Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi "Silver Spoons" Meets "NYPD Blue" on ABC

By Devin D. O'Leary

JULY 13, 1998:  Alleged Latin hunk Jimmy Smits recently announced plans to cut and run from the cast of "NYPD Blue." The announcement came like a bullet to fans of the show who have already been burned once by the departure of a star (alleged red-headed hunk David Caruso, who went on to fail miserably in his planned movie career and eventually returned to a less popular TV show over on CBS). Producer Steven Bochco ("Hill Street Blues," "Cop Rock") quickly announced Smits' replacement, and you could hear the jaws drop all over TV Land. The new detective on the beat would be none other than little Ricky Schroder.

Although Schroder starred in over 20 TV movies, stood somewhere in the background of Crimson Tide and now goes by the name "Rick Schroder" in a misguided attempt to seem mature, it's hard to remember him as anything other than the toe-headed Richie Rich clone on TV's "Silver Spoons." From 1982 to 1987, Schroder played Ricky Stratton, a spoiled rich kid who lived with his single father in a fabulous mansion (although we only ever got to see that one tiny living room with the train in it). Even though Ricky Stratton was fabulously wealthy, had a loving dad and plenty of good friends (like breakdancing midget Alfonso Ribeiro), he still faced the growing pains that all teenagers do. Naturally, all of Ricky Stratton's problems were solved in a mere 30 minutes (including commercial breaks). The real-life Ricky hasn't had it so easy.

Since his first appearance in the sappy 1979 remake of The Champ, Schroder has tried in vain to live down his "cute little kid" image. Obviously he's banking on a gritty new role on TV's spiciest cop drama to land him the respect that calling himself "Rick" Schroder just couldn't muster. Although Steven Bochco claims that Schroder's part is "still being fleshed out," the NBC Web site says that Schroder will be an "ambitious" young homicide detective who may "sometimes be overeager and may not go through the proper chain of command." Hey, who says Steven Bochco isn't a TV innovator?

Don't get me wrong. I've got nothing personal against little Ricky. I stopped watching "NYPD Blue" ages ago, so I don't care if they add Gilbert Gottfried to the cast. I'm just horrified by the idea that I might be flipping through the channels one lazy Tuesday night and accidentally come across a brief shot of Ricky Schroder's hairless ass. Ewww.

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