Class of '96 (partially lost Fox teen drama series; 1993)
Class of '96 is a short-lived teen drama series that aired on Fox from January to May 1993. It followed the lives of seven students during their first year of an Ivy League university. Described by some critics as "90210 goes to college," the show’s first season received mixed to positive reviews. Although the creative team believed Fox would renew the show, it was ultimately canceled after its first season aired. The show never received release via DVD, VHS, or streaming. Some early episodes have been uploaded online, though many remain lost.
Class of '96 followed the freshman year of seven students at the fictional Ivy League university Havenhurst College. Each student comes from a different background and upbringing, but all seven of them grow to become friends—and sometimes, romantic partners—over the course of the year. The series also dealt with issues such as sexism, racism, and social class differences.
The series followed seven students, each with a unique background. The characters were David Morrissey (Jason Gedrik), a first-generation college student; "Stroke" Dexter (Gale Hansen), a computer expert; Whitney Reed (Brandon Douglas), an upper-class student with alcohol addiction; Antonio Hopkins (Perry Moore), a basketball player on a scholarship; Jessica Cohen (Lisa Dean Ryan), a wealthy student; and Robin Farr (Kari Wührer), a student from Florida.
The series aired on Tuesday nights at 8:00 pm on the Fox network. It faced fierce competition with other shows in its timeslot, many of which were aimed at families instead of the young adult audience. Competitors included Full House, Rescue 911, and Quantum Leap. This competitive timeslot may have been a factor in the show’s moderate success.
The series was a joint effort by Mandy Productions Inc. and ABC Productions. Brandon Stoddard and Leonard Goldberg acted as executive producers.
The show aired seventeen episodes in its first season, airing one episode every Tuesday from January 19, 1993, to May 25, 1993. Ratings for the series went down progressively after the first episode, going from an estimated 6 million viewers to 2.9 million. Fox canceled the show after its final season one episode aired.
Critical reception was mixed to positive. The Orlando Sentinal called the show "the next, smarter generation of youth-targeted entertainment after Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, et al." Washington Post speculated that the show could rank as Fox’s best, with the exception of The Simpsons. However, other reviews were less hopeful. Entertainment Weekly gave the show a C+ rating, and stated the following:
"Class of '96 panders to Fox's young audience by assuring them that teenagers are indeed the center of the universe, that going away to college is nothing less than the beginning of life. Family, childhood, and adolescence were just a bad dream; awakened from the coma of home, reality is sex, rock & roll, and keg parties. To the rest of us, of course, there's a good chance that the students in Class will seem like nothing more than moody brats."
Class of '96 never received any home media release following its cancellation, though some interest has been held by fans of the show. A thread on the forum DVDTalk shows interest in a DVD box set, though many note that they doubt a home release would be successful due to the show’s mixed critical opinions.
Because of the lack of a home media release, very few episodes have been documented online. All uploaded episodes come from VHS tape recordings by fans. Unfortunately, because of the relative obscurity of the show, many episodes have remained lost, likely due to no home recordings.
On February 5th, 2023, eight more episodes of the series were uploaded and found. This only leaves four more episodes missing from the series, which are episodes 14-17.
|#||Episode Title||Air Date||Status|
|1||Pilot||January 19, 1993||Found|
|2||They Shoot Baskets, Don't They?||January 26, 1993||Found|
|3||Breaking Up is Hard to Overdue||February 2, 1993||Found|
|4||Midterm Madness||February 9, 1993||Found|
|5||Look Homeward Angela||February 16, 1993||Found|
|6||The Adventures of Pat's Man and Robin||February 23, 1993||Found|
|7||David is Authorizes||March 2, 1993||Found|
|8||The Accused||March 9, 1993||Found|
|9||When Whitney Met Linda||March 16, 1993||Found|
|10||Parents Weekend||March 23, 1993||Found|
|11||The Best Little Frat House at Havenhurst||March 30, 1993||Found|
|12||Bright Smoke, Cold Fire||April 6, 1993||Found|
|13||Greenwich Mean Time||April 20, 1993||Found|
|14||Educating David||April 27, 1993||Lost|
|15||Howie Farr is Too Far||May 4, 1993||Lost|
|16||The Jessica File||May 11, 1993||Lost|
|17||See You in September||May 25, 1993||Lost|
- ↑ A summary of the series. Retrieved 22 Nov '22
- ↑ A summary of the characters. Retrieved 22 Nov '22
- ↑ An image of a magazine spread for the show. Retrieved 22 Nov '22
- ↑ An in-depth Washington Post article on the show. Retrieved 22 Nov '22
- ↑ The ratings and air dates. Retrieved 22 Nov '22
- ↑ An Orlando Sentinal review of the series. Retrieved 22 Nov '22
- ↑ Entertainment Weekly’s review of the series. Retrieved 22 Nov '22
- ↑ The forum on DVDTalk. Retrieved 22 Nov '22