February 28, 2015


(ABC, Toon Disney, September 14, 2002-January 30, 2004)

Walt Disney Television Animation

Orlando Brown – Cornelius C. Fillmore, various
Tara Strong – Ingrid Third, Ariella Third, various
Horatio Sanz – Horatio Vallejo
Lauren Tom – Karen Tehama, various
Danny Tamberelli – Joseph Anza
Kyle Sullivan - Danny O'Farrell, Everett Konquist, Ken Himmelman, various
Wendie Malick – Principal Dawn S. Folsom
Jeff Probst – Vice Principal Raycliff
Don LaFontaine - Announcer

            Crime doesn’t pay. Especially in middle school.

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 piƱata 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 top.

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 BlockerAnimation was provided by Starburst Animation, Toon City Animation, and Wang Film Productions.

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. 

Season 1:
“To Mar a Stall” (9/14/02) – Fillmore and Ingrid go to Randall, a tagger in solitary detention, for leads on the tagger “STAINLESS” currently defacing the bathroom renovation project.

“Test of the Tested” (9/21/02) – Someone dressed as the school’s mascot steals the S.A.T.T.Y. 9 tests and Fillmore and Ingrid have only 48 hours to recover them before they have to be retaken.

“A Wurm in Our Midst” (9/28/02) – Tony Clementina eagerly accepts credit for the theft of library books while Ingrid is led to new clues on an old case that points to Fillmore.

“Cry, The Beloved Mascot” (10/5/02) – Psychic Alistair Greystone holds the only leads to finding the school’s kidnapped mascot.

“Red Robins Don’t Fly” (10/12/02) – Fillmore learns the outgoing leader of the Red Robins was an undercover Safety Patrol agent and Ingrid is in danger of becoming her replacement.

“Next Stop, Armageddon” (11/2/02) – Fillmore and Ingrid are given convention duty as the train convention is sabotaged and ruined.

“Nappers Never Sleep” (11/9/02) – A reporter is coming to do a story on Duappy, the longest-living virtual pet, when it ends up stolen.

“Ingrid Third, Public Enemy #1” (11/16/02) – Flashback: Fillmore’s partner moves away and Ingrid comes to school, becoming a suspect in a giant stink bomb explosion.

“A Cold Day at X” (11/23/02) – A blizzard and a teacher’s cold leaves Fillmore alone to defend a math final exam from desperate thieves.

“Masterstroke of Malevolence” (2/15/03) – A museum field trip turns into a crime scene when someone defaces a famous painting.

“Two Wheels, Full Throttle, No Breaks” (2/22/03) – Derek Minna starts Boys And Girls Against Scooter Theft who are determined to stop the thefts and replace the Safety Patrol.

“Of Slain Kings on Checkered Fields” (5/10/03) – Someone is out to get Checkmatey, a rapper and the school’s best chess player, before he can participate in the chess tournament.

“A Forgotten Yesterday” (5/17/03) – Fillmore teams-up with his former criminal partner to track down a stolen case of computer disks.

Season 2:
“The Currency of Doubt” (9/20/03) – Tina and Toby’s smoit stash goes missing, leading Fillmore to discover Toby’s massive gambling debts.

“The Shreds Fell Like Snowflakes” (9/27/03) – “The Shredder” is going around shredding people’s projects, and with Vallejo’s second term coming up he’s determined to stop it.

“Foes Don’t Forgive” (10/4/03) – Reformed thug Linus Santiago performs a magic trick making Dewey Hubbie’s robotic dog disappear—and he can’t bring it back.

“South of Friendship, North of Honor” (10/11/03) – Fillmore visits his old partner at his new school and learns that something is rotten with their Safety Patrol.

“Immune to All But Justice” (10/18/03) – Counterfeit baseball cards turn up at the same time the Canadian ambassador visits the school.

“The Nineteenth Hole is a Shallow Grave” (11/1/03) – A past mini-golf incident haunts Fillmore as he goes undercover to unearth shading dealings plaguing professional golfers.

“Links in a Chain of Honor” (11/8/03) – Rookie officer Peter Chestnut has a family legacy to live up to in Safety Patrol, and seems to do so by closing his first case—or does he?

“The Unseen Reflection” (11/15/03) – Terri and Torrey work on projects to audition to be in the next book of a popular series, but each one ends up sabotaged.

“Codename: Electric Haircut” (1/2/04) – A girl disappears from the school entirely while a computer virus is released that can cause major reputation damage to popular students.

“Play On, Maestro, Play On” (1/9/04) – Gaming mastermind “The Maestro” will stop at nothing to get the hot new game system The Ultrabox.

“This Saviour, a Snitch” (1/30/04) – Fillmore is framed for the destruction of Folsom’s statue made out of macaroni.

“A Dark Score Evened” (1/16/04) – Fillmore finds himself having to protect bullies when they begin to be bullied.

“Field Trip of the Just” (1/23/04) – Fillmore is sent after Eric Orben, the prime suspect in the poisoning of the Science Department’s tarantula mascot.

Originally posted in 2015. Updated in 2020.