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Room 222 is an American comedy-drama television series produced by 20th Century Fox Television that aired on ABC for 112 episodes from September 17, 1969, until January 11, 1974. The show was broadcast on Wednesday evenings at 8:30 (EST) for its first two seasons before settling into its best-remembered time slot of Friday evenings at 9, following The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, and preceding The Odd Couple and Love, American Style.[1]

Room 222
Room 222 openingtitle.jpg
Opening title
Created by James L. Brooks
Starring Lloyd Haynes
Denise Nicholas
Michael Constantine
Karen Valentine
Theme music composer Jerry Goldsmith
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 112
Executive producer(s) Gene Reynolds
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) 20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television (syndication)
Original network ABC
Original release September 11, 1969 (1969-09-11) – January 11, 1974 (1974-01-11)

In 1970, Room 222 earned the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding New Series, while Michael Constantine and Karen Valentine won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, respectively.



Haynes and Constantine in 1969.

The series focused on an American history class in Room 222 of the fictional Walt Whitman High School in Los Angeles, California, although it also depicted other events at the school. The class is taught by Pete Dixon (Lloyd Haynes), an idealistic African-American schoolteacher. Other characters featured in the show were the school's compassionate guidance counselor, Liz McIntyre (Denise Nicholas), who is also Pete's girlfriend; the dryly humorous school principal, Seymour Kaufman (Michael Constantine); and the petite and enthusiastic Alice Johnson (Karen Valentine), a student teacher. Patsy Garrett played Mr. Kaufman's secretary, Miss Hogarth. In addition, many recurring students were featured from episode to episode.

Pete Dixon delivers gentle lessons in tolerance and understanding to his students. They admire his wisdom, insight, and easygoing manner. The themes of the episodes were sometimes topical, reflecting the contemporary political climate of the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s, such as the Vietnam War, women's rights, race relations, and Watergate. However, most plots were timeless and featured themes still common to modern-day teenagers. For example, the 1971 episode "What Is a Man?" deals with a student who is the victim of anti-gay harassment and the 1974 episode "I Didn't Raise My Girl to Be a Soldier" with parent–teenager issues.


Main castEdit

Recurring castEdit

The show featured many actors who went on to become major stars, such as Bruno Kirby, Bernie Kopell, Cindy Williams, Teri Garr, Jamie Farr, Rob Reiner, Anthony Geary, Richard Dreyfuss, Chuck Norris, Kurt Russell, and Mark Hamill. In addition, former child stars David Bailey, Angela Cartwright, Ricky Kelman, Flip Mark, and Michael Shea each made appearances on the series late in their respective careers.


Valentine with Haynes, 1970.

The program was filmed at 20th Century Fox studios. Exterior shots of Los Angeles High School were shown behind the opening credits and for some outdoor scenes in the early seasons.[2] Room 222's initial episodes garnered weak ratings, and ABC was poised to cancel the program after one season. However, the show earned several nominations at the 1970 Emmy Awards, and ABC relented. In the spring of 1970, Room 222 won Emmy Awards for Best New Series; Best Supporting Actor (Michael Constantine); and Best Supporting Actress (Karen Valentine). The following year, Constantine and Valentine were again nominated in the supporting acting awards category. After the shaky first season, Room 222 nevertheless managed to receive respectable ratings during its next three years. Ratings peaked during the 1971–72 season, during which it held a #28 viewership ranking. By the start of the 1973–74 season, ratings had fallen drastically, and ABC canceled the show at midseason. After the series ended, the program entered syndication and was rerun on several television stations throughout the United States.

Room 222 was originally based on Chicago's Kenwood High School in Chicago's University of Chicago community.[citation needed] Many of the stories used in the show were lifted right out of actual classroom situations at the school.[dubious ] The reason producers chose Kenwood for the show was because of the school's racially diverse student body, owed in part to the number of faculty at the University of Chicago having sent their children to Kenwood from its inception in 1969.

The theme song was written by film composer Jerry Goldsmith, written in a 7/4 time signature. His theme and two episode scores for the series ("Richie's Story" (the pilot) and "The Flu") were later issued by Film Score Monthly on an album with his score for the film Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies.

Books and comicsEdit

A series of novels based on characters and dialog of the series was written by William Johnston and published by Tempo Books in the early 1970s. Dell Comics published a comic book for four issues during 1970 and 1971.

DVD releasesEdit

Shout! Factory has released the first two seasons of Room 222 on DVD in Region 1.

DVD name Ep # Release date
Season One 26 March 24, 2009
Season Two 26 January 19, 2010♦

♦- Shout! Factory Exclusives title, sold exclusively through Shout's online store

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Room 222 on Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Closing credits of Room 222 (DVD)

External linksEdit