June 16, 2010: Panel Event

Room 222: A Look Back at Walt Whitman High

Jun 16, 2010
7:00 PM PT
Los Angeles

Racially diverse Walt Whitman High School in Los Angeles was the stage for ABC’s 1970s dramedy Room 222. During its five-season run, the series explored the lives of Walt Whitman’s teachers and students against the backdrop of such roaring issues as race, sexism, drug use, the Vietnam War, and teen pregnancy, an innovative approach that earned the program much critical acclaim. The show centered on American history teacher Pete Dixon (Lloyd Haynes), whose optimism and idealism encouraged students to learn and grow. Dixon was joined by Alice Johnson (Karen Valentine), a caring, bright-eyed student teacher; Liz McIntyre (Denise Nicholas), the school’s guidance counselor; and principal Seymour Kaufman (Michael Constantine). Up-and-comers like Richard Dreyfus, Teri Garr, Chuck Norris, Cindy Williams, Kurt Russell, Rob Reiner, and Mark Hamill all appeared as guest stars. As a single-camera filmed comedy-drama, Room 222 paved the way for such shows as The Wonder Years; Doogie Howser, M.D.; and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. In 1970, the series was awarded an Emmy for outstanding new series. Creator James L. Brooks went on to become one of the biggest names in television, with such credits as The Mary Tyler Moore Show (with Allan Burns, who also wrote for Room 222), Lou Grant (with Burns and Gene Reynolds, a Room 222 exec. producer), Taxi, and The Simpsons

Denise Nicholas, “Liz McIntyre”
Karen Valentine, “Alice Johnson”
David Jolliffe, “Bernie”
Judy Strangis, “Helen Loomis”
Gene Reynolds, Producer/Director
Additional panelists to be announced.

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