Ferris Bueller (TV series)

Ferris Bueller

Opening title sequence
Genre Sitcom
Created by John Masius
John Hughes (characters, uncredited)
Written by Mary Conley
Michael J. Digaetano
Lawrence Gay
John Masius
Steve Pepoon
Paul B. Price
Evan Smith
Andy Tennant
Rob Ulin
Directed by Bill Bixby
Steve Dubin
Beth Rooney Hillshafer
Jonathan Lynn
Victor Lobl
Arlene Sanford
Andy Tennant
Christopher T. Welch
James Whitmore, Jr.
Starring Charlie Schlatter
Brandon Douglas
Ami Dolenz
Jennifer Aniston
Richard Riehle
Cristine Rose
Sam Freed
Composer(s) Glenn A. Jordan
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Executive producer(s) John Masius
Producer(s) Michael J. Di Gaetano
Lawrence Gay
Pamela Grant
Frank Pace
Cinematography Stephen C. Confer
Editor(s) Darryl Bates
Robert Bramwell
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 2224 minutes
Production company(s) Maysh Ltd Productions
Paramount Television
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Audio format Stereo
Original release August 23, 1990 (1990-08-23) – August 11, 1991 (1991-08-11)
Preceded by Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller is an American sitcom based on the 1986 John Hughes film Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The show stars Charlie Schlatter in the title role. The series debuted on August 23, 1990 on NBC and was cancelled within its first season, a few months after its debut. The show was produced by Maysh Ltd Productions in association with Paramount Television.

Hughes was not involved in the show's production and asked that his name not be used by Paramount Television to promote it.


Though based on the film, the series was not a canon continuation, rather it was set up to portray itself as being the "real life" situations upon which the film was loosely based. In the pilot episode, Ferris (Schlatter) refers to the film and expresses his displeasure at Matthew Broderick portraying him, even going as far as destroying a life-size cardboard cutout of Broderick with a chainsaw.[1][2] However no further references to the film within the series' continuity would be made after this. As in the film, the series focused on Ferris Bueller and his high school experiences at Ocean Park High, including dealing with his best friend Cameron (Brandon Douglas), love interest Sloan (Ami Dolenz), and sister Jeannie (Jennifer Aniston).

Although the film was set in Chicago, the series was set in Santa Monica. Like the film, Ferris is liked by everyone as the "cool guy on campus." He is extremely popular, suave, quick witted and a master of ceremonies who often breaks the fourth wall. Cameron is still a depressive neurotic who, through Ferris, is able to loosen up occasionally. Sloan is portrayed slightly different in that she is not completely wrapped around Ferris' finger and has to be won over at times. Rooney is the primary antagonist and always out to get Ferris but usually ends up foiled or humiliated. His secretary, Grace, is not a wise-cracking sarcastic, but a passive pushover with an unreciprocated crush on Ed. Jeannie is constantly at odds with Ferris and his being favored by all. Though she can be antagonistic, she has proven not all bad, albeit begrudgingly. In the film, Mr. and Mrs. Bueller's names are Katie and Tom but in the series they are Barbara and Bob, as well as Ferris being a junior and Jeannie being a senior but as opposed to the other way around in the movie.


The main cast


No. Title Original air date
1 "Pilot" August 23, 1990
2 "Behind Every Dirtbag" September 17, 1990
3 "Custodian Of the People" September 24, 1990
4 "Without You I'm Nothing" October 1, 1990
5 "Between a Rock and Rooney's Place" October 8, 1990
6 "A Dog and His Boy" October 15, 1990
7 "Ferris Bueller Can't Win" October 22, 1990
8 "Sloan Again, Naturally" November 5, 1990
9 "Scenes From a Grandma" November 12, 1990
10 "Stand-In Deliver" November 26, 1990
11 "Baby You Can't Drive My Car" December 2, 1990
12 "Grace Under Pressure" December 16, 1990
13 "A Night In the Life" August 11, 1991

Reception and cancellation

The show received mostly negative reviews from critics.[1][2][3][4] John J. O'Connor of The New York Times wrote that the version of Bueller portrayed by the "smirking" Schlatter "is likely to leave most viewers reaching instinctively for their wallets."[3] Some critics considered Ferris Bueller one of the worst shows of the year.[5][6][7]

The series also suffered from comparison to a show with a similar concept that debuted on Fox the same month, Parker Lewis Can't Lose.[3][4][8] Parker Lewis proved to be more successful, lasting three seasons.

Ferris Bueller was broadcast on Monday nights with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, also in its first season, as a lead in. Ratings were strong at first[9] but declined quickly in the following weeks.[10][11] However, the show rated highly among viewers aged 12 to 17.[12] The show was cancelled in December 1990, having ranked 57th in the ratings, and was replaced midseason with Blossom, which lasted five seasons. A leftover episode aired in August 1991.


  1. 1 2 Shales, Tom (1990-08-23). "'Ferris Bueller's' Off Day; On NBC, a Lame Take on a Movie". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  2. 1 2 Storm, Jonathan (1990-08-23). "High School Comedy Strictly Sophomoric In The NBC Version, 'Ferris Bueller' Has An Off Day". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  3. 1 2 3 O'Connor, John J. (1990-10-08). "When Boys Will, of Course, Be Boys". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  4. 1 2 Roush, Matt (1990-08-23). "This 'Ferris' should be put in detention". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  5. O'Connor, John J. (1990-12-30). "TELEVISION 1990: Innovative Shows? It was Far From a Bountiful Season". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  6. Roush, Matt (1990-12-26). "BEST & WORST 1990: TV's HIGHS AND LOWS - Viewers had a taste for the peculiar". USA Today.
  7. Shales, Tom (1990-12-30). "TV 1990: The Year of Roseanne, Saddam, Bart and PBS's 'Civil War'". Washington Post.
  8. Roush, Matt (1990-08-31). "'Parker' is 'Ferris' with heart". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  9. Donlon, Brian (1990-09-19). "NBC wins yearly crown". USA Today.
  10. Donlon, Brian (1990-10-02). "'Ferris Bueller' might take permanent vacation". USA Today.
  11. Graham, Jefferson (1990-11-19). "A fresh 'Prince' challenger". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  12. Jubera, Drew (1991-08-09). "In Front of TV 12 Hours a Day". San Francisco Chronicle.
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