|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 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.
|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.