ABC (ended 1992)


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Show Summary

From 1986 until 1990, there was a show that aired on ABC that dealt with a substitute teacher who taught a group of very smart students. The show was titled "Head of the Class," and featured Howard Hesseman as the great Charlie Moore, the substitute teacher who took over the Individual Honors Program (IHP) at Fillmore High School, and cleverly taught his students valuable life lessons, and especially how to "think outside the grades." The show underwent some cast changes in its 4th season when three of the original students left, and were replaced with new students. But, the biggest change by far occurred in the shows 5th and final season, when Howard Hesseman left the series. While teaching the Fillmore High School IHP was a love of the Charlie Moore character, it played second fiddle to the first love of his life - acting and dramatics. And so, in the 5th season premiere, it was revealed that Charlie Moore left teaching to pursue an acting career, and he was replaced by an Ivy League educated Scottish fellow named Billy MacGregor (portrayed by Billy Connolly). Billy: The short-lived spin-off: One year after Head of the Class exited the airwaves, the character of Billy MacGregor appeared again as a night school teacher. Only this time he had a problem - his work permit expired here in the USA, and he did not have a green card. Lucky for him, one of his students (Mary Springer, portrayed by Marie Marshall) was a divorced parent whose husband left her raising three children and a house with an outrageous mortgage payment. So in order to help pay the mortgage, she turned the basement of her house into an apartment for rent. In a "strictly business" sort of way, teacher and student entered into a marriage of convenience so that Billy could stay in America, and Mary could have a tenant living in the illegally built basement apartment to help offset the cost of the mortgage. Created by Rich Eustis and Michael Elias, this sitcom was loosely based on the movie Green Card, and also featured Johnny Galecki (Roseanne), Clara Bryant, and Natanya Ross. Unfortunately, this series only lasted for 13 episodes before it was cancelled. Not helping the situation any, quite a few of the episodes were poorly edited, and many episodes had numerous off-the-wall redundancies. Billy Opening Theme: The theme song to "Billy" was an jazz instrumental variation of "I've Told Every Little Star," (best known as a 1961 hit song by Linda Scott) performed by saxophonist Sonny Rollins. This actually served as background music as Billy Connolly and Marie Marshall gave a brief description of the show's plot. A transcript of their spoken parts is as follows: Key the theme music: I've Told Every Little Star... Billy: That's me - Billy MacGregor. I came to America from Scotland, just like Rod Stewart. I don't know what happened to him, but I teach at Community College in California. Me and America, made for each other-- until my work permit expired and I didn't know what to do. Luckily, one of my night school students had a problem too. Mary: My ex-husband left me with three beautiful children and a large mortgage. So, I built this basement apartment, which is sort of illegal here in Berkeley, but I couldn't find anyone to rent it. Billy: So there we were. Two quite adorable people with big problems - And a solution! Mary: Well, its an arrangement, actually (shows BC and MM shaking hands under a sign that reads: "Just Married"). Billy: Now, I get to stay in America. Mary: We get to keep our home. Billy: And everybody's happy. Mary, Mary: The children, Billy: And me. Mary: Maybe.moreless