1 9 9 0 – 1 9 9 1 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
Based on the hit feature film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, this half-hour NBC situation comedy followed the high school adventures of 17-year-old Ferris and his friends, with Charlie Schlatter picking up the title role played by Matthew Broderick in the movie.
Ferris lived at 164 North Dutton Place with his parents, Bill (Sam Freed) and Barbara (Christine Rose) and his 18-year-old sister, Jeannie (future Friends star Jennifer Aniston).
Bueller’s colourful scams and schemes at Ocean Park High School in Santa Monica, California, were mostly self-centred and often seemed designed to humiliate and punish.
A lot depended on high-tech gadgetry: his portable computer that could patch into the school system and alter course assignments, his portable phone for impersonating authorities, his remote control for setting off little disasters at school assemblies . . .
No one could outsmart Ferris – not pompous Principal Rooney (Richard Riehle), his ever-faithful assistant Grace (Judith Kahan), or Ferris’s fuming sister, who despised how he got away with things.
Cameron (Brandon Douglas) was his dim-witted best friend, and beautiful Sloan Peterson (Ami Dolenz) was the object of his affections – and the one person he couldn’t bamboozle.
Ratings were initially strong, with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a lead-in, but sharply declined – a situation not helped by the presence of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose on Fox, which also took inspiration from John Hughes’s movie but without the baggage of having to live up to its heights.
Parker Lewis lasted for three seasons and even cheekily named the main character’s girlfriend Annie Sloan, while Ferris Bueller was cancelled after just thirteen episodes, replaced in the schedules by Blossom.
Principal Ed Rooney