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21 Jump Street

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21 Jump Street
GenrePolice crime drama
Created by
Theme music composerLiam Sternberg
Opening theme"21 Jump Street Theme" performed by Holly Robinson
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes103 (list of episodes)
Production locationsVancouver, British Columbia
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time45–48 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseApril 12, 1987 (1987-04-12) –
July 16, 1990 (1990-07-16)
ReleaseOctober 13, 1990 (1990-10-13) –
April 27, 1991 (1991-04-27)
Booker (1989–90)

21 Jump Street is an American police procedural television drama series that aired on the Fox network and in first-run syndication from April 12, 1987 to April 27, 1991, spanning 103 episodes over five seasons. The series focuses on a squad of youthful-looking undercover police officers investigating crimes in schools, gangs, and other teenage venues.[1] It was originally going to be titled Jump Street Chapel, after the deconsecrated church building in which the unit has its headquarters, but was changed at Fox's request so as not to mislead viewers into thinking it was a religious program.

Created by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell, the series was produced by Patrick Hasburgh Productions and Stephen J. Cannell Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Executive producers included Hasburgh, Cannell, Steve Beers, and Bill Nuss. The show was an early hit for the fledgling Fox network, and was created to attract a younger audience.[2] The final season aired in first-run syndication mainly on local Fox affiliates. It was later rerun on the FX cable network from 1996 to 1998.

The series provided a spark to Johnny Depp's acting career, garnering him national recognition as a teen idol. Depp found this status irritating,[3] but he continued on the series under his contract and was paid $45,000 per episode. Eventually he was released from his contract after the fourth season.[3][4]

A spin-off series, Booker, was produced for the character of Dennis Booker (Richard Grieco); it ran for only one season, from September 24, 1989, to May 6, 1990.

A film adaptation directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller was released on March 16, 2012. The film is set in the same continuity as the series, with Johnny Depp, Holly Robinson and Peter DeLuise reprising their characters in cameo appearances. Richard Grieco and Dustin Nguyen also have cameos in the 2014 film sequel 22 Jump Street.



The series focuses on a group of rookie police officers headquartered at the eponymous address. These young officers all have especially youthful appearances, allowing them to pass for teenagers. Their assignments frequently consist of undercover work in high schools or, less commonly, colleges, where they generally investigate drug trafficking and other criminal activities. The show's plots cover issues such as alcoholism, hate crimes, gang violence, drug abuse, homophobia, AIDS, child abuse, and sexual promiscuity. Similarly, each problem is often solved by the end of the hour-long episode, giving an implicit moral about a particular activity's impact. When the show originally aired, some episodes were followed immediately by public service announcements (PSAs) featuring cast members.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
113April 12, 1987 (1987-04-12)June 28, 1987 (1987-06-28)Fox
222September 20, 1987 (1987-09-20)May 22, 1988 (1988-05-22)
320November 6, 1988 (1988-11-06)May 21, 1989 (1989-05-21)
426September 18, 1989 (1989-09-18)July 16, 1990 (1990-07-16)
522October 13, 1990 (1990-10-13)April 27, 1991 (1991-04-27)Syndicated


Name Portrayed by Seasons
1 2 3 4 5
Officer Thomas "Tom" Hanson, Jr. Johnny Depp Main Does not appear
Sergeant Judith "Judy" Hoffs Holly Robinson Main
Officer Douglas "Doug" Penhall Peter DeLuise Main Also starring[a]
Sergeant Harry Truman "H.T" Ioki/Vinh Van Tran Dustin Nguyen Main Does not appear
Captain Richard Jenko Frederic Forrest Main[b] Does not appear
Captain Adam Fuller Steven Williams Main[c]
Officer Joseph "Joey" Penhall Michael DeLuise Does not appear Main[d]
Officer Anthony "Mac" McCann Michael Bendetti Does not appear Main[e]
Sal "Blowfish" Banducci Sal Jenco Recurring Guest
Detective Dennis Booker Richard Grieco Does not appear Recurring Does not appear
Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Jackie Garrett Yvette Nipar Does not appear Recurring Does not appear
Officer Dean Garrett David Barry Gray Does not appear Guest Recurring
Officer Kati Rocky Alexandra Powers Does not appear Recurring
  1. ^ Episodes 1-10 of season 5
  2. ^ Episodes 1-6 of season 1
  3. ^ Episodes 7-13 of season 1
  4. ^ Episodes 6-17 of season 5
  5. ^ Episodes 3-22 of season 5

Jeff Yagher was originally cast as Officer Tom Hanson in the pilot. He was replaced after the original pilot episode was filmed, and his scenes were reshot with Johnny Depp. Midway through the first season, Frederic Forrest was replaced by Steven Williams. On the show, Forrest's character Richard Jenko is killed by a drunk driver.

Johnny Depp left the series at the end of the fourth season, but was credited in the first two episodes of the fifth season, despite not having appeared.

David Barry Gray's character was introduced at the end of the fourth season and starred in two episodes of season five with Alexandra Powers. Both episodes were filmed before the fourth season had ended but were not shown until the start of season five. Neither actor was approached in regards to portraying their character in the show's fifth and final season. Michael DeLuise joined the cast part way through the fifth season and stayed on until late in the season.

Guest stars


Some notable guest stars on the series include: Dom DeLuise, Josh Brolin, Mindy Cohn, Bridget Fonda, Bobby Rodriguez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Brad Pitt, Vince Vaughn, Barney Martin, Dann Florek, Blair Underwood, Shannen Doherty, John Waters, Rosie Perez, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mario Van Peebles, Christina Applegate, Pauly Shore, David DeLuise, Bradley Gregg, Jason Priestley, Christine Elise, Christopher Titus, Kurtwood Smith, Peri Gilpin, Shannon Tweed, Sarah Buxton, David Paymer, Diedrich Bader, Russell Wong, Kelly Hu, Tim Russ, Thomas Haden Church, Sherilyn Fenn, Rob Estes, Ray Walston, R.J. Williams, Robyn Lively, Gloria Reuben, Billy Jayne, Jason Lively, Billy Warlock, Peter Berg, Larenz Tate, and Tracy Griffith.





Set in a fictional city and state (Metropolis, Evergreen State) in the United States, the series was primarily filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was one of the first major television series to use Vancouver as a filming location and helped to establish the city as a center for film production.[5]



21 Jump Street, along with Married... with Children and The Tracey Ullman Show, debuted in the spring of 1987. All three shows were hits with audiences and helped to establish the then-newly launched Fox network.[6] 21 Jump Street was the first hit series for the Fox network.[7] In August, 21 Jump Street became the first Fox series to win its timeslot against a Big Three network series.[8] In the United Kingdom, it was shown on the similarly nascent, and interrelated, Sky One, which had yet to reach a sizeable audience.[9]

Broadcast history

Season Timeslot
1986–87 Sunday at 7:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M. on Fox
1989–90 Monday at 8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. on Fox
1990–91 off-network syndication

Season 4 was the last season to air on the Fox network. In the commentary provided with the Season 5 DVD set, Peter DeLuise said that Fox had decided to cancel the show after Season 4 because the ratings had fallen below a set limit. Following this season, Johnny Depp and Dustin Nguyen left the show. The departure of their characters was never fully explained in the narrative of the TV series, but in the movie it is explained that Officer Hanson was transferred to the DEA and was later joined by Officer Penhall. The Booker spin-off crossover episode, "Wheels and Deals – Part One," is included with 21 Jump Street's syndication package, and is also included on the Season 4 DVD set.

Officer Dean Garrett (David Barry Gray) makes his first appearance in "Everyday is Christmas." As it became more difficult for the original Jump Street cast to pass as high-school students, younger actors were brought in, intended to be "youthful" replacements in order to allow the show to maintain its original premise of young-looking cops posing as high-school students.

Home media


Anchor Bay Entertainment released all five seasons of 21 Jump Street on DVD in Region 1 between 2004 and 2006.

On October 14, 2009, it was announced that Mill Creek Entertainment had acquired the rights to several Stephen J. Cannell series, including 21 Jump Street,[10] and subsequently re-released the first four seasons. In addition, Mill Creek also released 21 Jump Street: The Complete Series, an 18-disc collection featuring all 103 episodes of the series on DVD on July 27, 2010.[11]

On July 29, 2022, Visual Entertainment released 21 Jump Street: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.[12]

In Region 2, Anchor Bay Entertainment released all 5 seasons on DVD in the UK. They also released a complete series set on March 5, 2012.[13]

In Region 4, Madman Entertainment released all five seasons on DVD in Australia. They also released a complete series collection on May 1, 2013.[14]

In Region 2, Pidax Film released a complete series set box set on September 18, 2020, in Germany with all original music intact. German and English audio tracks.[citation needed]

DVD name Ep # Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete First Season 13 October 26, 2004
January 19, 2010 (re-release)
January 31, 2005 September 7, 2006
The Complete Second Season 22 March 8, 2005
May 18, 2010 (re-release)
June 20, 2005 September 7, 2006
The Complete Third Season 20 September 6, 2005
July 27, 2010 (re-release)
January 23, 2006 September 7, 2006
The Complete Fourth Season 26 November 1, 2005
January 18, 2011 (re-release)
April 10, 2006 September 7, 2006
The Complete Fifth Season 22 March 21, 2006 September 18, 2006 June 7, 2007
The Complete Series 103 July 27, 2010
July 29, 2022 (re-release)
March 5, 2012 & September 18, 2020 May 1, 2013

Film adaptation


On March 16, 2012, a feature film based on the television series from Sony Pictures was released starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum (who are also executive producers) and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller with the screenplay written by Michael Bacall from a story by both Hill and Bacall. Johnny Depp, Peter DeLuise, and Holly Robinson briefly reprise their roles as Tom Hanson, Doug Penhall, and Judy Hoffs.

Described in concept by Hill as an "R-rated, insane, Bad Boys-meets-John Hughes-type movie,"[15] the film departs from the dramatic style of the series and instead features a comedic tone. The film and series are also set in the same continuity. A sequel titled 22 Jump Street was released in 2014.


  1. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (11 April 1987). "Weekend Tv : 'Jump Street' Bows On Fox Network". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  2. ^ Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 501. ISBN 0-7407-5118-2. OCLC 57316726.
  3. ^ a b Blitz, Michael; Krasniewicz, Louise (2008). Johnny Depp: A Biography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-313-34300-1. OCLC 166290770. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  4. ^ Horowitz, Josh (14 May 2008). "Jonah Hill To Adapt '21 Jump Street' For The Big Screen: Report". mtv.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
  5. ^ "Movie Guide". Archived from the original on 30 December 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ Hilmes, Michele (2010). Only Connect: A Cultural History of Broadcasting in the United States (3 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 348. ISBN 978-0-495-57051-6.
  7. ^ Lapin, Claudia (October 1988). "The Message of 21 Jump Street". Orange Coast Magazine. 41 (41). Emmis Communications: 192. ISSN 0279-0483.
  8. ^ Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 507. ISBN 0-740-75118-2.
  9. ^ Advert in The Times, 29 August 1989, page 9
  10. ^ "Cannell and Mill Creek Ink New Distribution Deal" (Press release). TVShowsOnDVD.com. 14 October 2009. Archived from the original on 23 November 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  11. ^ Lambert, David (21 May 2010). "21 Jump Street - Mill Creek to Roll Out 'Season 3' and 'The Complete Series' on DVD". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 23 November 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  12. ^ "21 Jump Street - The Complete Series [DVD] #7047". Visual Entertainment Inc. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  13. ^ "21 Jump Street - Seasons 1-5". Amazon.co.uk. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  14. ^ "21 Jump Street: The Complete Series Collection". Ezydvd.com.au. 2013-04-22. Archived from the original on 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  15. ^ Coll, Kevin (28 May 2009). "Jonah Hill Talks 21 Jump Street Remake Movie". Fused Film. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012.