Home Television Comedy Teachers Only

Teachers Only

1 9 8 2 – 1 9 8 3 (USA)
21 x 30 minute episodes

Most of the action in this short-lived NBC school comedy took place in the faculty lunchroom and lounge, which was off-limits to the students – hence the series title. It was there that the faculty and staff of Millard Filmore High School talked about their successes and failures, both professional and personal.

Diana Swanson (Lynn Redgrave) was a high-principled, dedicated English teacher, popular with her students despite the rigours of her curriculum. Ben Cooper (Norman Fell) was the gruff, stubborn, but warm-hearted school principal who had developed an ulcer after many years of trying to balance the needs and wants of students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Michael (Adam Arkin) and Gwen (Van Nessa Clarke) were fellow teachers, Mr Brody (Norman Bartold) the assistant principal, and Mr Pafko (Richard Karron) the janitor.

When Teachers Only returned in the spring of 1983 there were a number of changes. The series was still set in Los Angeles, but the school was now Woodrow Wilson High (no on-air explanation was given).

Only Diana, now a guidance counsellor, and Ben, still the principal, returned. New cast members included teachers Sam Keating (Teresa Ganzel), Barney Betelman (Joel Brooks)  and Michael Horne (Tim Reid); gym teacher and coach Spud Le Boone (Steve Ryan); and Ben’s secretary Shari (Jean Smart).

Despite the infusion of new cast members, consistently low ratings resulted in the show being cancelled again.

Diana Swanson
Lynn Redgrave
Ben Cooper
Norman Fell
Michael Dreyfuss
Adam Arkin
Gwen Edwards
Van Nessa Clarke
Mr Brody
Norman Bartold
Mr Pafko
Richard Karron
Samantha (Sam) Keating
Teresa Ganzel
Michael Horne
Tim Reid
Barney Betelman
Joel Brooks
Spud Le Boone
Steve Ryan
Jean Smart