Not dissimilar to such earlier Hollywood features as Boys' Ranch and Johnny Holiday, this made-for-cable drama stars Bruce Boxleitner as ex-cop and former marine J.T. Hope. The owner of a 2,000-acre ranch in Utah, Hope makes it his mission in life to rehabilitate youngsters who, as a result of their criminal records, have been deemed incorrigible. In this instance, Hope focuses his attention on a trio of street punks, including incipient drug-dealer Keith Frazier (Brian Gross). With the help of his no-nonsense ranchhands Colt (Lorenzo Lamas) and Shorty (Barry Corbin), Hope works the boys hard and long (12 hours a day, in fact), tending the horses, cleaning out the barns, and tackling other such grueling chores -- all the while promising the kids that if after two weeks they have straightened themselves out, they will not have to return to the penal system. At first reacting in horror to the strict regimen of Hope's ranch (one of the teens declares, "What is this? An episode of Survivor?"), two of the boys begin showing signs of redemption, and even begin to enjoy their working vacation in the great outdoors. Alas, Keith proves to be a bigger challenge than Hope had anticipated, especially when the boy steals some horse tranquilizers and escapes into the mountains. One of the first films to be produced exclusively for the Animal Planet cable network, Hope Ranch debuted on September 2, 2002.
by Hal Erickson synopsis