Today i caught one of those "cable previews" showing the pilot for a television show called Filmore Middle. It's a sit-com about an eclectic group of teachers working at a New Jersey middle school that's not known for its academics. Justin Bartha stars as Jeff Cahill, the "cool" teacher who breaks all the rules and pretends not to care but really does. Deon Richmond plays Calvin Babbet, fellow teacher and right hand man. (I remember this guy from The Cosby Show; he played Rudy's friend Kenny -- he was funnier back then.) The virtuous teacher, Alice Fletcher, is played by Sarah Alexander whose English accent kept me entertained. She will predictably be the source of romantic tension. (Actor names courtesy TV Tome.)
The episode itself centered around this kid, Adam, who is remarkably unpopular but has potential. Mr Cahill "pulls a favor" to get him considered for admission to a private school. To get in, the kid needs to get a B on a history exam and his prospects don't look good. The history teacher just happens to be Ms Fletcher who is unlikely to bend the rules. Mr Cahill ends up giving the kid the answers to the test to help him out; but this plan is uncovered thanks to the usual clueless student mistakes. Cahill and Babbet convince Fletcher to give the kid a makeup, and they help him study for it. Test time comes and the kid is down to the last question: if he gets it right, he gets the B and goes to private school -- if he gets it wrong, and he stays put. The kid blows the question when clearly he knows the correct answer and gets a C which means he stays. The moral being he wanted to stay at a place where a teacher cared as much about him as Cahill did. Awww.
The show reminded me of Boston Public, only the kids where younger and it was far less dramatic. Plus it had that caring-teacher element of Boy Meets World. The friendship of Cahill and Babbet also seems reminiscent of Ed and Mike from Ed. I have to image its going to be a tough sell to get adults to watch a show about middle school in prime time.Posted by Matthew at May 2, 2005 10:37 PM