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21 Jump Street is an hour-long police drama television series that aired on the FOX Network from April 12, 1987 to April 27, 1991, with a total of 103 episodes. The crime drama focused on a squad of youthful-looking undercover police officers investigating crimes in high schools and other teenage venues.

Created by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell, the series was produced by the studio Stephen J. Cannell Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The show was an early hit for the fledgling FOX Network, and was created to attract a younger audience. The final season aired in first-run syndication mainly on local FOX affiliates. It was later completed in rerun syndication on the FX cable network (a sister company to FOX) from 1996 to 1998.

The series provided a spark to Johnny Depp's nascent acting career, garnering him national recognition as a teen idol. Depp found this status an irritant, but he continued on the series under his contract, from which he was released after the fourth season.

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


The show is about a group of young cops whose youthful appearances enabled them to work undercover in both high schools and sometimes colleges to catch troubled youths. The show's plots covered typical issues of its time, including alcoholism, hate crimes, drug abuse, racism, homophobia, AIDS, child abuse, and sexual promiscuity. Similarly, each problem was often solved by the end of the hour long show, giving an implicit moral about the impact of a particular activity. When the show originally aired, some episodes were followed immediately by public service announcements featuring cast members.


The show starred prominent actors and actresses at the time, including: 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.

Guest stars

Actors who guest-starred on the program include Christopher Heyerdahl, Savannah Smith Boucher, Dom DeLuise, Cheryl Ruth, Kaitlyn Gene Weaver, Bridget Fonda, Sherilyn Fenn, Jason Priestley, Josh Brolin, Maia Brewton, Mindy Cohn, David Paymer, Brad Pitt, Christina Applegate, Vince Vaughn, Kurtwood Smith, Pauly Shore, Blair Underwood, John Waters, Wallace Langham, Shannen Doherty, Rosie Perez, Gregory Itzin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Russ, Owen Knapp, Rob Estes, and Thomas Haden Church.

Episode guide

Season 1

  1. "21 Jump Street (part 1)" (also known as "Jump Street Chapel part 1"; April 12, 1987)
  2. "21 Jump Street (part 2)" (also known as "Jump Street Chapel part 2"; April 12, 1987)
  3. "America, What a Town" (April 19, 1987)
  4. "Don't Pet the Teacher" (April 26, 1987)
  5. "My Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" (May 3, 1987)
  6. "The Worst Night of Your Life" (May 10, 1987)
  7. "Gotta Finish the Riff" (May 17, 1987)
  8. "Bad Influence" (May 24, 1987)
  9. "Blindsided" (May 31, 1987)
  10. "Next Generation" (June 7, 1987)
  11. "Low and Away" (also known as "Running on Ice"; June 14, 1987)
  12. "16 Blown to 35" (June 21, 1987)
  13. "Mean Streets and Pastel Houses" (June 28, 1987)

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.

Season 2

  1. "In the Custody of a Clown" (September 20, 1987)
  2. "Besieged (1)" (September 27, 1987)
  3. "Besieged (2)" (October 4, 1987)
  4. "Two For the Road" (October 11, 1987)
  5. "After School Special" (October 18, 1987)
  6. "Higher Education" (October 25, 1987)
  7. "Don't Stretch the Rainbow" (November 1, 1987)
  8. "Honor Bound" (November 8, 1987)
  9. "You Ought to Be in Prison" (November 15, 1987)
  10. "How Much is That Body in the Window?" (November 22, 1987)
  11. "Christmas in Saigon" (December 20, 1987)
  12. "Fear and Loathing with Russell Buckins" (also known as "Doin' The Quarter Mile In a Lifetime"; December 27, 1987)
  13. "A Big Disease With a Little Name" (February 7, 1988)
  14. "Chapel of Love" (February 14, 1988)
  15. "I'm OK- You Need Work" (February 21, 1988)
  16. "Orpheus 3.3" (also known as "The Convenience Killer"; February 28, 1988)
  17. "Champagne High" (March 6, 1988)
  18. "Brother Hanson & the Miracle of Renner's Pond" (March 13, 1988)
  19. "Raising Marijuana" (April 17, 1988)
  20. "Best Years Of Your Life" (May 1, 1988)
  21. "Cory and Dean Got Married" (May 8, 1988)
  22. "School's Out" (May 22, 1988)

"Christmas in Saigon" reveals that Ioki is not Japanese, but Vietnamese, and was born Vinh Van Tran.

Season 3

  1. "Fun With Animals" (November 6, 1988)
  2. "Slippin' Into Darkness" (also listed as "Date With an Angel"; November 13, 1988)
  3. "The Currency We Trade In" (November 20, 1988)
  4. "Coach of the Year" (November 27, 1988)
  5. "Whose Choice is it Anyways?" (December 11, 1988)
  6. "Hell Week" (December 18, 1988)
  7. "The Dragon and the Angel" (January 15, 1989)
  8. "Blu Flu" (January 29, 1989)
  9. "Swallowed Alive" (February 5, 1989)
  10. "What About Love?" (February 12, 1989)
  11. "Woolly Bullies" (February 19, 1989)
  12. "The Dreaded Return of Russell Buckins" (February 26, 1989)
  13. "A.W.O.L." (March 19, 1989)
  14. "Nemesis" (March 26, 1989)
  15. "Fathers and Sons" (April 9, 1989)
  16. "High High" (April 23, 1989)
  17. "Blinded by the Thousand Points of Light" (April 30, 1989)
  18. "Next Victim" (May 7, 1989)
  19. "Loc'd Out (part 1)" (also known as "Partners (part 1)"; May 14, 1989)
  20. "Loc'd Out (part 2)" (also known as "Partners (part 2)"; May 21, 1989)

Richard Grieco joins the cast during this season as Officer Dennis Booker. Although appearing in nearly every episode of the season, he is always credited as a guest star. Originally his character was going to be killed at season's end, but he proved so popular that FOX worked out a spin-off series ("Booker") which lasted a single season.

Season 4

  1. "Draw the Line" (September 18, 1989)
  2. "Say It Ain't So, Pete" (September 25, 1989)
  3. "Eternal Flame" (October 2, 1989)
  4. "Come from the Shadows" (October 9, 1989)
  5. "God is a Bullet" (October 16, 1989)
  6. "Old Haunts in a New Age" (October 30, 1989)
  7. "Out of Control" (November 6, 1989)
  8. "Stand by Your Man" (November 13, 1989)
  9. "Mike's P.O.V." (November 20, 1989)
  10. "Wheels and Deals, Part Two" (November 27, 1989; Part One aired as part of the spin-off series Booker)
  11. "Parental Guidance Suggested" (December 4, 1989)
  12. "Things We Said Today" (December 18, 1989)
  13. "Research and Destroy" (Jan. 8, 1990)
  14. "A Change of Heart" (Jan. 15, 1990)
  15. "Back from the Future" (January 29, 1990; A clip show framed by interviews of the retired cops)
  16. "2245" (February 5, 1990)
  17. "Hi Mom" (February 12, 1990)
  18. "Awomp-Bomp-Aloobomb, Aloop Bamboom" (February 19, 1990)
  19. "La Bizca" (February 26, 1990)
  20. "Last Chance High" (March 19, 1990)
  21. "Unfinished Business" (April 9, 1990)
  22. "A New Breeze Blowing" (April 30, 1990)
  23. "How I Saved the Senator" (May 7, 1990)
  24. "Rounding Third" (May 14, 1990)
  25. "Everyday is Christmas" (May 21, 1990)
  26. "Blackout" (June 18, 1990)

Season 4 was the last season to air on the FOX Network. In commentary on 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. It was never explained where Officers Hanson or Ioki went, or why they were no longer with the Jump Street Unit. (It should be noted that Hanson's whereabouts were possibly hinted at by Penhall, saying "an old friend of his now runs a bowling alley." Hanson is known for his love of bowling.) 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 fourth season DVD set.

Officer Dean Garrett (David Barry Gray) makes his first appearance in "Everyday is Christmas." As it became harder for the original cast members to plausibly pass as high school students, his character and Officer Kati Rocky (Alexandra Powers) were intended to be "youthful" replacements, so the show could maintain its original premise of younger looking cops posing as high school students, while still allowing the older cast a meaningful role on the show.

Season 5

  1. "Tunnel of Love" (October 13, 1990)
  2. "Back to School" (October 20, 1990)
  3. "Buddy System" (October 27, 1990)
  4. "Poison" (November 3, 1990)
  5. "Just Say No! High" (November 10, 1990)
  6. "Brothers" (November 17, 1990)
  7. "This Ain't No Summer Camp" (November 24, 1990)
  8. "The Girl Next Door" (December 1, 1990)
  9. "Diplomas for Sale" (December 8, 1990)
  10. "Number One with a Bullet" (December 22, 1990)
  11. "Equal Protection" (January 5, 1991)
  12. "The Education of Terry Carver" (January 14, 1991)
  13. "Baby Blues" (January 21, 1991)
  14. "Film at Eleven" (February 9, 1991)
  15. "In the Name of Love" (February 16, 1991)
  16. "Coppin' Out" (February 23, 1991)
  17. "Under the Influence" (March 23, 1991)
  18. "Crossfire" (March 30, 1991)
  19. "Wasted" (April 6, 1991)
  20. "Bad Day at Blackburn" (April 13, 1991)
  21. "Homegirls" (April 20, 1991)
  22. "Second Chances" (April 27, 1991)

During this season, Michael Bendetti joined the cast as Officer Anthony "Mac" McCann. Michael DeLuise also joined the cast as Joey Penhall, Doug Penhall's younger brother. Peter DeLuise was credited as a "Special Guest Star" until he left the show in December 1990.

Both Doug and Joey Penhall were written off the show before the season was completed. Peter DeLuise said during his commentary on the Season 5 DVD set that he saw no future for the show, so he decided to leave before it folded with the agreement that he direct two episodes and play in (at least) seven episodes. In the show, Doug Penhall is shot in the line of duty, and after facing his own mortality, decides to leave the force to care for his adopted son, Clavo. As Joey Penhall joined the Jump Street Unit to get closer to his brother, his reason for being at Jump Street no longer existed. His character was written out a few episodes later after mentioning that he was taking a vacation to visit his brother.

Officer Kati Rocky (Alexandra Powers) is introduced in the first episode of the season, "Tunnel of Love." This episode, along with "Back to School" mark the last appearances of Officer Rocky and Officer Garrett, despite the plotlines suggesting that both characters are going to join the main cast. These episodes were both filmed during the fourth season and held over. Neither actor was asked back for the fifth season, and their characters are not mentioned again after their initial appearances.

DVD releases

Richard Grieco appears prominently on the fourth season DVD cover, yet he only appeared in 2 episodes

Anchor Bay Entertainment released all five seasons of 21 Jump Street on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time, between 2004 - 2006. The releases contain extensive music substitutions and inaccurate cover art. The Season 4 release features Richard Grieco yet he only appeared in 2 cross-over episodes and was only a recurring character in the series. Johnny Depp appears on the season 5 release yet he left the series after the fourth season.

Johnny Depp appears on the fifth season DVD cover, despite having departed the show after season 4

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. They plan on re-releasing the series at some point.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
21 Jump Street: The Complete First Season 13 October 26, 2004
21 Jump Street: The Complete Second Season 22 March 8, 2005
21 Jump Street: The Complete Third Season 20 September 6, 2005
21 Jump Street: The Complete Fourth Season 25 November 1, 2005
21 Jump Street: The Complete Fifth Season 23 March 21, 2006



Jump Street was set in a city called "Metropolis" in the fictitious "Evergreen State." But the show's filming location Vancouvermarker, Canadamarker is given away in the series' opening. A shot of a city bus with destination "Hastingsmarker" is shown briefly, as well as a SkyTrain with a British Columbia Transit (BC Transit) logo barely visible on the side. This was featured in the opening in Seasons 1-3. New Westminster Secondary Schoolmarker was one of the main locations of the series.

Inconsistencies and plot holes

  • Det. Judy Hoffs is given three different middle names over the course of the show. In "The Worst Night of Your Life" (Season 1), Cpt. Jenko calls her Judith Esther. In "In the Custody of a Clown" (Season 2), her mother calls her Judith Marie. In "What About Love" (Season 3) she tells her boyfriend that her middle name is Ann. The booklet in the first season DVD set lists Judy's middle name as Marie.
  • In Season 1, Ioki is studying for the sergeant's exam ("Don't Pet the Teacher"), without ever having been promoted from the rank of officer. This was corrected in season four, when Ioki (along with Hoffs and Penhall) is studying to become a detective ("Say It Ain't So, Pete").
  • In Season 1, Penhall tells Hanson that his brother went to a state college ("My Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"). In Season 5, his brother (Joey Penhall) is shown to be a drifter-turned-cop.
  • In Season 5 ("Crossfire"), Hoffs is questioned on the stand by her boyfriend’s ex-wife, who is the attorney representing a person she and Mac had arrested for solicitation. She is asked about her sexual harassment case of two years ago and her rape of three years ago. These events are backward; Hoffs' sexual harassment case happened first, in "What About Love?" (season three). The rape occurred in season four ("Stand By Your Man").

Film adaptation

In May 2008, Sony confirmed that a film version of the series is under development. Jonah Hill will rewrite an existing script by screenwriter Joe Gazzam and executive produce the film, though it remains unknown if he will star. Johnny Depp announced he would be glad to cameo in the film.Hill said he wants horror director Rob Zombie to direct the picture.


  1. Date With an Angel episode summary
  2. Mill Creek Gets DVD Rights to 14 More Classic Stephen J. Cannell TV Programs!
  3. "21 Jump Street" (1987)

External links

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