Robert Miano as Alex Lucas (4 episodes, 1982–1985)
- Shawn Weatherly as Claudia Cole (4 episodes, 1983)
- Robert Davi as Joseph Picartus (2 episodes, 1982–1984)
- Mickey Jones as Dave Bowman (2 episodes, 1982–1984)
- Jim Brown as Detective Jim Cody (2 episodes, 1983–1984)
- George Cheung as Dr. Coe (2 episodes, 1983–1984)
- Peter Brown as Lt. Drummer (2 episodes, 1983)
- James Hong as Dr. Hong (2 episodes, 1983)
- Alex Rocco as Capt. C. Danza (2 episodes, 1984–1986)
- Scott Marlowe as Marty Lathon (1 episode, "The Ransom", 1985)
- Savannah Smith Boucher as Eadie Morgan (1 episode, "The Two Faces of Betsy Morgan", 1984)
- Mary-Margaret Humes as Lisa Temple (2 episodes, 1985–1986)
- Jerry Lee Lewis as himself (1 episode, "Deadly Ambition", 1982)
- David Caruso as Jennings (1 episode, "Requiem for a Cop", 1983)
- Trisha Noble as Lorraine Daggert (1 episode, "Carnal Express", 1983)
- Eve McVeagh as Manager (1 episode, "Serial Murders", 1985)
- Cynthia Cypert as Alice Crane / Grace Tibbetts (2 episode, 1984)
William Shatner is the only actor to appear in every episode of the series. Heather Locklear appeared in the second highest number of episodes, appearing in 84 of the 90 episodes, after joining the cast's second season.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released the first two seasons on DVD in Region 1 and 2. As of 2014, this release has been discontinued and is out of print.
On August 27, 2013, it was announced that Mill Creek Entertainment had acquired the rights to various television series from the Sony Pictures library including TJ Hooker. On January 30, 2014, it was announced that they will be re-releasing the first two seasons on DVD on April 1, 2014.
|DVD name||Ep #||Region 1||Region 2|
|Seasons 1 & 2||27||August 9, 2005
April 1, 2014 (re-release)
|September 26, 2005|
In July 2009, it was announced that T. J. Hooker was set to be adapted into a film. Chuck Russell was said to be in talks to direct, and writing team Brent Maddock and S. S. Wilson (of Short Circuit fame) would script.
Beginning on October 1, 2010, the series was rebroadcast on Universal HD. The original film elements were mastered for high definition, but the program was cropped to a 1.78 aspect ratio to fill the screens of modern televisions. Universal HD stopped carrying T.J. Hooker in 2013.
- "Your Questions Have Been Answered". TJ-Hooker.com. June 9, 2002.
- "T. J. Hooker Minisode : TJ Hooker: Vengeance Is Mine – Watch the full episode now.". Crackle. October 26, 2007. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
- "QUEST – At the heart of the action". Questtv.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
- vintagetvfan1 Added May 14, 2007 All my reviews (May 14, 2007). "T.J. Hooker: Hollywood Starr Episode Summary". TV.com. Retrieved 2011-11-13.
- Mill Creek Entertainment Signs Deals With Sony Pictures Home Entertainment To Expand Their Distribution Partnership
- Mill Creek Moves the 'Seasons 1 & 2' Date Back a Few Weeks
- McNary, Dave (July 5, 2009). "'T. J. Hooker' will patrol bigscreen". variety.com.