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The TJ-Hooker.com Staff were contacted late at night this past Friday, with a heads-up that some big news was headed our way. When the dust cleared and the details had been ironed out, we found ourselves sitting on the biggest T.J. Hooker-related story since we began this site almost two years ago, and we were delighted to be selected as the official source to spread the word to the public. Read on, T.J. Hooker fan: you will love what awaits.


T.J. HOOKER REUNION MOVIE ENTERS PRODUCTION!

March 31, 2001 - HOLLYWOOD - Columbia/Tri-Star Television executives announced that pre-production has begun on a "T.J. Hooker" reunion movie, bringing together all of the series' regular cast, including William Shatner, Heather Locklear, James Darren, and Adrian Zmed. The full-length made-for-television movie will air in the fall of 2001, although negotiations with the networks have yet to commence.

Bolstered by the recent success of the big-screen "Charlie's Angels" and the made-for-television "CHIPS" and "Dukes of Hazzard" reunions, studio executives believe the time is right for the return of the 80's lawman.

"When I saw the [positive] reaction of test audiences to the T.J. Hooker nod in 'Charlie's Angels'," stated Columbia/Tri-Star Vice-President of Development Jon Watkiss, "I turned to my partner and said, 'Are you thinking what I'm thinking?' Clearly the 80's are hot right now. It made green-lighting this project much easier."

While the producers declined to discuss the details of the script, they did explain that the story would revolve around T.J. Hooker, now retired from the LCPD, reuniting with his estranged partner on the squad Vince Romano (Zmed). The two are brought together to help solve a case involving Hooker's son, a LCPD rookie. No word yet on who will play Tommy Hooker, but a source close to the project indicated that the producers have tabbed Dawson Creek's James Van Der Beek.

In addition to the series' cast reuniting, many of the people behind the scenes are repeating their contributions to the show. Among them, creator Rick Husky will serve as a story consultant, series writer Mark Rodgers has penned the preliminary script, and Aaron Spelling will reprise his role as Executive Producer.

"To have all of them participate is fantastic," said Watkiss. "It's like a blessing--it makes us feel like we're doing the right thing."

With these key figures in place, Columbia/Tri-Star executives immediately initiated discussions with the cast. Not surprisingly, at the top of the list was William Shatner.

"After nearly twenty years away from the character, we weren't sure how he would react to our proposal," casting director Barry Mandel admitted. "But Bill was fabulous. He really wants to do this project. "I don't want to put words into his mouth, but I think he's a bit tired of the Captain Kirk thing. And who could blame him? They got, what--eight Star Trek shows going now?"

Yet fans who are looking for the return of the no-holds-barred action hero may be in for a surprise. Watkiss hinted that Shatner will likely not be asked to don his familiar blue police uniform.

"Undoubtedly, Hooker will be the dramatic focus of the show, but he may not be at the center of the action. I mean, the man is 70 years old [Shatner turned 70 on March 22]," said Watkiss.

Nevertheless, don't expect Shatner to sit completely on the sidelines, either. Watkiss indicated that the star even spoke to him about doing some of his own stunts. "Incredible," Watkiss marveled. "Even at his age Bill is still cut--he's in terrific shape."

Perhaps the biggest coup was securing Heather Locklear's involvement. Locklear, star of ABC's "Spin City" was initially reluctant to get on board, but after a friendly call from Aaron Spelling, credited with rescuing her career with "Melrose Place", she decided to join the cast. Locklear's character, Stacy Sheridan, is no longer the shy rookie police officer of the Hooker series. Instead she is the powerful, often strident District Attorney of Los Angeles County.

'You're always worried about rehashing history,' Locklear said in an accompanying statement, "but I'm very pleased with the evolution of my character--especially since I get to chew out Hooker for a change!"

Adrian Zmed and James Darren round out the cast and both were said to be enthusiastic participants. According to Mandel, "Adrian was a prince. When I called him up to give him our pitch, he was like, 'What took you so long?'" [laughs].Meanwhile, Darren may be asked to perform double duty: revisiting the part of Jim Corrigan on screen and directing the telefilm off screen.

When asked if the movie could lead to a new T.J. Hooker series, Watkiss and his colleagues were deliberately vague. "It might not be the T.J. Hooker we're used to," said Watkiss, "but anything is possible. Let's face it: television today is all about building a franchise. Frankly, we think we have a pretty strong one."

 

 

 

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