IMDb > "Head of the Class" (1986)
"Head of the Class"
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"Head of the Class" (1986) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1986-1990

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6.6/10   1,293 votes »
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Release Date:
17 September 1986 (USA) See more »
A laidback teacher provides needed guidance about life for a special class of exceptional students. Full summary »
Nominated for Primetime Emmy. Another 12 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Charming for 3 seasons, mediocre for 2 See more (25 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 17 of 31)
William G. Schilling ... Dr. Harold Samuels (114 episodes, 1986-1991)

Jeannetta Arnette ... Bernadette Meara (114 episodes, 1986-1991)

Dan Frischman ... Arvid Engen (114 episodes, 1986-1991)

Robin Givens ... Darlene Merriman (114 episodes, 1986-1991)

Khrystyne Haje ... Simone Foster (114 episodes, 1986-1991)

Tony O'Dell ... Alan Pinkard (114 episodes, 1986-1991)

Brian Robbins ... Eric Mardian (114 episodes, 1986-1991)

Kimberly Russell ... Sarah Nevins (114 episodes, 1986-1991)

Dan Schneider ... Dennis Blunden (114 episodes, 1986-1991)

Howard Hesseman ... Charlie Moore (92 episodes, 1986-1990)
Tannis Vallely ... Janice Lazarotto (67 episodes, 1986-1991)

Leslie Bega ... Maria Borges (66 episodes, 1986-1989)
Joher Coleman ... Jawaharlal Choudhury (66 episodes, 1986-1989)

Rain Pryor ... Theola June 'T.J.' Jones / ... (51 episodes, 1988-1991)

Michael DeLorenzo ... Alex Torres (48 episodes, 1989-1991)
Lara Piper ... Viki Amory (48 episodes, 1989-1991)

De'voreaux White ... Aristotle McKenzie (48 episodes, 1989-1991)

Series Directed by
Art Dielhenn (44 episodes, 1986-1990)
Lee Shallat Chemel (20 episodes, 1986-1990)
Alan Rosen (13 episodes, 1988-1990)
Howard Storm (10 episodes, 1989-1991)
Andrew D. Weyman (3 episodes, 1986-1987)
Bill Davis (3 episodes, 1987-1991)
Tony Singletary (3 episodes, 1987-1990)
Buzz Sapien (3 episodes, 1990)
Frank Bonner (2 episodes, 1986-1990)
Peter Baldwin (2 episodes, 1986)
John Tracy (2 episodes, 1986)
Frank Cavestani (2 episodes, 1988-1990)
Eric Laneuville (2 episodes, 1988)
Series Writing credits
Michael Elias (114 episodes, 1986-1991)
Rich Eustis (114 episodes, 1986-1991)
Ray Jessel (9 episodes, 1987-1991)
Cynthia Thompson (8 episodes, 1987-1990)
David Hurwitz (8 episodes, 1988-1991)
Andrew Guerdat (8 episodes, 1988-1990)
Steve Kreinberg (8 episodes, 1988-1990)
Lisa Rosenthal (7 episodes, 1987-1990)
Jeffrey Duteil (7 episodes, 1989-1991)
Bill Rosenthal (6 episodes, 1989-1991)
Alan Rosen (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Jerry Rannow (5 episodes, 1987-1989)
Larry Spencer (5 episodes, 1987-1989)
Noah Taft (5 episodes, 1989-1991)
Gary Gilbert (4 episodes, 1986-1987)
George Beckerman (4 episodes, 1987-1988)
Steven Sullivan (4 episodes, 1990-1991)
Ursula Ziegler-Sullivan (4 episodes, 1990-1991)
Ellis Bufton (3 episodes, 1988-1989)
Scott Glaze (3 episodes, 1988-1989)
Cindy Begel (3 episodes, 1989-1990)
Lesa Kite (3 episodes, 1989-1990)
Thomas C. Chapman (3 episodes, 1990-1991)
Jonathan Torp (3 episodes, 1990-1991)
Valri Bromfield (2 episodes, 1986-1989)
Janet Coleman (2 episodes, 1987-1989)
David Dozer (2 episodes, 1987-1989)
Danny Smith (2 episodes, 1990-1991)
Carol Corwen (2 episodes, 1990)

Series Produced by
Michael Elias .... executive producer (114 episodes, 1986-1991)
Rich Eustis .... executive producer (114 episodes, 1986-1991)
Frank Pace .... associate producer / line producer (112 episodes, 1986-1991)
Bill Rosenthal .... story editor (45 episodes, 1989-1991)
Alan Rosen .... producer (44 episodes, 1986-1990)
Gayle S. Maffeo .... producer (21 episodes, 1986-1987)
Gary Gilbert .... producer (8 episodes, 1986-1987)
Todd Stevens .... associate producer (3 episodes, 1986)
Bari Halle .... associate producer (3 episodes, 1988-1990)

Jonathan Roberts .... co-producer (unknown episodes, 1989-1991)
Series Original Music by
Ed Alton (13 episodes, 1986-1988)
Series Cinematography by
Mike Berlin (8 episodes, 1986-1987)
Richard Brown (4 episodes, 1987-1990)
Series Film Editing by
Darryl Bates (65 episodes, 1986-1989)
Jerry Davis (2 episodes, 1986-1990)
Series Casting by
Mindy Marin (9 episodes, 1986-1987)
John Frank Levey (4 episodes, 1987-1990)
Series Art Direction by
Ken Johnson (15 episodes, 1986-1990)
Series Set Decoration by
Melody Lavigna (12 episodes, 1986-1987)
Series Costume Design by
Deirdre Naughton (9 episodes, 1986-1987)
Series Makeup Department
Dale Miller .... key hair stylist (34 episodes, 1988-1989)
Delree F. Todd .... hair stylist (11 episodes, 1986-1987)
Bernadine M. Anderson .... makeup artist (8 episodes, 1986-1987)
Scott Hamilton .... makeup artist (4 episodes, 1987-1990)

Marina Hart .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Timothy A. Miguel .... makeup artist (unknown episodes)
Patricia Vecchio .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Series Production Management
Eric Rhoden .... production supervisor (8 episodes, 1986-1987)
Bari Halle .... production supervisor (3 episodes, 1987)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nancy Heydorn .... associate director (7 episodes, 1986)
Buzz Sapien .... associate director (5 episodes, 1986-1990)

Rosario Roveto Jr. .... assistant director (unknown episodes)
Series Art Department
Jasper Ehrig .... property master (12 episodes, 1986-1990)
Series Sound Department
Peter Damski .... sound mixer / audio (68 episodes, 1988-1991)
Jeff A. Johnson .... assistant sound (19 episodes, 1988-1989)
Russ Gary .... audio (11 episodes, 1986-1987)
David E. Fluhr .... re-recording / sound re-recording mixer (10 episodes, 1986-1990)
Carroll Pratt .... re-recording / sound re-recording mixer (8 episodes, 1986-1987)
Rick Himot .... re-recording (2 episodes, 1986-1990)

Ken Nunn .... boom operator (unknown episodes)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Malcolm Bryce .... lighting operator (68 episodes, 1988-1991)
Tom Faigh .... camera operator (57 episodes, 1988-1991)
Bruce Oldham .... camera operator (11 episodes, 1986-1990)
John Gillis .... camera operator (10 episodes, 1986-1987)
Ray Gonzales .... camera operator (7 episodes, 1986-1987)
Dave Heckman .... camera operator (7 episodes, 1986)
Mark Sanford .... video (7 episodes, 1986)
Martin Brown .... camera operator (2 episodes, 1986)
Steve Berry .... video (2 episodes, 1987)
Chuck Reilly .... video / video operator (2 episodes, 1987)
Larry Gaudette .... camera operator (1 episode, 1987-1991)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bridget Ostersehlte .... costumes: women / costumer: women / ... (12 episodes, 1986-1990)
Steve Sharp .... costumes: men / costumer: men / ... (12 episodes, 1986-1990)

Jerry Herrin .... set costumer (unknown episodes, 1991)
Philip Maldonado .... set costumer (unknown episodes)
Series Music Department
Ed Alton .... composer: theme music (114 episodes, 1986-1991)
Series Other crew
David Hurwitz .... story editor (89 episodes, 1987-1991)
Bill Rosenthal .... story editor (48 episodes, 1989-1991)
Ray Jessel .... executive story consultant / executive story consulant (13 episodes, 1986-1988)
Ann Marie Zidarevich .... stage manager (12 episodes, 1986-1990)
Valri Bromfield .... creative consultant (11 episodes, 1986-1987)
Coleen Cannon .... script supervisor (9 episodes, 1986-1987)
Chris Donovan .... technical director (6 episodes, 1986)
Buzz Sapien .... stage manager (6 episodes, 1986)
Stu Goldman .... stage manager (5 episodes, 1986-1987)
George Beckerman .... executive story supervisor / story editor (4 episodes, 1987)
Larry Spencer .... executive story editor / creative consultant (4 episodes, 1987)
Eve Babitz .... assistant to producers (3 episodes, 1986)
Gretchen Borggrebe .... assistant to producers (3 episodes, 1986)
Erik Eff .... assistant to producers (3 episodes, 1986)
Sandy Eustis .... assistant to producers (3 episodes, 1986)
Bari Halle .... assistant to producers (3 episodes, 1986)
Chuck Reilly .... technical director (3 episodes, 1987-1990)
Jerry Rannow .... story editor (3 episodes, 1987)
Bob Rosenfarb .... story editor (3 episodes, 1987)
Sandra Paige Eustis .... script supervisor (2 episodes, 1987-1990)
Bart Lipton .... stage manager (2 episodes, 1987)

Chris Case .... writing staff intern (unknown episodes)
Karen Ragan-George .... assistant to producer (unknown episodes)
Celeste Wade .... publicity coordinator (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
30 min | USA:30 min (114 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Joher Coleman (who previously used the name Jory Husain) wore make-up to make his skin appear darker to play the Indian-American Jawaharlal. Coleman (Husain) is of Pakistani and European heritage.See more »
Sarah Nevins:[catching up with T.J. in the hallway] Oh, T.J. I have been looking for you.
T.J. Jones:Yeah,well Thanks for nothing, man. That action in your class today was a total disaster. You really know how to make a person feel like sludge
Sarah Nevins:[angrily] Wait a minute! T.J., I thought it would be nice for you. You know you were welcome to stay for the whole class.
T.J. Jones:Well, isn't that a dream come true. Sit in a nice, clean desk with no dirty words carved in it, everyone dressed like it was Easter Sunday, and a teacher who treats you better than your own mama. And a hour later, I get sent back to the real world and that's the last I see of Disneyland!
See more »
Movie Connections:


Why did Howard Hesseman leave the show?
See more »
11 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Charming for 3 seasons, mediocre for 2, 27 April 2006
Author: severe_td from Los Angeles

"Head of the Class" is very dated to the late 1980s. From the big hair to the clunky IBM terminals in the classroom, there's no doubt you're watching a show produced nearly 20 years ago. However, that actually adds to the program's charm -- especially for those of us who were in high school ourselves during that time period.

For 3 seasons, Head of the Class had a lot going for it. While lighthearted and often requiring a suspension of disbelief, the show was funny, entertaining, and charming. There was an excellent chemistry among cast members, and Howard Hesseman was perfect for the part of wise teacher Charlie Moore. Even the New York setting of the sitcom was well done, from the fascinating city imagery in the opening song to many different exterior shots shown between scenes. I saw the show at a taping in Burbank, California in 1986. Despite having actually been on the California set, I had to constantly remind myself that it wasn't actually shot in New York. That's unusual for a sitcom.

Unfortunately, things started to unravel in season 4. Too many of the original student cast members were lost, and the new ones replacing them were uninteresting and flat. How much do you really remember about Viki, Aristotle, Alex, T.J., and Jasper? You probably remember their faces, but they were simply cardboard replacements for the vibrant and quirky Janice, Jawaharalal, and Maria. This was already a sign that the show was slipping.

In Hesseman's final year, there were also a surprising number of "musicals" performed on the show. The first one was an interesting change, but this repeated theme made it clear that the writers were running of out ideas.

Finally, Hesseman left (probably sensing the end being near), and Billy Connolly replaced him. That was the truly the beginning of the end. Like the replacement students of the previous year, Connolly's character lacked the substance and depth that made Hesseman's so great. Between the boring new teacher and the tired-looking, modified class of students, this show ceased to hold many people's interest. It was mercifully put down at the end of the '90-91 season.

I would like to see Head of the Class back somewhere on television. Nick at Nite ran it for awhile in a horrible time slot (something like 4:30am), but eventually it vanished. It can't be found anywhere, which I think is a shame. This fun show deserves better than to rot in some syndication company's archive room.

Was the above review useful to you?
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