Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The NBC sitcom Teachers was based on the British comedy series of the same name, which first aired in the U.K. in 2001. Whereas the British series was set in Summerdown School in Bristol, the American edition of Teachers took place at Fillmore Middle School in New Jersey. In both cases, the schools were less than prestigious, weighed down by apathetic instructors, "don't give a damn" students, ridiculous and self-defeating rules and regulations, mediocre-to-poor facilities, and miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape. The American Teachers starred Justin Bartha as English teacher Jeff Cahill, a Kotteresque wise guy and iconoclast who eagerly did battle against the educational establishment -- and sometimes his fellow teachers -- in hopes of helping those few students who really cared about learning something to reach their full potential. Sarah Alexander co-starred as Alice, a former Fillmore student who, in a burst of idealism, had returned as a teacher, and for whom Jeff carried a torch. The rest of the cast included Deon Richmond as Calvin Babbet, the school's drama teacher and Jeff's best friend; radio talk-show host Phil Hendrie as the all-but-burned-out veteran teacher Dick; Sarah Shahi as hot new "sub" teacher Tina; Matt Winston as the wheedling, sycophantic instructor Mitch; and Kali Rocha as Fillmore's ineffectual, p.c.-obsessed principal Ms. Wiggins. Executive-produced by reliable sitcom hands Matt Tarses and Bill Wrubel, Teachers debuted March 28, 2006.