|Fillmore and Ingrid on the case.
In the hallowed halls of X Middle
School, the students were protected by the Safety Patrol. Run by Junior
Commissioner Horatio Vallejo (Horatio Sanz), the Safety Patrol was responsible
for maintaining law and order within the school and ensuring the perpetrators
are properly punished. Their primary officers were Cornelius C. Fillmore
(Orlando Brown) and his partner, Ingrid Third (Tara Strong). Fillmore was
originally a delinquent until he was busted by officer Wayne Ligget (Lukas Behnken) and given the choice of serving permanent detention or helping him on
a case, which led to Fillmore joining the Safety Patrol. Ingrid, also a former
delinquent, was transferred in from a reform school in Nepal after a stink bomb
and piñata incident, and partnered up with Fillmore after he cleared her name
in a case. Together, they took on some of the shadiest members of the student
body—often resulting in property damage that would cause Vallejo to lose his
|Vallejo tries to keep his operation running smoothly.
Created by Scott M. Gimple, the series was
a spoof of 1970s police dramas. While firmly set in the world of a middle
school, the crimes perpetrated were meant to echo and emulate major crimes in
the larger outside world while keeping them age appropriate for the viewing
audience. In response, the Safety Patrol acted as if they were the actual
police dealing with these crimes. Some of their cases involved stolen scooters,
counterfeit baseball cards, vigilante-like retaliation against bullies, smuggling
tartar sauce, illegal frog races, stolen cash-like tokens, and stink bomb
incidents. Fillmore would do whatever it
took to bring his suspects to justice.
|Danny and Karen inspect a crime scene.
Other characters included Safety Patrol crime scene investigator Karen Tehama (Lauren Tom) and her partner, Joseph Anza (Danny Tamberelli), who was trained as a bodyguard; the Safety Patrol’s crime scene photographer Danny O’Farrell (Kyle Sullivan), who served as the series’ primary source of comic relief with his eccentric antics; the school’s Principal Dawn S. Folsom (Wendie Malick), who served as the archetypical image-conscious mayor; and Vice Principal Raycliff (Jeff Probst), who didn’t say much but was quick with school facts. All of the characters’ last names were taken from various San Francisco streets and were designed by Brent Gordon and Shelli Droe.
|Joseph takes a witness' statement.
Fillmore! debuted on ABC on September 14, 2002 as part of its ABC Kids programming
block. It was the final series produced by Walt Disney
Television Animation for ABC as they had begun exclusively making content
for The Disney Channel. The series’
theme song was written and performed by Ookla
the Mok, and was included on their album Super Secret as
the intro to the song “Das
Uber Tuber, or the Mystery of Mr. P”. Announcing for the series was
provided by Don LaFontaine, the voice of many movie trailers known for his catchphrase “In a [place/time]…”.
It was written by Eddie Guzelian,
Scott M. Gimple, Matthew Negrete, Madellaine Paxson, Laura McCreary, Mark Meyers, John Cervenka, Sean Whalen, Christian Roman, Julie DuFine, Amanda Rudolph and Keith Blocker.
|The crew outside of X Middle School.
After two seasons, the series was ultimately cancelled due to low ratings
and was removed from the ABC line-up before it finished its second season. In March
of 2003, Disney Channel added Fillmore! to their line-up, debuting it
with a three-hour primetime marathon. Toon Disney also began
airing reruns that September and eventually played the final five new episodes in
January. Fillmore! continued to air on Toon Disney through its
changeover to Disney XD until the beginning of 2009. Despite its short run, the
show had developed a strong cult following with a loyal fanbase. Although it
hasn’t seen any kind of official home release, the series was made available
for digital download on iTunes
and Amazon in Germany, and later Disney+ in the United Kingdom.