1 9 9 6 (USA)
6 x 60 minute episodes
This CBS mid-season replacement series revolved around Matt Waters (talk show host Montel Williams), a retired Navy Seal who became a science teacher at his alma mater (Bayview High School in New Jersey) after 20 years of service in the US Navy.
He resigned from the military after his brother was killed in a gang shooting because he felt he had to make a difference in the lives of young people who may be headed down the wrong path.
Matt’s students are rowdy, troubled teenagers – and an array of ethnic stereotypes – and stories follow Matt as he uses his Navy training to help discipline and set them on a better path in life, teaching them about responsibility, honesty, courage, and excellence.
Key students include highly-strung illiterate Angela Perez (Cyndi Cartagena); her sensitive gay friend Russ (Felix Pire) who “just doesn’t belong”; Flea (Richard Chevolleau), a smart kid whose brains and athletic ability stand in the way of his popularity with gang members; and Jack (Nathaniel Marston), a football player with a problem at home.
Matt’s unconventional methods are met with disdain by some of his colleagues and with support from others. He receives counsel from his old friend, the school gym teacher and football coach Charlie Sweet (Sam McMurray) – “They’re just like dogs. You can’t show them that you’re nervous”.
Waters reassures him, “I was nervous the night before Desert Storm. This I can handle.”
Potential love interest comes in the shape of the younger sister of a woman Waters nearly married: Nicole Moore (Kristen Wilson) is now the African studies teacher at Bayview, and she’s all grown up.
Coach Charlie Sweet