Blog Spotlight: FORGOTTEN TV: HEAD OF THE CLASS (1986-1991)

HEAD OF THE CLASS, I believe, was one of the most underrated sitcoms of the 1980’s. Yet today, it isn’t on DVD and reruns aren’t in syndication.

Charlie Moore (Howard Hesseman a few years after WKRP) is a history teacher in New York City, teaching the IHP, the Honors Program.

The class is made of of all the typical “types” of 80’s sticoms.

There was Arvid, the geek (Dan Frischman), the Indian student Jawaharal (Jory Husain), the Republican Alan (Tony O’Dell, the ABC version of Alex P. Keaton), Maria (Leslie Bega), Darlene (Robin Givens, who married Mike Tyson during the run of the show), Simone (Khrystyne Haje), tough guy Eric (Brian Robbins) and Dennis (Dan Schneider). William Schilling played the principal, Dr. Samuels.
The series premiered in 1986. While a sitcom, the show treated them as real people and not as geeks. It was also very funny too.

There were special episodes too. In one, the gang performed the play HAIR. I think they did GREASE in another. Each had many musical numbers.

In season three of the series, there was a trip to Moscow, filmed on location, becoming the first sitcom to film there.

In 1990, Hesseman left the series, along with some of the cast members. He was replaced by Scottish comedian Billy Connelly. While normally this could have sunk a series, Connelly made it his own. I still remember his “Morning geniuses” every time he entered the classroom.

Unfortunately, while the quality of the series remained, it was canceled at the end of the season. After five seasons, the final of the 114 episodes aired June 25, 1991.

Since the end of the series, two of the members have gone on to big fame behind the camera. Read more

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