Room 222

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 17th, 1969 until January 11th, 1974.

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.
The program was filmed at 20th Century Fox studios.  Exterior shots of Los Angeles High School, which was damaged by an earthquake during the series’ run, were shown behind the opening credits and for some outdoor scenes in the early seasons.   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.DavidJolliffe_room222_Bernie
This dude rocked the ‘fro on this show.

 

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