TV US TV

T.J. Hooker (ABC 1982-1987, William Shatner, Adrian Zmed)

Do some good, beam him up…whatever William Shatner wants, William Shatner gets. First he made the galaxy a safer place in Star Trek, and then he set his sights on crime-ridden urban streets. Honestly, what would we do without him? He could command space ships or hold onto the hood of a speeding car while trying to catch the bad guy behind the wheel—and always fill out an array of polyester uniforms while he did his hero thing.

T.J. Hooker was produced by Aaron Spelling, the king of glam-kitsch television responsible for The Love Boat, Beverly Hills 90210 and many others. This particular show combined on-the-job police goings-on with a look at what was going on in each cop’s personal life—though each cop seemed like he or she was investigating something even when they were off the clock. T.J., as played by Shatner, was a detective who purposely demoted himself, put the dark uniform back on and returned to sergeant status, all because he was bitter about the death of his partner and his own divorce and because the street was the place that needed him most anyway, so just deal with it. In the first season, Hooker spent the bulk of this time training new recruits, but in seasons to come, he patrolled his beat and guided his brood of underlings to cop success.

Usually, each episode kicked off with a crime in progress, and then one of the two patrol cars with the main characters would respond—either T.J. and partner Vince Romano or that of officers Stacy Sheridan and Jim Corrigan. During part of the T.J. Hooker filming, incidentally, Heather Locklear, who played Sheridan, did double duty on both this show and on Dynasty as Sammy Jo, which came courtesy of producer Aaron Spelling as well. But Shatner and Locklear weren’t the only famous faces who graced this particular copland: guest appearances included Shatner’s old Enterprise mate, Leonard Nimoy, as well as fledgling actress Sharon Stone, The Beach Boys and Jerry Lee Lewis.

T.J. Hooker

Heather Locklear as Officer Stacey Sheridan.

With a lineup like that and the good name Spelling behind it, T.J. Hooker was a long-running hit. The show ran on ABC until September of 1985, then jumped to CBS until September of 1987. Shatner hung up his TV policeman’s badge after that, but stayed close to the boys in blue by way of his hosting gig on Rescue 911.

production details
USA / ABC – CBS – Spelling- Goldberg – Columbia / 78×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 13 March 1982 – 17 September 1987

Creator: Rick Husky / Executive Producers: Aaron Spelling, Leonard Goldberg

cast
WILLIAM SHATNER as Sgt T.J. Hooker
HEATHER LOCKLEAR as Officer Stacey Sheridan
JAMES DARREN as Officer Jim Corrigan
ADRIAN ZMED as Officer Vince Romano
RICHARD HERD as Captain Sheridan





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