January 5, 1997 – The Television Sitcom Flash Forward Premieres on Disney Channel
“Are you gonna play? Or are you gonna hide out the rest of your life?”
On January 5, 1997, the teen sitcom Flash Forward premiered on the Disney Channel. It was the first series to be branded as a Disney Channel Original Series, and centers around best friends Tucker James and Becca Fisher as they navigate through the eighth grade. The series lasted for one season with 26 episodes in total. It was created by Bernice Vanderlaan, Alyson Feltes, and Daphne Ballon; it starred Ben Foster as Tucker, Jewel Staite as Becca, Theodore Borders as Miles, and Asia Vieira as Chris.
The first episode, “Fresh Start All Over Again,” begins with Becca looks at her horoscope in the paper before going to meet with Tucker s they can walk to the bus stop. Tucker helps a new, pretty girl onto the bus, but is afraid to go on after her as he’s afraid of the bus driver. When Becca arrives at school, she greets her friend Chris, and the two are thrilled that they are now eighth graders, which means they rule the school. Tucker’s friend Miles reserves his friend’s seat, and Tucker arrives, mimicking many of the faculty members before heading to his seat, which is then occupied by a new student, Jack, who doesn’t like Tucker and his antics.
Becca and Chris talk by Becca’s locker later, and are upset that they don’t have any classes together, except for P.E. Becca decides to go to the vice principal’s office to complain with Chris, only Chris doesn’t show. Becca presents her case alone, but the vice principal refuses to grant her request; not only that, she misses her chance to sign up for the newspaper. Meanwhile in the boys locker room, Jack locks Tucker out in only his towel, where he is spotted by the entire student body. It gets even worse when his towel falls off, and Tucker embarrasses himself in front of Kerry, the pretty new girl. Later Tucker heads to his audition as the DJ for the school announcements, and keeps the students laughing until Jack shows up with Tucker’s stolen underwear. Jack decides to audition, much to Tucker’s dismay.
Later, Tucker and Becca commiserate over their eighth grade woes. Later, Chris shows up to apologize, and convinces Becca to go talk to the actual head of the school newspaper, Mr. Hargreaves. She gives him an impassioned speech and presents an article she’d written over the summer, but as it doesn’t seem to get her anywhere she leaves, forgetting her article. Fortunately, Becca receives good news when she gets home – Mr. Hargreaves called her house, asking her to meet him after study period to discuss her article. Tucker is still upset about being embarrassed, and begrudgingly gets up when he hears Becca calling for him to play hockey, and she convinces him that everything will be okay, especially when she tells him that Kerry thought he was cute.