In the days before social media, the way a show gathered buzz was through word of mouth. Popularity was based on how much people told their friends to watch.
One of these shows featured a young unknown actor named Johnny Depp. That show was 21 Jumpstreet.
Premiering on the new FOX network on April 12, 1987, 21 Jumpstreet told the story of youthful looking undercover police officers based at the rundown Jumpstreet Chapel who infiltrated high schools and colleges in order to crack down on crimes involving gangs, thugs and prostitution.
First headed by Captain Richard Jenko who is killed. Captain Adam Fuller (Steven Williams) then takes over. The original Jumpstreet cops were Tom Hanson (Johnny Depp), Judy Hoffs (Holly Robinson), Doug Penhall (Peter DeLuise) and Harry Truman Ioki (Dustin Nyguen).
Each case tested the officers’ ability to create new personas to convince their suspects in order to gain their trust.
With a memorable theme song (sung by Holly Robinson), 21 Jumpstreet aired for five seasons ending on April 27, 1991. Holly Robinson was the only original cast member who remained with the series the entire time.
My first introduction to 21 Jumpstreet was an episode guest starring Blair Underwood. I turned on the television and became engrossed in this episode. As this was the days before Hulu and On Demand, I had to wait until the other episodes were shown in reruns before catching 21 Jumpstreet beginning. And as I Philadelphia native, I later met Johnny Depp at a car show in Philly in 1988.
21 Jumpstreet had many story lines that set the bar for ensemble dramas involving a youthful cast.
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