The 'Wonder'Is Gone
Even good ratings can't keep a student out of trouble. That's what the young actor Fred Savage (a.k.a. Kevin Arnold) and the rest of the cast and crew of the popular television series "The Wonder Years" discovered when they recently were suspended from filming at a Burbank, Calif., high school.
For the past three years, the producers of the show have used the classrooms, gymnasium, and playing fields of Burroughs High to record scenes of adolescent angst featuring Kevin and his friends. While Burroughs students may have been transfixed by the sight of film crews working during classes, teachers and parents were less enthusiastic.
So, after numerous complaints that the film crew's schedule had forced classes to be relocated and that students were sometimes less than attentive to their studies, officials of the Burbank Unified School District decided to pull the plug on unlimited filming of the show.
In so doing, the district loses a reported $10,000 a year in fees.
Richard Tighe, assistant superintendent of the school district, defends the ban on filming during classes.
"Sure, the money was nice, but we have to ensure that students don't get disrupted," he says. "If you had a choice between concentrating on calculus and watching a film shoot, what would you do?"
Faced with a permanent suspension, the show's producers decided to drop out of Burroughs altogether and begin filming at another school.
Which means the students of Burroughs, who were used as extras in many scenes shot for the series, have had their 15 minutes of fame. But that's show business. --S.K.G.
Vol. 11, Issue 04, Page 2Published in Print: September 25, 1991, as The 'Wonder'Is Gone